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An eight year old Rottweiler bitch called Becky, owned by Margaret Thomson of Dundee, has been voted Pets As Therapy’s ‘PAT Dog of the Year 2006’.
Becky received her award last Sunday from Roy Barraclough MBE and Tony Parkinson, Managing Director of Pets As Therapy sponsor HiLife pet foods, at a special ceremony at the Palace Hotel Buxton, Derbyshire.
Becky and Margaret have been visiting the residents of the Camperdown Care Home and the Ballumbie Nursing Home in Dundee every week for the past eight years. ‘She’s a gentle giant,’ says Margaret, ‘very loving and never reacts even to sudden movement. She’ll just move away, then go back to sit with them again.
‘To a lot of the care home residents, especially those who are disabled, Becky is as close as they’ll ever come to having their own pet - and they love her for it.’
Becky was nominated by David Petrie from the Camperdown Care Home for residents with learning difficulties. ‘She has become a valuable and much-loved member of the Camperdown family and has even helped some of our residents get over their fear of dogs,’ he said.
Becky was voted PAT Dog of the Year 2006 by a celebrity panel, all of whom are active supporters of the charity, including actors Roy Barraclough MBE, Pam St Clement and Pauline Fleming - who is a regular Pets As Therapy volunteer herself, with her PAT dog Doris - and TV chef James Martin, together with the readers of Woman’s Own.
As well as medical staff and carers, nominations came from patients and residents of hospitals, hospices, residential homes, special needs schools and other similar establishments throughout the country, to whom Pets As Therapy’s 3,500 volunteers and their dogs regularly bring much-needed therapeutic care, joy and companionship.
Becky won £500 and three months’ supply of dog food from HiLife and a piece of engraved commemorative crystal by Birkdale Crystal.
Said Tony Parkinson, ‘All of us at HiLife are proud to be long-term supporters of this important charity and the highly valued, worthwhile work done by its volunteers and their dogs.’
Five runners-up, who received prizes of £100, a month’s supply of HiLife dog food and a piece of crystal by Birkdale Crystal, were West Highland Terrier Taz, owned by Freda Arblaster from Walsall; Border Collie Moss, owned by Trish Weatherley from Hextable; Crossbreed Kola, owned by Cynthia Pitts from Crawley; Crossbreed Cassie, owned by Ruth Boyes from Dewsbury; and Great Dane Manny, owned by Patricia Hanratty from Wakefield.
The day at the hotel started bright and breezy with many of the competitors travelling to Buxton early that day. Mrs Maureen Hennis of PAT Dogs welcomed the guests and competitors and announced the runners up mentioned above before the winner Becky took centre stage.
Prior to lunch the charity’s new DVD featuring Roy Barraclough was shown to the guests and it was widely acclaimed as a professional and positive production.
After an excellent lunch it was time for the final of the Pets As Therapy PAT Dog of the Year 2006. Throughout the year special stakes’ classes are a feature of the show calendar to produce a list of finalists. This year they were judged by Mrs Ann Arch (Loakespark) who took to the floor in the splendid surroundings at the Palace Hotel.
Her overall winner was the Flatcoat Retriever Hertams Dr Pepper owned by Mrs Serena Green of Southport with runner up last year’s winner the BSD Tervueren Ir Ch Nosregor Hurricane George of Norlyght JW owned by Chris & Patricia Such of Wantage.
As ever it was a slick and professional presentation which also honoured those who selflessly help the charity year in year out. Well to PAT Dogs and all associated with them.
Best show dog, Pets As Therapy finals
FROM AN excellent collection of exhibits, from all groups, it was a great pleasure to have this exciting task! At least six of them could have been easy winners, making it a hard task.
My final choice gave Best to the lovely Flatcoated Retriever Mrs Serena Green’s Hertams Dr Pepper, who is so sound and well constructed. His temperament is fantastic and it was wonderful to find such good firm body condition and muscle.
Runner up was last year’s winner the Tervueren, IR Ch Nosregor Hurricane George of Norlyght JW owned by Chris & Patricia Such. Another of super type, balance and soundness. Lovely expression, another who moved so correctly.
My thanks to all for their reception of my decisions.
Becky the Rottweiler owned by Mrs M Thompson of Dundee, was the winner of PAT Dog of the Year 2006 competition judged by a celebrity panel and the readers of Woman’s Own
Winner of the Pets As Therapy Show Dog of the Year 2006 final
was the Flatcoat Retriever Hertams Dr Pepper owned by Mrs Serena Green of Southport
and pictured here with judge Mrs Ann Arch
Mrs Maureen Hennis welcomes the guests to the Palace Hotel, Buxton
Actor Mr Roy Barraclough MBE acknowledges the thanks of the charity
for his help with their new promotional DVD
PAT Dog of the Year 2006 finalist Cassie owned by Mrs R Boyes of Dewsbury
PAT Dog of the Year 2006 finalist the WHWT Taz owned by Mrs R Arblaster of Cheslyn Hay
PAT Dog of the Year 2006 finalist the Border Collie Moss owned by Mrs P Weatherley of Swanley
PAT Dog of the Year 2006 finalist the Great Dane Manny owned by Mrs P Henratty of Wakefield