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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

April 20, 2011

Crufts 2011: Part 2

By David Alderton

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The Other Nominees for the Kennel Club’s “Friends for Life” Award 2011

Four additional nominees for the Kennel Club “Friends for Life” award had their highlight at Crufts this year. They were:

Echo, Haiti Earthquake Dog: This Labrador retriever, a Search and Rescue Dog with the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Dog Service, was deployed to Haiti after the earthquake in January last year. Despite collapsing due to the searing heat and needing to be put on a drip, he returned to work and helped to rescue a young girl named Mia after she was found under the wreckage of a kindergarten.

Jake , 7/7 Sniffer Dog: A cocker spaniel and Metropolitan Police Dog helped to keep people free from further harm after the awful 7/7 London bombings. He risked his life to search the bus wreckage at Tavistock Square and the mile-long route from Russell Square to the bomb-damaged train at Kings Cross train station, ensuring the area was safe for paramedics and explosives officers.

Medical Detection Dog, Shirley: A Labrador retriever trained to detect low blood sugar levels in 7-year old Rebecca who has aggressive Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Shirley is the first Blood Sugar Detection Dog in the U.K. to be allowed into a large primary school and performs the potentially life-saving task of watching out for a possible hypoglycemic attack that could leave Rebecca in a coma. Now, school is much less of a worry for her, and her mother, Claire, can sleep at night as Shirley keeps a bedside vigil beside Rebecca.

Merlin, Support Dog: The crossbreed has helped to turn around the life of 10-year-old Grace Brown-Griffin. Grace is autistic and has ADHD; she found it very difficult to concentrate or to deal with stressful situations before Merlin came along. Merlin had previously won the Scruffts’ “Family Crossbreed of the Year” competition at the Discover Dogs in London at the end of last year.

“All the dogs nominated for this year’s “Friends for Life” competition help to remind us what it is that makes the relationship between dog and man so very special,” said Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson. “Each and every one of the finalists has helped to change and save lives, and can teach us all a lesson about loyalty, companionship and bravery. dfs Crufts celebrates the diverse role that dogs play in society; their vast range of talents, jobs and hobbies and the reasons why they have earned the title of man’s best friend”.

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