Nominations for canine hero invited

DOGS in Scotland that have truly earned the title of man’s best friend are being sought by the Kennel Club for its annual Friends for Life competition being held at the country’s most prestigious dog event, Crufts.

The dog heroes competition, Friends for Life, will take place at the NEC in Birmingham on March 10 to celebrate heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity, where dogs have changed their owners’ lives through bravery, support or companionship.

The Kennel Club wants to hear from people who feel that their life, or the life of somebody they know, has been changed dramatically by their dog. The deadline for nominations is this Monday, January 14 and five dogs will be shortlisted for the final. The winning dog will be chosen by public vote and announced in the NEC Arena before the grand finale of the Crufts Best in Show award.

Last year’s finalists were Obi, who was injured while serving on the front line during the 2011 riots with his handler PC Phil Wells; Libby, support dog for paralympic cyclist Lora Turnham; Buster, a former RAF dog who survived five tours of duty in Afghanistan with his handler Michael Barrow; Ruby Roo, who helped her owner Karen through depression and Kizzie, support dog for former Royal Marine, Steve.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokeswoman, said: “Friends for Life celebrates those dogs which quietly go about changing people’s lives in their own unique and special way. We’re looking forward to hearing from those people who want to thank their dog for changing their lives forever, by recognising them on the world’s greatest dog stage.”

Nominations can be e-mailed to Andrea Peters at andrea.peters@thekennelclub.org.uk, filled in online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/ffl2013 or in writing to Andrea Peters, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB.