Update: Marnee wins PAT Dog of the Year at Crufts this afternoon (Friday 6th March).
You can watch Friday’s presentation at Crufts here:
Noel told CrowboroughLife:
Would it be possible to add our thanks to everybody who voted for her for with out votes she wouldn’t have achieved this huge accolade.
Poking around the door was a nose and then a big smile and beautiful big eyes which were so happy and delighted to see me – I just wanted to stay in that moment. Everything went into slow motion as this gorgeous golden dog came closer and closer to me.
This is how Katie O’Brien who was a patient at Burrswood Hospital in Groombridge described the first time she met ‘Pets as Therapy’ dog Marnee, an eleven year old Golden Retriever from Crowborough.
Marnee has been nominated as one of six finalist in the PAT Dog of the Year Competition, to be awarded in the main arena at Crufts next year.
Noel Austin has been a volunteer for Pets as Therapy for over 30 years, and acts as a coordinator for the charity in the area. Noel and Marnee go into residential homes, hospices, hospitals and secure units. In conversation with Stephan from CrowboroughLife, she says Marnee has got the perfect temperament for the role …[audio:Marnee.mp3]
Sam Keylock, who was one of the people who nominated Marnee, describes the joy and pleasure people who suffer from dementia experience during one of Marnee’s visits:
Marnee will wait patiently at their bedside until the individual finally engages with her. When they do, something so powerful happens. A bright light switches on, a wide smile appears and they connect with eye contact, stroking, patting and more suprisingly talking to Marnee telling her what a good dog she is.
It doesn’t matter how may times I have been honoured to witness this, but the moment Marnee connects with a person she gives so much joy. The impact she has on someone living within a care setting is a gift she freely gives.
The awards are sponsored by HiLife dog food and Yours magazine. You can vote for Marnee on the Yours magazine website: PAT Dog of the Year.