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A very special day!

On Sunday 10th November the Canine Concern Scotland Trust’s annual awards were made for special services, and once again this was a wonderful day with great enthusiasm shown for the highly deserving recipients, writes Marjorie Henley-Price. This takes the form of a buffet lunch at the royal Ettrick Hotel, Edinburgh and the only problem that arose was the usual one - the difficulty in deciding on the award winners.

First of all - the SPENCER AWARD for THERAPET OF THE YEAR. The nominated dogs were all very special and I was only glad that as Chair of Trustees I was not called upon to give a casting vote. I should have found it very difficult indeed. The Trustees decide individually on which Therapet is their own particular favourite by awarding marks out of ten. Every year I receive the same grumble - they should ALL get the award! As indeed they should. However, there is only one and in the end the decision went to: GSD “Broderie” from Aberdeen, proudly owned and loved by Pat Riddel.

(left) - Pat Riddell’s GSD Brodie - Therapet of the Year

Brodie is known as “Grampian’s Gentle Giant”, being a very big dog and not one at first thought of as a visiting therapy dog! He has been visiting for eight years now, despite suffering from hip dysplasia and with Pat has never missed a visit. He has been a dearly loved favourite at three places, latterly Cornhill Hospital from whence we received pages and pages of requests from patients and staff that he be given the Spencer Award. He does his breed great credit, especially as the GSD does not always receive good press.

Runner-up to Brodie was another incredible dog coming from what can only be called a remarkable owner. This was “ Bobby”, a Collie-cross dog, who was recovered from a black plastic bag in a stream in Fife - the only one of five puppies to survive, bless him. He was nominated by Margaret Dunbar, Nursing Director of St Columba’s Hospice in Edinburgh where he has visited for the past two years. Next came The Dr Morris Andrew and Daniel The Spaniel Memorial Quaiche, presented in memory of our dearly loved Edinburgh representative and Trustee, most kindly donated by his family. The award is to the Therapet Organiser of the Year and it was with great pleasure Rosemary Long made the presentation to Diane Wood, our Inverness and Nairn representative who has worked her socks off during the past two years since she began, obtaining a very large number of volunteers and their super dogs who contribute greatly to the Therapet programme.

(Right) - Runner up ‘Bobby’ with proud owner Tracey Anderson

Finally, the Iain Whyte Memorial Award which is made to a person or organisation whose help has been beneficial to the Trust either during the year or over a period of years. This time the help given extends over more years than I would care to remember - when we first started our working relationship it was called Glasgow Parks & Recreation, but it is now known as Glasgow City Council Land Services. As a small Charity we rely so much on fundraising and advertising to the general public and so the events we promote must pay their way and also provide good publicity for the Trust’s work.

A wonderful shop window is provided by our annual Exemption Show which is held in Queens Park, Glasgow, and which has become very well-known - first Sunday in June and that’s our Show! This would not have been possible without considerable help over the years from Glasgow Land Services. We have tremendous relationship with them and lots of happy and fun memories over the years. Really good friends to the Trust.

These events attract press interest and allow us to reach the general public with our message of responsible ownership. So it was with special pleasure that Rosemary presented the award to Ann Galbraith, Events Manager, on behalf of Glasgow City Council Land Services, and I think she thoroughly enjoyed herself, as indeed did we all!

Once again, it was a very special day.
Marjorie Henley Price Chair of Trustees

Diane Wood, Therapet Organiser of the Year, with last year’s recipient, Fiona Henderson

Ann Galbraith receiving the Iain Whyte Memorial Award on behalf of Glasgow City Council Land Services