Dogs will be stealing the attention in the run up to the London Olympics in 2012. The Friends for Life competition, run by the Kennel Club, is on the lookout for the nation’s most heroic dogs
Dogs will be stealing the attention in the run up to the London Olympics as the Crufts Friends For Life competition returns to celebrate the special dogs helping people ̶ from Paralympians to the police. The competition, run by the Kennel Club, is on the lookout for the nation’s most heroic dogs. There are five categories in which dogs can be nominated: service dogs, police dogs, assistance dogs, companion dogs and 2012 Games dogs.
Friends for Life celebrates dogs that dedicate their lives to helping humans. This may be through help to detect explosives, support our police, assist our Paralympics hopefuls, guide the blind or comfort the vulnerable, and the competition showcases heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity. Finalists from each category will come together for the competition final, where the winner, which has received the most votes from the public, will be crowned as the 2012 Friends for Life winner.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “The Friends for Life competition is one of the highlights of Crufts each year. This year we are very excited to make a nod to the Olympics, and the Paralympics in particular with the special ‘2012 Games’ category.
“Every day there are dogs saving lives in war zones, giving confidence and independence to those with disabilities, showing remarkable bravery and loyalty as pets and even assisting some of our country’s finest sports men and women.”
The Kennel Club is calling for nominations from people who feel their life, or the life of somebody they know, has been changed dramatically by their dog.
The deadline for nominations is January 13, 2012. The final six dogs will be chosen by a panel of judges and the winner will be chosen by public vote and announced on Sunday March 11 at Crufts 2012. Among last year’s nominees were Shirley, a dog that detects low blood sugar levels in her eight-year-old owner Rebecca, identifying possible hypoglycaemic attacks that could leave her in a coma; Jake, a Metropolitan police dog that helped during the 7/7 bombings ̶ risking his life to search the bus at Tavistock Square; and Merlin, which helped turn around the life of his young owner, Grace, who is autistic and has ADHD.
To nominate a dog, please email details of why you think the dog should win the award to Andrea Peters at email@example.com, fill in the form on the Kennel Club website www.crufts.org.uk/friendsforlife2012 or write to Andrea Peters, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB. To watch footage of the 2011 Friends for Life finalists, visit www.crufts.org.uk/friendsforlife2011.