Whitehead group welcomes therapy dog ‘Henry Wee Wheels’

School children in Whitehead have heard the inspiring story of a therapy dog who was rescued from appalling conditions in China.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 5:55 pm

Toy poodle Henry, known as Henry Wee Wheels thanks to his use of a specially adapted wheelchair, visited the Tuition Time group on Saturday.

Run by local woman Debbie Goss, the group offers tuition for primary level Maths and English as well as English up to A-Level.

A frequent guest at schools and community groups across Northern Ireland, Henry was rescued in 2018 by Co Armagh woman, Sharon Warnock.

Debbie Goss from Tuition Time with Henry and his owner, Sharon Warnock.

“He was found in a government shelter in Shanghai and he was in a bad way,” Sharon said.  “He’d been bitten by a bigger dog and had an open wound right through to the bone; he wasn’t able to eat, drink, or go to the toilet.”

Henry’s plight was noticed by volunteers from Harbin Slaughterhouse Survivors, a charity that helps to rescue animals from the Chinese meat trade and medical testing facilities.

Close to death, he was flown to northern China where veterinarians worked to save him.

“The group at the time put him on social media and that’s where I saw him,” Sharon said.  “I applied to adopt him and he was flown over to London, where I travelled to pick him up on 1st April 2018.”

Shay Murphy with Henry.

Despite the cruel conditions in China that sadly left him paralysed, the little dog has thrived in the years since.

“He had his issues when he first came here, and would have woken in the night trembling,” Sharon added.  “But he’s the best wee dog when you consider all that he’s been through.” 

Henry’s story is one that can be adapted to many of the issues that young people might be facing, from illness to bullying and overcoming adversity.

“For anyone who has been told they’ll never amount to anything, Henry is proof of what can be done through hard work and resilience,” Sharon said.

Leah Goss, Dara Goss, Daniel Higginson, Sam Hanna, and Lauren Burke with Henry.

More information on Henry’s journey can be found on the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/HenryfromChina

Sharon Warnock tells Henry's story to young people at Tuition Time in Whitehead. The group also enjoyed free pizza from Four Star Pizza in Carrickfergus during the session.