My name is Carrie Bates, and I am one of the founders of A Mindful Paws.
I have over 25 years of experience as a mental health nurse in CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) in both in-patient and community settings. I started working with dogs over 10 years ago and am a qualified dog trainer and behaviourist and a member of IMDT & IMDTB (Institute of Modern Dog Trainers & Behaviourists) and ISCP (International School for Canine Psychology). I also have a diploma in AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy) and have been providing AAT to young people for the last 6 years and am a member of SCAS (Society for Companion Animal Studies).
The welfare of young people and dogs is at the heart of all the work I do. I am fortunate to have two beautiful dogs that love helping me work with young people and have the right temperament for this. I love seeing how they help the young people engage in therapy, particularly if they have found the more traditional approaches a poor fit for them.
My name is Leo, and I love working with my mum Carrie. I have been helping with dogs for many years, but I particularly enjoy working with young people. I am not an especially cuddly dog; I have clear boundaries and like to take my time, get to know a young person and build a good relationship before letting them fuss me too much. Treats can help with that! You will know we have made good friends when you see me do my whole body wag when I see you.
I am 10 years old now, and although nowhere near ready to retire, I enjoy teaching young Barnaby how to do this work, although he is finding his own style.
My name is Barnaby, and I am just 2 years old and relatively new to working. I love it! I love meeting new people and enjoy cuddles. Leo is my hero, and I look up to and try to learn from him. I think he is too serious sometimes; I am always jolly, smiling and loving life!
I look forward to meeting and helping lots of young people. I want everyone to be as happy as me.