Miracle, a rescue dog who was to be cruelly slaughtered for meat but who is now changing the life of a local six year old boy with cerebral palsy, was announced as the winner of the Eukanuba Friends for Life 2015 competition.
Miracle and Kyle Leask were voted the most deserving winners out of four shortlisted finalists by the British public. The proud winners were announced earlier today in the NEC Arena at Crufts. The presentation was broadcast live on Channel 4. They were also given a cheque for £1,500 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust for their chosen charity.
Miracle, a crossbreed from Strathglass, Inverness, was set to become another victim of the illegal dog meat trade in Thailand but now helps campaign against the trade alongside his owner, Amanda Leask. He is now best friends with Amanda’s six year old son, Kyle, who has cerebral palsy and autism, and she credits the fact that they have both struggled in life with the special bond that they now share.
Speaking about their win, Amanda said: “I feel absolutely ecstatic, it’s an unbelievable feeling and I’m slightly numb. It was quite an experience in the main arena, I tried not to focus on the crowd, I was holding back tears, it was incredibly emotional and when I was announced as the winner I didn’t know who to kiss first.
“I believe in fate, and it feels like we saved Miracle’s life and he’s saved ours, it’s hard to describe the impact he’s made to our lives. Miracle is a rescue dog, when he was found the people thought he was dead and to be here now, he’s such a special guy.
“I’ve had a very tough past six years, my son Kyle is autistic and suffers from cerebral palsy, and it’s been touch and go and Miracle has been such an emotional support and they have a great connection.”
Jose Luis Ibanez from Eukanuba, said: “Miracle’s story is so moving and so remarkable and the bond that he shares with Kyle is such a special one. We are so pleased to be part of a competition that celebrates how loyal and loving man’s best friend truly is.”
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Secretary, said: “We congratulate Amanda and Miracle on winning this year’s award; their story is so incredibly moving and highlights what wonderfully loyal and great companions our four legged friends can be.
“Each and every one of the dogs in the final has helped to change and improve the quality of their owner’s life, showing unwavering loyalty to their owners and are a great example of the incredible difference that dogs can make to people’s lives.”