As Therapy Honorary Life Member Kevin Paterson, pictured with
PAT Dog Jolene.
Kevin Paterson has just celebrated his 18th birthday. He is
a young man who is full of fun, enthusiasm and just oozes
charm. Kevin has always accompanied his father David and their
PAT dog Jolene on visits to two residential homes for the
elderly in County Durham. Quite an achievement for a young
man who has Cerebal Palsy Epilepsy, and is totally blind.
However, Kevins achievements do not stop. He has recently
obtained his Gateway Award and is now working towards the
Duke of Edinburgh Award. Kevin loves his PAT visits so much
that he decided he wanted to organise an event for PAT Fun
Week. This was held on a warm spring evening at the Admiralty
Ecology Site in Teeside where PAT volunteers and their dogs
were treated to a guided tour around this very interesting
It was lovely to see the special gardens that
the youngsters from the Gateway Club (The Young Ones), had
created. All members of the club are disabled and they had
put many hours of work into these areas.
We then enjoyed a great barbeque. All the food had been supplied
by The Young Ones and was really delicious.
drawing the raffle David made an announcement. Kevin wanted
to make a presentation. I cannot tell you how delighted and
humbled I was to be presented with a £100 cheque for
Pets As Therapy from Kevin Paterson and The Young Ones. To
have these youngsters who have so many disabilities raising
funds and providing a super social occasion for Pets As Therapy
is tremendous and so special that it was decided that Kevin
should receive an 18th birthday present of honorary life membership
to Pets As Therapy. I know that David will read this for Kevin
so - Happy Birthday Kevin, and keep up your wonderful work.
You are a star.
Another star was Ellie who featured in the Animal Hospital
programme on BBC1 recently. A cavalier, Ellie is owned by
Sue Dawson who visits at Pendle Nursing Home and Highbank
Rehabilitation Centre in the Manchester area. The item was
introduced by Animal Hospital presenter Rolf Harris. Filming
was done at both locations with an interview with Clinical
Psychologist Crawford Thomas from the Childrens Spinal
Injuries Unit at Highbank. The first images were of Ellie
with children from the Rehab centre. When discussions were
taking place organising the piece with the BBC they thought
it was important to show that all PAT dogs are temperament
Ian Atkinson, one of our trained assessors, and husband of
Area Co-ordinator Jane Atkinson, from Bury in Lancashire,
was approached and agreed to be filmed doing an actual test
on a potential PAT dog. The dog was Barney a lovely crossbreed
who is owned by Ina Moore and who is now a fully fledged and
visiting PAT dog. The item closed with footage of Sue and
Ellie at Pendle Nursing Home with Alice, a resident saying
Can we keep her? Have we got to wait till next week
for another visit?. PAT dogs are very obviously so important
to people like Alice.
The item was concluded by Rolf Harris saying that the work
undertaken by the PAT volunteers is phenomenal. May I take
this opportunity to thank everyone concerned in the broadcasting
of the Animal Hospital programme. PRO Dogs Stakes news.
Would you please note that SATS show is on 30th June and not
as printed in Argos magazine. At Chelmsford & District
Canine Society the Pro Dogs Stakes were judged by Mrs D Courtney.
1st Mrs E Burts English Setter Abbeysett Paperback Writer.
2nd Mrs K Harrisons Italian Spinone Synsett Letizia.
3rd Ms N Bakers Dobermann Jaryntuka J-Lo.
If you would like to register your dog as a PAT dog please
send a s.a.e. to Pets As Therapy, 17 Ambrook Road, Reading,
Berks, RG2 8SL. To contact PRO Dogs write to Rocky Bank, 6
New Road, Ditton, Kent ME20 6AD. If you have any news, views
or comments please contact me at Pets As Therapy Northern
Office, PO Box 11, Stanley, Co.Durham DH9 7YZ or telephone