Pets As Therapy/Pro Dogs

Pets 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, Kevin’s 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 place.

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.


After 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 Children’s 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 assessed.

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 Burt’s English Setter Abbeysett Paperback Writer. 2nd Mrs K Harrison’s Italian Spinone Synsett Letizia. 3rd Ms N Baker’s 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 01207-236040.


To receive Breaking News dog stories direct to your Inbox,

sign up for the weekly Our Dogs email newsletter here