Boo, from Swindon, Wiltshire, a Lurcher who is credited with transforming the life of her owner following complications in pregnancy that left her unable to have children and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder has this evening (Sunday March 13th) been announced as the winner of the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition at Crufts 2016.
Boo, owned by Rosie Reid, was one of four hero dogs shortlisted for the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition. Decided by a public vote, the owners of the finalists shared their unique stories with the nation before the text lines were open and the public voted for their winner, which was announced in the Genting Arena at the Crufts 125th anniversary event.
The proud owner and deserving dog were presented their award, which included a cheque for £1,500 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust for their chosen charity. In addition to this all profits from the public votes are to be donated to the Kennel Club Charitable Trust to help make a difference for dogs.
In 2010, Rosie Reid lost her first baby due to complications during the pregnancy that were sadly missed. She is now unable to have children and has been left with an incurable condition which causes regular internal bleeding and causes her body to fight against itself, as well as suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome.
Feeling an unbearable urge to mother, Rosie saw an advert for a litter of puppies which needed a home, and went to visit Boo, one of the puppies, and brought her home right away. The two of them were 'joined at the hip' from day one; when Rosie woke from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) nightmares, Boo was there; when Rosie couldn't bend down to pick up something, Boo got it for her. Within a week, Boo had begun to detect when Rosie was about to suffer a PTSD attack and would alert her.
Despite the positive impact which Boo has had on her owner's life, she faces her own health struggles as she recently suffered heart failure and Rosie was told she wouldn't survive the night. Luckily, she eventually improved but Rosie has been told it could happen again at any time.
Speaking about their win, Rosie said: "I am just so proud of Boo and all of the finalists, they are all winners. Boo and Eukanuba Friends for Life have both really helped me on my journey and the support has been overwhelming. I just hope that it will inspire others to talk about what they've been through or are going through in some way. I've grown up watching Crufts so to be here now and to win is a dream come true."
Annaliese Reekie, Managing Director for competition sponsors, Eukanuba UK said: "Boo is an incredibly worthy winner of this year's Eukanuba Friends for Life competition with a very touching story of how she has transformed her owner's life, showing quite simply how special the bond is that they hold together.
"At Eukanuba, we encourage owners to bring out the extraordinary in their dogs by providing them with premium nutrition and appropriate care, and as such, I want to thank the other finalists, and all of the people who decided to be part of Eukanuba Friends for Life competition this year by taking the time to share their incredible stories about their extraordinary dogs."
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: "This was another fantastic year, with four very deserving finalists, and what a winner. We want to send our congratulations to Boo and Rosie - their story is incredible and very moving.
"Each year we receive many nominations for the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition, and it is amazing to hear so many stories of courageous, loving and supporting dogs. All of the finalists have done so well to make it in to the final, and they all perfectly highlight 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 they are a great example of the incredible difference that dogs can make to people's lives."
The four dogs which made the 2016 final were selected by a panel of judges, including dog loving actor Martin Clunes, for their outstanding loyalty to their owners and for the way that they have irrevocably changed their lives.
Actor and Eukanuba Friends for Life judge, Martin Clunes, commented: "The quality this year is as high as it's ever been in this competition. It testifies how many amazing heroic relationships there are between people and their dogs and the fact that dogs just simply keep on giving. It is a massive honour for the owners that their wonderful dogs get the recognition they truly deserve. Congratulations to the very deserving winner."
Crufts took place from 10th - 13th March 2016 at the NEC, Birmingham. For more information, please visit www.crufts.org.uk.