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In our latest Banana Chat feature we were really lucky to have been able to interview Jimmy Chipolata. He was such an interesting character that we thought we would find out more about him and the important role that he carries out at Nottingham Trent University.
Jimmy Chipolata is not your average Dachshund – In his own words he is a dog of many talents, bursting with charisma and is registered as a Pet Therapist. His favourite pastime is hanging out with people and making them feel happy. He is available for appearances for wellbeing sessions and mental health events and loves the limelight and hot on the tail of his media and modelling career (Vogue, Italy) he has now launched his own Jimmy C clothing range, so other Dachshunds can look great too.
From a rough start in life he was re-homed, landing in the Easter household at the age of three where he learned the value of walking, even getting over his stubborn refusal to walk in the rain. His housemate is Big John the giant ginger cat who is bigger and butcher than he is and they have developed a mutual respect for each other involving lots of sniffing and occasionally affection. He also lives with his humans, Jacob (brother), Hannah (sister) and Matt and Debra (parents). He greets everyone enthusiastically whether he has seen them many times or whether he is meeting them for the very first time and this really helps him in his job as a therapy dog.
His best trick for getting attention is to do his meerkat impression, sitting upright for up to three minutes. This has gained him many fans and an enormous amount of treats. His favourite treat is cheese but he is not fussy what type and also loves anyone who scratches him in the right place just under his chin.
Jimmy has worked alongside his owner Debra who is the Therapy, Wellbeing and Student Employability Specialist at Nottingham Trent University. Debra says:
“Since Jimmy has been here, I’ve seen people come forward who normally wouldn’t come and talk, such as lesser-engaged and shyer students. Lots of our staff and students’ wellbeing can improve just by stroking Jimmy…
We get quite a lot of students who miss their pets at home and are having a stressful time with workload and exams, and Jimmy soothes them.”
Therapy animals have been in the news quite a lot and the importance of these animals should not be undervalued. It has been proven that in times of stress being around an animal can lower those stress levels and especially if students are away from home and missing their own animals this can make a massive difference in how students adjust to university life.
Jimmy Chipolata has become such a big part of campus life and no one can ignore this miniature fashion icon, whose stylish outfits have won him more than 1,000 followers on Instagram
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