A TALENTED pooch preparing for Crufts still has time to provide a bit of therapy to care home residents.

Airedale terrier Charlie and his owner Ruth Boyes, from Leyburn, regularly visit Whorlton Hospital for adults with severe learning difficulties near Barnard Castle, HMP Wealstun in Wetherby, and now Brentwood Care Home in Leyburn.

Three-year-old Charlie is a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog and has been named as one of six finalists in a national competition to find the PAT dog of the year, sponsored by pet food brand HiLife, and the winner will be announced at Crufts on Saturday, March 8 at 2.05pm.

Mrs Boyes said: “Charlie also now visits Brentwood Care Home in Leyburn where he’s proving to be very popular.

“He also accompanies me around Yorkshire delivering talks on Pets As Therapy and he has been to two seminars at the University of Leeds School of Medicine where he impressed the student doctors with his caring nature.”

In November, Charlie laid a wreath during local Remembrance Day tributes commemorating the hundreds of dogs killed in service of their country.

Mrs Boyes added: “We’re so grateful to those who nominated him and to everyone who has voted for him to win.

“Everyone he visits and those who know him in our village are very excited about his appearance at Crufts.”