Molly, a Cocker Spaniel from Benfleet in Essex, and her owner,
Lucy Watts were the special stars of Crufts tonight as Molly was
announced as the winner of the Crufts Friends for Life 2014
Molly and twenty year old Lucy were voted the most deserving
winners out of five shortlisted finalists by the British public.
Lucy has a life-limiting rare genetic illness called ehlers danlos
syndrome, which has left her in a wheelchair, needing to be fed
into her bloodstream and in a lot of pain. Lucy was isolated,
withdrawn and unhappy but Molly has given her independence again
and taken the focus of strangers away from her condition, giving
her the confidence to live the remainder of her life, in a way she
couldn't have dreamt of before.
Now, instead of being shy and withdrawn she will take Molly to
agility training and she has even spoken in parliament. And when
she has can't get out of bed for days, or even weeks, Molly never
judges and can always make Lucy smile.
The proud winners were announced by Chris Amoo of band The Real
Thing fame, in the NEC Arena at Crufts. The presentation was
broadcast live on Channel 4. They were also given a cheque for
£1,500 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust for their chosen
charity Dog A.I.D.
Speaking about their win, Lucy said: "This is just fantastic. It
is just wonderful what Molly has done for me. She has given me a
purpose, a reason to live, a reason to keep fighting and a reason
to carry on."
She continued: "Molly has not only given me confidence but
also independence to live what remains of my life in a way I
couldn't have imagined before. For the first time in six years, I
went out on my own and took her for a walk. It was such a
"Being in a wheelchair can be an isolating experience; people
don't know how to talk to you so often they don't include you. I
found that really hard but when Molly came into my life it was like
my wheelchair didn't exist, people started talking to me and
including me. Suddenly I was a part of society. Molly did that. She
broke down the barrier between the able and disabled for me. I now
feel included, wanted and important and the bond between us is
Friends for Life is a competition which celebrates dogs that have
truly earned the title of man's best friend through bravery,
support or companionship.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: "We congratulate
Lucy and Molly on winning this year's award; their story is
incredibly moving and highlights what wonderfully loyal and great
companions our four legged friends can be.
"Each and every one of the dogs in the final has helped to change
and improve the quality of their owner's life, showing unwavering
loyalty to their owners and are a great example of the incredible
difference that dogs can make to people's lives."
For more information visit www.crufts.org.uk or go to http://www.w-w-i.com/crufts_2014/
for free downloadable images from Crufts 2014.