Still plenty of time to nominate a dog for the North Devon K9 Heroes awards.
HEART-WARMING stories of brave, loving, helpful and heroic canine companions have been pouring in since the launch of the North Devon K9 Heroes awards.
Rescue charity K9 Focus has teamed up with us to invite readers to nominate the good, the hardworking and the just plain wonderful from among their four-legged friends.
A hotel holiday is up for grabs for the overall winner plus doggy hampers and toys for category winners, courtesy of sponsorship by Market Veterinary Centre and Forthglade Foods, Winkleigh.
It is free to enter and there are four categories, with the closing date on Wednesday, February 5.
See below for full details, but first read on for a touching tribute from Gina Facey of Torrington: “After reading about your hero dogs in the North Devon Gazette, I felt I must nominate our beautiful Collie Cross, Reef, who came to us in September 2008 as a rescue from Ilfracombe Dogs Trust,” she told us.
Reef had spent the previous five years in kennels as no one wanted to house him and had been left very stressed. He didn’t get on with other dogs, was muzzled when out in public and prescribed herbal anti stress tablets to help him.
“My husband --- took his role seriously and together they have turned Reefy’s life around,” continued Gina.
“Reef likes nothing more than socialising with other dogs, him actually being the shy one! He only continued his anti stress tablets for a fortnight after we first had him - we wanted to understand the real dog inside and help him work through his many issues. He hasn’t been muzzled since we have had him; he’s too shy to need one.
“My husband is an amazing master and reef absolutely adores him. I am Reef’s playmate - I get to spoil him.
“On a sadder note, we were told last week that our beautiful boy has lymphatic cancer and given approximately eight months to live. How cruel can life be, after the terrible start he had he has to endure this illness.
“My motto is, if you would love a dog, don’t buy one. Take home a rescue dog and offer them a better chance at life. When you reach your goals with them, there is nothing more rewarding.
“Reef has completely changed our life.”
* Nominate a top dog for one of the following categories:
Pawsome Company - for any dog providing companionship.
Working Hero - for any sort of working dog.
Rescue to Hero – For any rescued or rehomed dog that has gone on to prove itself heroically and show bravery, in whatever way that might be.
Just Because - A category for any dog, just because you love them.
Send their story and a picture, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to: K9 Heroes, C/O North Devon Gazette, Unit 3, Old Station Road, Barnstaple, EX32 8PB. Please include your address and a telephone number. We can only accept entries for dogs from within the North Devon area. The judges’ decision is final.
K9 Focus relies on public help to keep going and anyone wishing to make a donation when they enter the competition is invited to visit www.k9focus.co.uk