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Life-changing Swansea dog named as finalist in Crufts hero awards

A LABRADOR from Swansea who has seen her owners through the hardest times, including supporting the youngest family member who has leukaemia, has been announced as a finalist in the prestigious Kennel Club Hero Dog Award.

Launching the world’s biggest celebration of dogs, Crufts, today (Wednesday, February 22), The Kennel Club and broadcaster Kay Burley announced the five hero dogs that will compete in the public vote for the award, with the winner being announced at Crufts 2023.

Two-year-old Beauty the Labrador, named as the finalist in the Best Friends category of The Kennel Club award, has helped her owners after the youngest member of the family, Lily, aged 11, was diagnosed with leukaemia, and her dad, Wayne, suffered worsening epilepsy seizures. 

Beauty is the only member of the family who can make Lily laugh when she is undergoing weekly chemotherapy, or taking steroids which can really impact her mood. When Wayne’s epilepsy worsened with the pressure and stress of the situation with Lily, Beauty has been able to sense what is happening and barks to alert Wayne and the family before the onset of a seizure. 

On numerous occasions she has even put herself in the way, to break his fall, which have meant fewer hospital visits for stitches or head injuries, and less stress and worry during what is already a difficult time for the whole family.

Kay Burley, speaking as an ambassador of The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award ahead of the unveiling of this year’s five finalists at Green Park, London, today, said: “These five special dogs are not only heroes to their owners but also to the rest of us. They make a huge difference every day by providing love, companionship and dedication, and protecting the nation and saving lives.

“No one can deny the remarkable impact dogs have, from the joy they bring each day, to being by our side during the hardest times and showing extraordinary loyalty and bravery. The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award is a celebration of this unique bond we share with dogs and their heroic feats – please vote for your four-legged hero and celebrate these five inspirational dogs.”

The annual Kennel Club Hero Dog Award celebrates the unique relationships people have with their dogs and the important role man’s best friend plays throughout our lives and in society. Judges from The Kennel Club, the UK’s largest dog welfare organisation, selected the five inspiring finalists to go forward for the public vote, with the winner being announced by Kay in the Resorts World Arena at Birmingham NEC, and on Channel 4, on the final day of Crufts, the world’s greatest dog show, on Sunday, March 12.

These five canine heroes are just some of the dogs having their day at Crufts and being celebrated at the show for the ways in which they change our lives. The award this year is also honouring those dogs involved with the search and rescue mission in Turkey and Syria after the horrific earthquake. These heroic teams will be specially recognised at Crufts for their bravery and dedication. 

The winner of The Kennel Club Hero Dog Award will receive £5,000 from The Kennel Club Charitable Trust for the dog charity of their choice, with the other finalists receiving a £1,000 donation to their chosen canine charity.

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The public can now watch each of the finalist’s stories, including Beauty’s, in specially-made videos, and vote for their Hero Dog 2023, until 4pm on Sunday 12 March, by visiting www.crufts.org.uk/herodogaward