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Winners Named in Presidigious National Awards

New Zealand Kennel Club

Media Release

Winners Named in Presidigious National Awards

EMBARGOED until 1pm, Friday, September 29, 2006

A dog that yelled the house down before it burnt down; a dog that listened intently but quietly as children read to her, one after the other; and a dog that cost $20 and a box of chocolates but is still going strong 16 years later, are the ProPlan New Zealand Canine Heroes Award winners for 2006.

Each of the owners were presented with prizes including a medallion and one year's supply of ProPlan premium dog food, during a function on the opening day of the NZ Kennel Club's ProPlan National Dog Show at Palmerston North's Arena Manawatu on Friday, September 29.

The NZ Kennel Club-organised annual awards - its third - were open to any dog still living and any owner resident in NZ and covered three categories - life saving, service and pet.

In July, 2006, Jess, a one year old female Fox Terrier had the choice of running for cover and waiting for help that would never have come, or waking up her Te Awamutu household as flames were engulfing the family home and its other occupants, owner Robert Buckley and his three daughters.

Jess chose to bark furiously and at the top of the staircase inside the house. As a result of her persistency, the family were aroused from their sleep and managed to scramble to safety - but only just.

Jess won the ProPlan NZ Life Saving Dog of the Year Award.

Trude was retired this year after nearly four years in the role of NZ's only Reading Dog. The now seven year old German Shepherd had visited Birkdale Primary School in the Auckland area, every Friday during school time to help children with reading and communication difficulties gain confidence.

The affectionate and caring Trude was stationed in the school's library while selected children read to her on a one-on-one basis. The result was in many of the children having their confidence levels and reading abilities dramatically raised.

Trude, owned by Jackie Tocher of Arkles Bay, Whangaparaoa, won the ProPlan NZ Service Dog of the Year Award.

Part of an unplanned litter, Judy survived the deliberate drowning of her 11 siblings on a Canterbury farm and subsequently, the farmer's gun.

Sylvia Hendriksen rescued Judy and eventually brought the Border Collie-cross back to her home in Silverstream, Upper Hutt.

In her 16 years, Judy has displayed exceptional qualities; intelligence, love, loyalty and tolerance. Her hearing is now poor and eyesight not as sharp as it once was, but she still thrives in walking at her own pace on local bush walks.

Judy won the ProPlan NZ Pet of the Year Award.

President of the NZ Kennel Club, John Perfect said he was thrilled with the maintaining of the high standard in the quality of the entries received for the 2006 heroes awards which made the judging a difficult task

" It is terrific for the NZ Kennel Club to be associated with the heroes awards and it helps to reinforce the evolving commitment the club has to all things related to dogs and their owners," said Mr Perfect.

RESULTS: 2006 ProPlan NZ Canine Heroes Awards:

LIFE SAVING: Winner: Jess (Fox Terrier) owned by Robert Buckley of Te Awamutu, Waikato. Runners-up: Rookie (Weimaraner) owned by Cyd Welsh of Wanganui; Kaiser (German Shepherd) owned by Justin Hazlewood of Kaponga, South Taranaki.

SERVICE: Winner: Trude (German Shepherd) owned by Jackie Tocher of Whangaparaoa, Auckland. Runners-up: Bilbo (Labrador-cross) owned by Suzette Payner of Taupo; Edge (German Shepherd) handled by Mike Warren of Hastings.

PET: Winner: Judy (Border Collie-cross) owned by Sylvia Hendriksen of Silverstream, Upper Hutt. Runners-up: Anna ( Australian Kelpie) owned by Lyn Lane of Taradale, Hawkes Bay; Quest ( Border Collie-cross) owned by Chelsea Marriner of Rotorua.


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