PAT Dogs/ Pro Dogs
THOSE OF you who watch the television 'soap' Emmerdale will be aware of the new family who have recently taken up residence, writes Maureen Hennis
The actors who make up the 'family' were all selected from the general public in a series of tv programmes specifically to find people who could play the parts to the best advantage. Similarly, the family's dog was chosen. After much competition, the judges decided that the new Emmerdale dog would be Border Collie Bess, who is also a registered PAT dog and lives with her owner John Paterson in Leeds, alongside John's other PAT dog, Working Sheepdog Jenny.
John takes Bess and Jenny to visit regularly at the Little Sisters of the Poor Home, Mount St Joseph in Headingley and also at Daniel Yorath House in Leeds, where both dogs bring sunshine into the lives of the elderly residents. Bess also enjoys agility. What with this, PAT visiting and working on Emmerdale, it makes a very busy life for both Bess and John.
I recently spent a lovely day at the PRO Dog of the Year Awards luncheon which has already been reported in full in OUR DOGS. It was so nice to see celebrity guest Roy Barraclough again. Roy was one of the personalities who supported the Pets As Therapy/PRO Dogs stand this year at Crufts.
PAT dogs were well to the fore this year. The Pet of the Year Gold Medal winner was Lady, a retired Trailhound who is also a PAT dog. The Silver Medal winner in the Pet of the Year category was Leonberger Max, another PAT dog who has 'cured' an agrophobic patient in a local residential home, visits children's wards and has succeeded in helping several phobic patients. In the Devotion to Duty category the Silver Medal Award went to Gem, a Working Sheepdog who also does a great deal of work for Pets as Therapy in the Essex area.
It was lovely to see the PAT dog of the Year, Katie - a Toy Poodle, PAT Cat of the Year, T.J. and the Pets As Therapy Establishment Team, all in attendance. Many thanks to PRO Dogs, for a truly delightful day.
If you would like to register your dog as a PAT dog, then please send an s.a.e. to Pet As Therapy, 17 Ambrook Road, Reading, Berks. RG2 8SL or telephone 0118-9921 2467. For PRO Dogs entries contact Rocky Bank, 6 New Road, Ditton, Kent ME20 6AD. Tel 01732-848499. If you have any news, views or comments please contact me at Pets As Therapy (Northern) PO Box 11, Stanley, Co. Durham DH9 7YZ or telephone 01207-236040.