Some dogs are skilled working dogs, such as assistance dogs and police dogs; others have shiny coats, bright eyes, are a healthy weight and are rewarded for this in the show ring. For other dogs, their favourite hobby might simply be sleeping or enjoying a walk with their owner. But all dogs should ultimately be pet dogs and the Kennel Club’s We Love Our Dogs competition is a platform for people to show their dogs as the well-rounded characters that they are.
The We Love Our Dogs competition called on all dog owners to send photographs and video clips of their happy, healthy dogs having fun with their owners to be in with a chance of winning their own special Crufts award.
On Thursday 5th March 2009, the first day of Crufts 2009, the Kennel Club presented three prizes in each of the photo and video categories. The proud first place winners were presented with a trophy and a canvas portrait of their dog, while second and third places were presented with a special mug bearing a photograph of their dog.
The winning images were selected from over a thousand pictures posted on the Kennel Club We Love Our Dogs group on Flickr. First prize was awarded to Lisa Borrowski and her smiling Samoyeds. Runners up Louisa Garton and Lorraine Bradley were awarded second and third place respectively for their images depicting the love between dog and owner.
YouTube video winners were selected after posting their short films on the Kennel Club’s dedicated We Love Our Dogs group on YouTube. First prize was awarded to Linzi Follett for her video of her multi-tasking Labrador Retriever who boasts being a show dog, agility dog, ‘Pets as Therapy’ dog, YKC handling dog and training gundog! Second prize was awarded to Antonia Hamilton for her heart-warming video showing all the great personalities of her Pointers and Beagle. Third place was given to Julie Barrett for her short film about rescue dog Henry, an English Springer Spaniel.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “Congratulations to all the winners of the We Love Our Dogs competition, who really epitomise the fact that our dogs are our pets, companions and friends as well as working or show dogs.“
“Crufts celebrates the diverse role that dogs play in society; their vast range of talents, jobs and hobbies and the reasons why they have earned the title of man’s best friend.”
Competition entrant’s submissions came from all walks of life, from taking part in shows, or being assistance dogs, to contrasting images of the dogs digging holes in the garden or emerging soaking wet from the sea – in short having good, messy fun – with images of them primed to enjoy their job or hobby. The We Love Our Dogs campaign continues after Crufts and will build towards next year’s competition.
Crufts, a celebration of happy, healthy dogs, is taking place at the NEC Birmingham from the 5th – 8th March 2009. Dog lovers worldwide will be able to see the action from Crufts 2009 live on the internet by simply following the link on the Crufts homepage www.crufts.org.uk.