The poignant story of a devoted companion who gave a Barnstaple couple a reason to go on living has won the hearts of the judges for this years K9focus Heroes Awards. Ruby the greyhound owned by Anne Beer was chosen as our overall champion from among many superb and heart-warming entries. Ruby helped give Annes terminally ill husband John a reason to enjoy life during his final months and when he passed away she helped Anne find the strength to keep going. Once again the competition run in conjunction with dog rescue charity K9focus has brought out a pack of winners and wed like to thank everyone who sent in their nominations. Rescue greyhound Ruby was winner of took the Rescue to Hero category, but she was in good company. The Working Hero section went to police dog Charlie owned by PC Simon Willan. Top dog in Just Because was Toddy, a poodle owned by Anne Rayner from Barnstaple, who has been blind since birth but takes it all in his stride. The best Pawsome Company was Wolfie, who helped owner Cris Shelley from Ilfracombe after the death of her son. Judges Tracey Thornton of K9focus, Craig Ferguson of Market Vets and Tony Gussin from the Gazette found the decision to choose an overall winner difficult, but all agreed they were touched by Annes story. Anne wins an oil painting of Ruby, to be created and donated by Moles Art, but she said winning meant more to her than that: I feel that to win this is to raise the profile of rescue dogs, she said. They make jolly good pets and it gives a space at a rescue for another dog. I just wish John was here to see it. I think of all the dreadful days I had and how she just kept me going. It has just meant so much it has been a culmination of not only Ruby, but my previous greyhound, they have been such wonderful companions. I am very proud of this dog and the people that make it possible to have a rescue dog like this. Tracey said once again, this years entries had been incredibly hard to judge: Some heart wrenching stories, some heart warming stories! Our overall winner is a bit of both, she said. All the dogs are worthy of winning and, from a rescue point of view particularly, it is wonderful to see them all in such loving homes. All our entries are a credit to their owners in some way or another, so congratulations to you all!