I have the privilege of being a P.A.T. dog.
This stands for "Pets as Therapy", and I followed in the footsteps of my mother 3 years ago.
Once a week I go with my mistress to St Luke's Hospice in Winsford, and there I meet the wonderful staff, and also the patients, many of whom have had to leave their dogs at home, and because they are missing them, are pleased to see me.
Its great to be able to put a smile on their faces.
I go on different days each week, because I also meet day patients who are having a great time doing all sorts of things like painting , exercises and quizzes but they always have time to talk to me and give me biscuits.
This summer I spent a day at a park in Frodsham, where the police were showing the public how dogs played a part in the community, and also a very hot day at Tatton Park in a garden designed on behalf of the Hospice.
The above story by a Tarvin resident sent me searching to find out some more about the P.A.T organisation. Animal lovers will now doubt relate to the following:-
Pets As Therapyis a national charity founded in 1983. It is a community based charity providing therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes, special needs schools and a variety of other establishments from volunteers with their pet dogs and cats.
Since its beginning over 28,000 dogs have become registered PAT dogs. Every year some of these wonderful dogs need to retire and new dogs, having first passed a health, temperament, and suitability assessment, join Pets As Therapy.
Today there are currently around 5000 active PAT visiting dogs and a smaller number of PAT cats at work in the UK. Every week visiting PAT teams bring comfort and companionship to 1,000's of people, both young and old, by giving them the opportunity to stroke, hold and talk to one of these calm and friendly dogs and cats.
The bedsides that are visited each year number a staggering half million