Congratulations to Ruth Findlay who has been awarded

The Spencer Award for Therapet of the Year 2010

left - Maeve and Right - Bridget

Maeve (Drumwhaur Little Flame) and Bridget (Thendara Sweetheart) have jointly won

The Spencer Award for Therapet of the Year 2010.

The Therapet service is run by Canine Concern Scotland Trust, and hundreds of volunteers all over Scotland visit hospitals, care and respite facilities, etc. with their dogs, bringing a bit of canine love and companionship to people who are unable to have a dog of their own at present.

Our breed has such affinity with people and children that they make wonderful Therapets and I know other setter owners have been volunteering for years.  Although I’ve been visiting with our girls for a few years now, I am constantly amazed at the way they intuitively respond to the differing needs of the people that they visit, young and old.

We were very honoured to win the award this year, but the award is really an acknowledgement of the work of all the Therapets of all sizes and breeds across Scotland.   Canine Concern are always looking for new volunteers, so if you are interested, please contact Canine Concern Scotland Trust (details below).  You will be put in touch with a local organiser who will come and visit your dog and tell you more about the volunteering opportunities in your own area.


Ruth Findlay

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Telephone 01506 810123


The award details



This award was donated by Tom and Dorothy Wilkins, whose Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, SPENCER, was the very first dog to be registered in the Therapet scheme, way back in 1988.  

Again this year we have received great nominations in respect of Therapets all of whom do magnificent work and of whom their owners can be justifiably proud.  Unfortunately there can only be one winner and the selection of the winner falls to our Trustees to decide – a very difficult task indeed!  In fact only six of our Trustees vote – the seventh, the Chairman, is held in reserve for a casting vote in case of a tie for the award.  It is interesting to note that so far a casting vote has not been required


we have two dogs, Irish Setters, Maeve & Bridget owned by Ruth Findlay of Mains of Kinnettles, Forfar.  Maeve and Bridget were nominated by Nicky Worrall, Care Centre Manager at Beech Hill House, Forfar who wrote:-

“Maeve & Bridget are an absolute joy and it is a pleasure to welcome them into the care centre.  The delight on the faces of residents and the dementia day care attendees is heart warming.

Both Maeve & Bridget visit regularly and consistently and are such beautiful “Ladies”!  They are so friendly and happy and really brighten up everyone’s day, including the staff.  Maeve is always keen to show off her excellent skills in “paw giving” – even without a biscuit!!

It is an absolute pleasure to recommend Maeve & Bridget for Therapet of the Year and I would like to say that their visits hugely benefit our residents which I feel makes them truly deserving of the award. 

Our residents and staff say “Maeve and Bridget for Therapets of the year!”

In support of the nomination Area Representative Norma Murray wrote:-

“Maeve joined Therapet in 2007 and Bridget in 2009.  Maeve has been a regular visitor to Beech Hill in Forfar and has sometimes been replaced by Bridget when required.

During the past 12 months I have been asked by Angus Playschemes to bring some dogs along to Arbroath Academy and I attach an excellent report we had on Maeve.  I would point out that one boy aged around 8 would have nothing to do with the dogs at the start of the session.  Due to the patience and gentleness of Maeve, an hour later he was walking her round the hall with a big smile on his face.  We have been asked to go back in October.

In June we visited Armistead Home in Dundee to an open day for special needs children under 5.  Due to a misunderstanding by staff not only did the children attend with their parents but several other family siblings too!  It was very, very noisey but all went very well and Maeve was beautifully behaved in all the confusion.

We were also asked to visit Glenlaw House in Dundee Kings Cross Hospital.  Children there were in for respite relief and Bridget was wonderful especially with a 4 year old boy who was lying on a mat.

As a supporter of our fundraising Ruth has brought both dogs to the Seafront Spectacular in Arbroath in July and my sponsored walk in September where Ruth raised an amazing £182.

Any time I mention that I have Irish Setters as Therapets the usual reaction is spooked or hyper dogs how can they be of any use?  Due to Ruth’s excellent training and Maeve & Bridget’s gentle temperament they have proved the opposite and I am delighted to support their application.”        


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