Which of these wonderful pooches will get your vote as HiLife PAT Dog of the Year?
Look at those little faces! Six ordinary dogs who love cuddles, squeaky toys and the next mealtime as much as any other mutt. But these doggies are extraordinary heroes, as day-in, day-out, they bring comfort, joy and companionship to those who need it most, changing lives in schools, care homes, hospitals and beyond.
These are the six finalists of Pets as Therapy’s annual competition to find the HiLife PAT Dog of the Year, whittled down from hundreds of applicants.
But now PAT Dogs needs your help to pick the ultimate winner, who will be announced in a spring 2018 issue of Yours.
Read their stories and let us know your favourite using the entry form below.
Border Terrier, owned by Pamela Coombs
Bella visits many establishments including a hospital, a care home, a school and special needs pupils. One man, watching his wife with dementia, laughing and smiling at Bella, says, “This is the lady I fell in love with.” Consett Academy says, “Her undivided attention is moving and inspirational. It’s incredible seeing the effect she has on students.” Freeman Hospital says, “Bella reaches the hearts and minds of our patients.”
Great Dane, owned by Diana Barnes
Leyan’s PAT dog career spans nine years, from puppy to adult. She visits a care home, a school and a special needs school. One teacher says, “Leyan has made such a positive and enriching impact – thank you for the fantastic work you do.” The deputy head says, “Leyan has changed several pupils’ confidence and it’s been the deciding factor in their progress – I don’t know what we’d do without her.”
Cocker Spaniel, owed by Dawn Chilcott
Mivvi has been visiting various establishments for four years, including Oystermouth Primary where the pupils read to her. One child says, “I love Mivvi – she brightens my day.” She also visits care homes and one resident with dementia, who was delighted to see Mivvi, talked for the first time when Mivi came as it brought back happy memories. Mivvi has an amazing effect on people and brings much happiness.
Labrador-Staffie, owned by Sheena Scrimgeour
Inca has dedicated eight years to visiting schools, hospitals, dementia cafés, universities and a prison. Patients at Hellesdon Hospital say, “Inca is the best thing in the world,” and, “I can’t wait for Inca to come”. Staff say patients have told them “Inca has helped save their life,” and the hospital Chaplain says, “You feel her presence in your heart.”
German Shepherd, owned by Nicola Bryant
Ava has visited Eversley Primary and Merrylands School for several years. One child at Eversley says, “Ava makes my worries go away.” She also visits Changing Pathways refuge where the children play with her. Parents say, “Ava makes us feel calm and happy and we can see how much the children love her.” A local Beavers group says, “Thank you Ava for visiting our group – we had a wonderful time.”
Labrador, owned by Alexandra Hughes
Evie has been visiting various establishments for seven years including a care home, a stroke ward and a centre for adults with learning difficulties, where the manager says, “Evie really brightens everyone’s day. She is a credit to her owner and we hope they visit for many years.” Evie also does phobia work and has helped a young girl with a severe fear of dogs.
- Voting ends December 31, 2017
- To find out more about Pets as Therapy, call 01494 569130 or visit www.petsastherapy.org