Life saving dog wins award

Animal charity PDSA presents Barnstaple dog with Commendation for service and devotion.

AN assistance dog that has saved his Yelland owner’s life on more than one occasion has been award a PDSA Commendation for his sterling devotion.

Wendy Hilling is convinced she would not be here if it were not for her golden retriever Edward – or Teddy - provided by the charity Canine Partners, who not only raises the alarm when she is in danger, but helps with household chores too.

Mrs Hilling suffers from EB, a condition that causes her skin to tear and blister at the slightest knock, while her throat can close at any time, stopping her breathing.

On more than one occasion a frantic Teddy has woken husband Peter in the night because his mistress has stopped breathing, the dog then racing to press an emergency panic button to summon medical help.


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The PDSA Commendation is one of four awards bestowed by the veterinary charity for acts of animal devotion or bravery and Wendy nominated Teddy after he came to her rescue as she choked in the kitchen.

On that occasion Teddy let himself out of the house and ran into the garden to find Peter.

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He also helps her get out of bed, fetches her crutches and clothes, picks up anything she drops or needs from the floor.

He can open and close doors, load and unload the washing machine, find named items, get her shopping off the shelf and then hand the purse to the cashier and even use a cash machine.

Peter also gets a break from being her carer in the knowledge she is in safe “paws” and he will be alerted should something happen.

“In Edward’s case, this faithful and clever dog is clearly deeply devoted to Wendy and makes sure help is summoned in her hour of need,” said Elaine Pendlebury, senior veterinary surgeon at the PDSA.

“As a charity we want to make sure everyone is aware of the importance of animals in our society. Recognising the contribution dogs can make to our health and wellbeing is an important part of that, so we are delighted to honour Edward in this way.”

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