A dog who helped her grieving owner through a difficult patch in her life could fetch a prize at Crufts.
Labrador Rudi stuck by Pauline Smith’s side as she battled through losing her mother and splitting up with her husband in the space of just a few weeks.
The nine-year-old pooch has been credited with helping veterinary nurse Pauline get back on her feet and has been nominated for a special award.
Pauline nominated him for the Friends for Life award which is presented at the annual show to a pet deserving the title of man’s best friend through bravery, support or companionship.
Describing him as the best thing that ever happened to her, Pauline, 31, of Thornton, thinks her canine pal is top dog.
“He has had his own ups and downs, including having spinal surgery, but he is one in a million,” she said.
Pauline has gone on to remarry and have 19-month-old daughter Scarlett but admitted life could have been very different without Rudi.
She said: “If we were to reach the final of the competition at Crufts, it would be amazing.”
If Rudi is shortlisted he and Pauline will travel to Birmingham’s NEC arena for the Kennel Club’s Eukanuba Friends for Life showpiece on March 12.