A dog from Rushden has been given hero status for being there around the clock when her diabetic owner needs her.
Elkie claimed the crown of Hero Dog of the Year and got to meet Lucy and Trip Hazard from Britain’s Got Talent who awarded them their ‘Hero’ status at the Family Pet Show in Manchester last weekend.
The four-year-old English Springer Spaniel was nominated by Lorraine Shave for her capabilities as a diabetic alert dog, which involved extensive training with an ex-police detection dog trainer and was funded by Rushden Swivel Club.
Lorraine’s husband John has diabetes and Elkie can detect when John’s glucose levels plummet, knowing to alert her owners, even when they’re sleeping.
Lorraine of Rushden said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard Elkie’s name read out.
“I always knew she was a hero but it was so lovely to have her appreciated by other people.
“Not to mention having Trip Hazard present the award, I couldn’t tell if Elkie was star struck, I think she was more preoccupied with the food and treats.”
With the help of Rushden Swivel Club, Lorraine says Elkie has transformed the lives of all of their family members.
And she added: “She is priceless.
“She has taken away the need to keep phoning home to make sure that John is ok.
“John now has a reason to get up in the morning, he loves Elkie to bits and it is so endearing to hear him talk to her when he thinks no-one else can hear.”
Elkie shared the limelight at the show with Bulgarian sheepdog Sherry, who was nominated by Paula Butroid as one of the dogs living in the care of Dogs 4 Rescue in Irlam in Manchester where she volunteers.
Sherry also received the prestigious title for being the most loving therapeutic dog, helping children and adults overcome psychological issues with her friendly and placid demeanour.
Sherry is an amputee after being shot in the spine resulting in her back legs being removed and is currently looking for her forever home, but in the meantime, Sherry is the face and personality of Dogs 4 Rescue.
The search for the UK’s most heroic dogs was launched to celebrate Asda’s newest line of pet foods, the Hero line for dogs and the Tiger line for cats.
Ruth Blondel, pet buyer at Asda, who took part in supporting the Family Pet Show this year, said; “We had an overwhelming number of worthy entries into our Hero canine competition, all of them living up to their ‘man’s best friend’ status, but Elkie and Sherry really stood out to us.
“It was great to meet the pair of them along with their owners, Paula and Lorraine and they really are both as friendly and tail-wagging as their entries had said.
“We definitely picked some worthy winners – who both looked very pleased with themselves and with their Hero hamper of goodies.”