Devoted Harold Pursey adored his black Labrador, Bob, so much that his care home agreed to take him in when he died in 2010
An orphaned dog which was adopted by his elderly owner’s care home has died – after surviving on a TRUST FUND for five years.
Devoted Harold Pursey adored his black Labrador, Bob, so much that his care home agreed to take him in when he died of heart failure in 2010.
Harold, a war veteran, left his final £666 to set up a trust fund to pay for Bob’s on-going care at Burnham Lodge in Somerset.
However, his elderly pet, who suffered stiff joints, quickly racked up steep medical bills for acupuncture, hydrotherapy and canine massage.
Determined to look after him properly, kindly locals and staff stepped in – and, over the next five years, raised £5,000 to top up the fund.
They held raffles, wing walks and sponsored silences to ensure the home could continue to pay for pampered Bob’s food and health care.
But on Monday, a few weeks before his 16th birthday, staff at the nursing home announced Bob had been put to sleep.
Lindsay Hammond, of the nursing home in Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset, said: “It is with much sadness that we announce the death of Bob.
“He was put to sleep on Monday 28th December, just a few weeks before his 16th birthday.
“He was a much-loved member of our family at Burnham Lodge and it was a very sad day for the staff and residents.
“It is truly the end of an era.
“The media response has always been amazing and heart warming, knowing how many people wanted updates on Bob and also donated so generously to his trust fund.”
Bob’s owner, Harold, of Burnham-on-Sea, served with the 12th Lancers tank regiment in France, Belgium and Germany during World War Two.
The lifelong bachelor needed to go into residential care in June 2009 after his health deteriorated due to old age and Lymphedema in his legs.
But he refused to go into a home without Bob, who had been his only companion since getting him as a puppy ten years earlier.
Social worker Judith Alder believed separating him from the dog would have killed him and set about finding a home that would take them both.
After a lengthy search, the pair settled into Burnham Lodge and Bob became an instant favourite with residents and staff.
He began doing the rounds with nurses as they handed out medication, visiting patients and providing his own special brand of ‘therapy’.
Staff then agreed to sign a contract saying they would adopt Bob when Mr Pursey died in 2010 aged 94.
The loveable Labrador was left just £666 by his owner – who had no more money to his name.
It went straight into a trust fund but quickly ran out and, to cover the cost of his ongoing care, the nursing home’s staff appealed for funds.
It prompted a fundraising fishing competition which raised a staggering £2,000.
Speaking at the time, Judith, who looked after Bob at the home, said: “There was such a huge response to Bob, everybody adores him, we are almost speechless at how much we managed to raise.
“Bob is so lovely and just did what he needed to do, he knew when to turn on the charm.”