A little dog from Stoke-on-Trent is hoping to clinch the big prize in the final of a national competition.
Dachshund Groot – named after a character in the Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy – was the local winner in our competition searching for the lockdown dog hero held in association with Butcher’s Nourishing Food For Dogs.
Groot, belongs to 29-year-old Rachel Dawson, from Birches Head.
She said: “I’ve had Groot since he was a puppy and he is three-and-a-half now.
“He’s just the most loving and friendly little dog I could ask for. I live on my own so lockdown would’ve been very difficult without him – he’s been such a great friend and makes me smile every day.
“It was my birthday a few weeks ago so I dressed him up in a blue bow tie and a gold hat and we celebrated together.”
It’s not the first time Rachel has dressed Groot up for a special occasion – at Easter he wore an orange bow tie and carrot ears.
“He’s just such a great character,” says Rachel. “If I give him a treat he doesn’t eat it straightaway but waits for me to grab it back from him before he runs away and hides.”
The little dachshund – whose best friend is a beagle called Dexter – made the list of 20 finalists in the regional awards and, with 329 votes, he took the top title and bagged a £100 Butcher’s voucher.
He will be entered into the national final – voting for which is now open. One lucky winner crowned the overall champion will win a year’s supply of Butcher’s Nourishing Food For Dogs and £1,500 towards a dog-friendly break.
Rachel said: “Groot is over the moon with winning, he hasn’t stopped barking about it since! We were sent the link to apply by a friend who had seen it advertised and knew he’d be a worthy winner.
“He was up against some other beautiful dogs with some lovely stories, so we were really pleased that he won.
“Winning then national competition would be fantastic; he will never know how much he’s really helped, living alone in times like these is really tough, I’m not sure what I’d have done without him.
“Winning the holiday would just be a fantastic way of thanking Groot for being his fabulous self!