Published: August 31, 2010
Appeal launched to help Bob the dog after loving owner dies

Burnham-On-Sea war veteran Harold Pursey, who refused to move into care unless his faithful dog could go too, has died peacefully at the age of 94 with his labrador Bob at his side.

Mr Pursey, a retired butcher, was allowed to keep Bob with him when he moved first into a residential home and then, a few weeks ago, into a nursing home.

Burnham Lodge Nursing Home also agreed to give Bob, aged 10, a home for life.

This week, staff at the home in Berrow Road have launched a fundraising drive to raise funds for any veterinary care that Bob may need as the years go by.

Social worker Judith Alder, who helped ensure Mr Pursey found dog-friendly care, and Soriaya Mandiga, the matron at Burnham Lodge, each plan to undertake a daring sponsored wingwalk during September.

Nurse Elizabeth Jackson told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "The home will feed Bob and look after him, but veterinary bills can cost hundreds of pounds."

"A Bobby Appeal bank account has therefore been set up to which people who may like to sponsor us can donate."

She added: "Bob is really therapeutic for the residents here in the home - he is much loved by us all."

Harold, pictured above, served with the 12 Lancers tank regiment in World War II and regarded Bob as his comrade in arms.

Judith had to work hard at the time to find a care home that would accept him and his dog.

Eventually, Frith House obliged and they remained there until May of this year when Harold's health needs deteriorated and a decision was made by Judith and a district nurse assessor that nursing home care was now required.

Knowing that a potential parting for Harold and his beloved dog would break his heart, finding a suitable nursing home seemed a daunting if not impossible task.

Fortunately, Burnham Lodge saved the day and, so successful was the move, that residents and staff agreed - after many discussions and negotiations - to give the pair a home for life!

"When this suggestion was put to Mr Pursey, he was overwhelmed and cried with relief, knowing that his beloved dog would have no further traumas in being re-homed after his death. A formal contract was then drawn up to safeguard and ensure Bob’s permanent home," the home's Administrator, Martin Cox, told Burnham-On-Sea.com.

To make donations to Bobby’s Appeal Fund, send a cheque payable to ‘Burnham Lodge Residents Fund’ to: Bobby’s Appeal, Burnham Lodge Nursing Home 147, Berrow Road, Burnham-On-Sea TA8 2PN.

Mr Pursey's funeral will take place at Weston-Super-Mare crematorium at 3.30pm this Thursday (September 2nd), where staff have relaxed their 'no dogs' rule to allow Bob to attend.

Pictured (top) above are RGN Elizabeth Jackson, Health Care Assistant Sam Butler and Nursing Home Administrator Martin Cox with Bobby the dog and, beneath, the late Harold Pursey with his trusty labrador


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