Count down to National Dog Award Finals

PAT dogs finalist  Marnee of Crowborough.
PAT dogs finalist Marnee of Crowborough.

Kindhearted Golden Retriever Marnee and her proud owner Noel Austin are counting down to an appearance at the world’s biggest dog show, Crufts.

Eleven-year-old Marnee, of Crowborough, is a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog and has been named as one of six finalists in a national competition to find the HiLife PAT Dog of the Year 2014/15.

Noel and Marnee are part of a friendly team of dogs and owners that regularly volunteer their time providing therapeutic visits to hospitals, hospices, nursing and care homes and special needs schools.

However, the pair will be taking a well-earned break from spreading joy and laughter on Friday, March 6, when they take to the spotlight at Crufts to eagerly await the announcement of the HiLife PAT Dog of the Year winner.

Marnee and her fellow finalists will parade around the show arena at the NEC Birmingham as details of their achievements are relayed to the large audience. A winner will then be revealed and a cheque for £500 presented to the owner, along with three months’ supply of HiLife dog food.

Noel said: “I think everyone in Crowborough knows about Marnee reaching the final. We’re frequently stopped in the street and asked when we’re going to Crufts. It has become a popular topic of conversation, everyone is really proud of her and wishing us well.

“Marnee is an incredible dog. She is sensitive to those in need, shy people and anyone in fear of dogs and she reacts accordingly, putting them at ease.

“Her temperament reflects her calm and loving nature and people of all ages are immediately attracted to her.”

For more information about Pets As Therapy, visit www.petsastherapy.org or call 01844 345 445.