New book My Life in His Paws tells how he can use a cash machine, do the washing and save lives...

Using the cash pointUsing the cash point

The heart-warming story of a life-saving North Devon dog that changed his owner’s life forever is poised to hit the nation’s book shelves.

My Life in His Paws by Wendy Hilling, from Northam, tells the story of her incredible relationship with her wonder dog Edward – or Ted/Teddy as he is usually known.

Published by Coronet and available from February 25, it tells the story from the day in 2007 when a lively bundle of fluff arrived on her doorstep from the Canine Partners charity.

Little did Wendy know he would go on to become her inseparable companion, carry out household chores and be quite literally a life-saver.

Ted doing the shoppingTed doing the shopping

Wendy, 66, suffers from recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare condition that leaves her skin incredibly delicate, liable to tear at the slightest contact.

It also causes her throat to constrict and she can stop breathing at any time.

“He has saved my life more times than I can count,” she said.

“Words can’t describe it; he is not only my hands, he is my life, the reason to get up in the morning and the best thing that’s happened to us.”

Ted is happy at homeTed is happy at home

When Wendy stops breathing in the middle of the night the ever-alert watchdog instantly wakes her husband Peter, 63.

Four years ago Ted was awarded a PDSA commendation for animal bravery after raising the alarm when she choked on a piece of cheese and recently got help when she fell and was trapped in a fence.

He is there every step of the way and not only that, he also performs a huge range of everyday chores for her, from unloading the washing machine to helping collect and pay for the shopping as well as using a cash point.

“The book was to raise awareness because there’s so little known about my condition,” said Wendy.

A thankful Peter and Wendy Hilling with canine hero Teddy.A thankful Peter and Wendy Hilling with canine hero Teddy.

“I also wanted to show what the Canine Partners assistance dogs were capable of. My skin has been so much better since I had Teddy, because he does so much for me.

“He gives us so much, it’s priceless.”

My Life in His Paws is available from February 25 from Amazon, Walter Henry Bookshop in Bideford and branches of Waterstones.

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