Coronavirus UK: Dog helps neighbours deliver letters during pandemic

Split image of Nugget the courier dog and six-year-old Ava and on the other side, the handwritten letter he delivered
Nugget is dropping off letters from Ava’s next door neighbour (Picture: Sarah Jayne)

The coronavirus pandemic has revealed heroes across the world – like the woman in self-isolation who leaves packed lunches outside her house for strangers or the woman who gets her entire neighbourhood to sing for her fiancé’s 30th birthday .

But of course, it’s not just humans who are doing heroic acts.

As if they weren’t already amazing enough, dogs are getting in on the action too.

Nugget lives in a country town in Victoria, Australia, with his humans Sarah Jayne, 40, and her six-year-old daughter Ava.
Ava, who suffered an illness that saw her hospitalised last year, has to be extra careful during the coronavirus crisis and is safely self-isolating with her family but the young girl misses her friends – so it’s Nugget to the rescue.

The productive pooch has been helping kids in the neighbourhood stay in touch by dropping off handwritten letters between them, which are stuck onto his collar.

Nugget the dog
Such a handsome face (Picture: Sarah Jayne)
‘Our dog Nugget came home with something stuck in his collar,’ Jayne told Daily Mail Australia.

I took it off and what was written on it made my daughter’s day and melted my heart.

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), pet owners in the United States spent $60.28 billion on their furry friends in 2015. That number is expected to rise by more than $2 billion in 2016.

‘Ava had influenza last year and she was hospitalised. She still sees specialists as her kidneys were affected.

‘Due to this we have been very careful with this current situation and have kept her home.

‘She has been quite lonely, missing her friends and hanging out with the neighbours so to get this surprise letter meant the world to her.

‘The letter made us really smile in these uncertain times, kids are so sweet.’

The letter was written by Ava’s friend Sianne, 10, who lives next doo. Jayne said: ‘They are best friends, like sisters.’

Have you reached for the tissues yet? Well, you’re about too.

The letter in full
The letter in full (Picture: Sarah Jayne)
‘Ava, I know we can’t see each other now but we can still send messages through Nugget,’ the letter read.

‘I don’t know why but dogs can’t carry viruses. I know right?

‘Can you please send me a message back so I know you’re still alive.

‘From Sianne. P.S: COVID-19 will eventually go and everything will be ok.’

OK, we’re definitely crying now.

Jayne said: ‘When I read it my heart melted, what a sweet gesture and seeing another child trying to put Ava’s mind at ease was even sweeter.

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‘Ava was so excited to receive communication from her friend and now the girls have even incorporated home schooling into the letters giving each other tasks like poem writing and drawing pictures of things so it has also become a great learning tool.’

As heroic as he is, Nugget is still a dog – and unfortunately not as reliable as the real postal service, so Jayne figured out an alternative solution so the girls can keep sending letters.

Jayne said: ‘Nugget was getting a little lazy with his mail delivery and the girls were getting impatient with him so we set up a letterbox.

‘We live on 30 acres of land and he wanders around visiting the neighbours as they all love him.

‘Nugget also brings smiles to everyone’s faces with his visits.

‘We have also been careful, spraying and washing our hands regularly.’

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