Duo are 'friends for life'
PUBLISHED: 13:04 20 January 2015 | UPDATED: 13:36 22 January 2015
An Ottery dog lover and her remarkable four-legged companion are hoping to land a final spot at Crufts 2015, after receiving a prestigious nomination.
Denise Davy and five-year-old German shepherd, Missie, have been nominated for the Kennel Club’s ‘friends for life’ competition, which celebrates heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity where dogs have truly earned the title of man or woman’s best friend.
Their remarkable relationship started almost six years ago when Denise, who was left partially disabled as a result of injuries sustained when attacked while working as a publican in 1999, discovered Missie abandoned in a black bag in a park in the West Midlands.
Missie was immediately taken to heart by Denise, with the dog at her side ever since, helping the 56-year-old to overcome the day-to-day difficulties presented by her injuries.
“Missie is my life,” said Denise. “We’re like a pair of gloves - with one of us missing we just wouldn’t work.
“She is irreplaceable, not even a million pounds could replace her.
“I have never had to think where is she?
“If the phone is ringing, she nudges me. I suffer from anxiety and post traumatic stress as a result of the attack but if I am down in the dumps, she comes up to me and cheers me up.”
Denise suffered a severe infection in her back following her injuries, which left her partially paralysed in her left leg and means she can often lose balance.
“But Missie is always there to help me,” she added.
“Missie had been discarded like a piece of rubbish in the park and I just happened to notice that the bag moved and that was when I discovered her.
“She is not without her health problems either, and has had pneumonia twice, but each time she has pulled through.
“I don’t even want to think about what will happen when the time comes to say goodbye.”
Missie has already bagged awards from dog shows across the country, including ‘best rescue dog’, but the pair have never been to Crufts.
“It’s the best dog show in the world so we’re really proud to be nominated,” said Denise.
Denise and Missie are hoping for a trip to Birmingham’s National Exhibition Centre on March 8 when the winner of the ‘friends for life’ competition is announced.
Caroline Kisko, from the Kennel Club, said: “Denise and Missie are thoroughly deserving of this nomination and the Kennel Club wishes them luck in the Friends for Life competition.
“Of course, every dog that has been entered is a Friend for Life in the eyes of their owner and help to remind us what it is that makes the relationship between dog and man so very special.
“Each and every one of the finalists has helped to change and save lives in their own unique and special way.”