Northam woman Wendy Hilling is hoping her and life-saving dog Teddy will win the Kennel Club’s Eukanaba Friends for Life award at next year’s Crufts.
A Northam dog lover and her four-legged friend have been nominated for an award at Crufts 2017.
Wendy Hilling, 67, and her golden retriever Teddy, were nominated for the Kennel Club’s Eukanaba Friends for Life award by charity Canine Partners.
Wendy suffers from dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, a very rare skin condition that causes it to blister and tear at the slightest touch, and has had her life saved on multiple occasions by her furry friend.
Just last month, 10-year-old Teddy alerted the emergency services using a special phone when a throat blister threatened to stop his owner breathing, and Wendy admits she doesn’t know how she would cope without him in her life.
She said: “Canine Partners sorted me out with a puppy, and I got Ted when he was nine weeks old.
“We bonded so well, and we have been together ever since.
“He does just about everything for me.”
Teddy does everything for Wendy, including dressing her, using cash machines, opening and closing doors and using the washing machine.
Wendy said: “I can’t bend over anymore, nor can I have any emotion.
“I can’t cry or even get upset, because it closes up my throat, so if Ted senses that I am getting upset, he starts to act like a clown to cheer me up.
“He knows the names of places to take me when I lose my eyesight, because I can either lose it through a migraine, or through having blisters in my eyes.
“I wouldn’t even like to think about life without him in it. He allows me complete independence.”
The pair will be hoping for a trip out for the Kennel Club’s Eukanuba Friends for Life showpiece on Sunday, March 12, at Birmingham’s NEC arena.
The Kennel Club’s Eukanuba Friends for Life competition celebrates heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity, where dogs have truly earned the title of man’s best friend, through bravery, support or companionship.
Wendy has written a book about Teddy, and he has already received several awards.
And Wendy insists no dog is more deserving of the award than her Teddy, who has changed not just her life for the better, but those of many more.
“If we made the final, it would be the recognition that Ted deserves for all he has done for me,” she said.
“He has made so many people happy, she goes and visits people who are not well or dying.
“He’s very sensitive, he knows how people feel, and he knows when people need to feel love.
“He’s just the most amazing dog. Ted is just everyone’s best friend.”