It was a true delight to be invited to co-host The National Pet Show again this year. Noel ‘Supervet’ Fitzpatrick, was unfortunately in a wheelchair due to an ankle operation, so Michaela Strachan hosted this year’s Superdogs Live. Noel was still there for his Supervet Tour and to help promote his Human Animal Trust.
I was hosting Hills School for Dogs and had such fun alongside some of our pooch stars from stage and screen, including the dogs from Doc Martin, Poldark and Kingsman The Movie.
2015 co-judge and owner of Puppy School Gwen Bailey was on hand to judge again this year, joined by behaviourist Olivier Juste.
The Superdogs Live NEC Last year’s Heroic Hound title went to Annabelle the Cavalier, a puppy farmed dog rescued by mum Lisa Garner. This year, the overall winner was Chinese Crested ‘Mugly’
Therapy Dogs Nationwide pooch Mugly, a 12 year old Chinese Crested already holds the dubious title of 2012’s World’s Ugliest Dog and was awarded for his efforts this year. Despite a difficult start in life, when he was sadly left at just 3 days old by a breeder, Mugly has gone on to assist reluctant readers in schools and visits adults with learning difficulties and sensory loss where he becomes a talking point, often rekindling old memories of childhood.
Due to Mugly’s age, he has recently taken a well-deserved rest and retired, however he spent many years supporting a whole host of people. He passed his assessment for Pets As Therapy with flying colours and most recently was a proud member of a Therapy Dogs Nationwide.
He visited local schools where he took part in a scheme called Read to Dogs and visits local hospital to assist children who are dog phobic, where in a controlled environment, they are encouraged to slowly move closer to Mugly from behind glass to the doorway and eventually sitting on the floor playing together.
Mugly’s title has enabled him to raise thousands of pounds for charities, Cinque Ports Rescue, The Chinese Crested Club of GB Rescue, Many Tears, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Inspire Peterborough and Feel the Force Day.
Bev Nicholson, Mugly’s proud owner enthuses: “I am so proud of him! He is just so sensitive and for a little dog that is up against it in the looks department he really makes up for it with his personality and sensitivity. People fall in love with him as soon as they meet him. He is Mr Popular on Facebook and Twitter”.
Additional winners include Doug the Pug with owner Cate Archer, who will be participating in a book signing for their latest release ‘Doug the Pug: A Working Dog’s Tale’. All royalties go to the charity Pets As Therapy, Cate devotes her time and efforts to the charity at her own expense, makes Doug’s story even more wonderful. There are already over 200 schools on the waiting list with Pets As Therapy to receive a visit from a therapy dog.
Winner Jackie and her dog Joshua who sadly passed away have a frightening but truly heroic story. Jackie has a range of health and mobility issues, on one particular day Jackie suffered an epileptic fit and fell into a busy road. Joshua stood over Jackie, protecting her from oncoming traffic and alerted passers-by to her situation, ultimately saving her life.
And finally Marian and Beau, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel have a courageous tale. Marian has battled with cancer and septicaemia and credits Beau for her remission however the story doesn’t stop there, Marian is now returning the favour and caring for Beau who is suffering from ill health.
To Find out more about The National Pet Show click HERE
To watch GreenworldTV’s Interview with Annabelle, the puppy farm rescue spaniel owned by Lisa Garner, click below