Wonderdog Haatchi winner of Friends For Life 2013

Is your dog a hero to match Haatchi?


The hunt is on to find the canine hero who has truly earned the title of man’s best friend in the Kennel Club’s annual Friends for Life competition being held at Crufts 2014.

They have a lot to live up to as last year’s heart-string pulling winners were Owen Howkins and his heroic three-legged Anatolian Shepherd dog, Haatchi.

The dog hero competition, Friends for Life, will take place at the NEC in Birmingham on 9th March 2014. Friends for Life celebrates heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity, where dogs have changed the lives of their owners through bravery, support or companionship.

The Kennel Club wants to hear from people who feel that their life, or the life of somebody that they know, has been changed dramatically by their dog, whether a companion dog, service dog, assistance dog or an all-round dog hero.

How to enter your own canine hero

The deadline for nominations is 19th January 2014 and the dogs will be chosen from a shortlist by the general public. The winning dog will be announced on Sunday 9th March 2013 in the NEC Arena in Birmingham, before the grand finale of the Crufts Best in Show award.

How Haatchi stole the show

Last year Owen Howkins and his three-legged Anatolian Shepherd dog, Haatchi stole the show – winning the hearts of viewers, judges and contestants with their story. Owen has a rare genetic condition called Schwartz Jampel Syndorome, which causes his muscles to be permanently tense and has left him in a wheelchair, but his rescue dog companion Haatchi, who lost a leg after being cruelly tied to a railway line, taught him how to overcome adversity.

Changing lives

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “Friends for Life celebrates those dogs which quietly go about changing people’s lives in their own unique and special way. There is rarely a dry eye in the house during the competition and we are looking forward to hearing from those people who want to thank their dog for changing their lives forever, by recognising them on the world’s greatest dog stage.

Friends for Life celebrates those dogs which quietly go about changing people’s lives in their own unique and special way.

“Friends for Life is just one aspect of Crufts that celebrates the diverse role that dogs play in society and the way that they enrich our lives.”

To nominate a dog, you can email details of why you think the dog should win the award to //andrea [dot] peters [at] thekennelclub [dot] org [dot] uk">Andrea Peters and either fill in this form or write to Andrea Peters, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London W1J 8AB.



Published: 08:12, 28 December 2013 | Updated: 04:13, 5 January 2014