Delta Meritorious Awards 2008 – Mears

Richard & Pat Mears

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Richard Mears was due for retirement when he was assessed and accredited with his dog Dolly at the very first Brisbane intake in 2002. He stated at that time that he wanted to make the Delta Pet Partner program his new focus in life and this he has certainly done.

Richard and Dolly were probably the first volunteers in the program to be placed in a facility.

A few months later, in 2003, Pat Mears also became accredited with Dolly and has taken over the regular visits to aged care. Richard visits the Children’s Hospital.  I don’t think either one of them has ever missed a visit, except for their annual cruise trip.

Right from the first intake, Richard and Pat have assisted in assessment days and handler seminars, sharing their experiences as Delta Pet Partner volunteers with new vollies and being the “cranky old man”, “overbearing lady” or “stranger with a dog” at many evaluation days.  They are truly my right hand team.

Furthermore, Richard is the one who organises the Westfield Shopping centre days, contacting the management at the centres and organising the volunteers.  If it wasn’t for him, I don’t think the shopping centre days would be happening. Initially, he built a huge display for our first shopping centre day and it has been maintained, updated and transported by Richard ever since. Thankfully, this display is being replaced now by a smaller version as both Richard, myself and the transport van are getting too old to manage it.

Richard and Pat have also become the regular ‘media tarts’ for the Brisbane Program as they can be relied on to promote the Delta Pet Partner Program in an appropriate and complementary way.  They will be interviewed and filmed for a Channel Nine News segment in a few weeks time, for example, and this follows a recent interview for the Brisbane News last month.

It is no exaggeration to say that the Brisbane-Gold Coast branch of the Delta Pet Partner Program would not be able to function without the continued help and support of these two amazing volunteers.

When people talk about “the salt of the earth”, they are referring to people like Richard and Pat Mears.  They have compassion for those in need of comfort and will assist anyone without prompting. They are there from the beginning and will see it through till the end and don’t hesitate to give that extra mile, with good nature and happy banter.

Nothing would please me more than to see Richard and Pat Mears recognised for the wonderful work they do for this program.

Brisbane Pet Partner Coordinator

 

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