Vote for your favourite clever canine
We are very proud to support Pets As Therapy (PAT) who enhance health and wellbeing in the community through the visits of trusted volunteers with their behaviourally assessed animals. This fabulous charity provides a visiting service in hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other venues all across the UK. These visits raise spirits, improve health and wellbeing and even promote learning. For example, the Read2dogs scheme improves literacy in children by developing their confidence, interest and enjoyment in reading.
Each year the PAT team siftthrough mountains of doggy profiles and select a number of finalists for their HiLife PAT Dog of the Year competition. Here are the six contenders this year – as you can see, selecting the shortlist is no mean feat, as there are just so many talented pooches to choose from.
Don’t forget to cast your vote by following the link at the bottom.
Daisy is a King Charles Cavalier and has helped patients at a hospital, three schools and a care home.
The headteacher at the school says “Many children have made excellent progress with Daisy; the PAT programme is highly effective.”
Staff at the hospital say “Daisy has such a gentle nature and we see how her calming influence lifts patients’ moods.”
For six years, Georgie the Chihuahua has devoted his time to improving the lives of others and has visited rehabilitation centres, residential homes, a mental health club and a special school.
Tye Green Care Home says: “Georgie snuggles with our bedbound patients and comforts them. He is a very special dog.”
The team at Frank Foster House told us, “Georgie promotes wellbeing and happiness in our residents,” while Jacobs Neuro Centre says, “Georgie’s presence brings comfort, joy and support – both physical and emotional.”
Devon loves to help those in need and the loveable crossbreed is a regular at schools, care homes and mental health clubs. The team at Penygarn School say, “Devon makes a huge difference to the children’s attitude to reading – it’s been a privilege to watch”.
A health worker says, “Dementia patients are calmed and communicate with her.” Other friends added, “Devon is a calming, lovely dog.”
14-year-old Janna has spent the last five years visiting nursing homes, schools and a hospice. This friendly mixed breed even helped an incredibly shy pupil at Pitmaston Primary to speak up and gain confidence in class.
A teacher says, “We love seeing her eagerness to read. Janna is only with us for a few hours, but each minute is precious. She is much loved and her visits are eagerly anticipated.”
Sausage, a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, is so popular in her volunteer work at St Eqolds Residential Home that she is often invited to birthday and Christmas parties! Sausage has visited the Home for four years, and as well as raising the residents spirits, she also does phobia work.
Praises from the residents include: “He is a darling with human eyes and a friend for life”, “he is the best dog I have ever met” and “Sausage day is the best day of the week.”
Rocco the Labrador visits St Cross Hospital, school and care home. “Rocco is the highlight of our patients’ week,” staff at the hospital say, “They get emotional stroking a dog again – he helps them relearn everyday skills.”
Oakfield Primary, who nominated him, said: “The children love reading to Rocco and it makes a difference to every child who spends time with him,” while Mill Green Care Home says: “Rocco leaves us feeling good.”
HiLife marketing director, Peter Parkinson, said “The HiLife PAT Dog of the Year competition is one of the highlights in the HiLife calendar. We just love to hear about all the great work that the generous volunteers and their inspiring pets do around the country. “Every single dog and their owner makes a difference in the communities in which they volunteer, and we hope that all of the finalists feel proud of this extra special recognition of their hard work.”