Heroic Roz crowned Guide Dog of the Year 2007
Heroic Roz, a three-year-old guide dog who miraculously survived a vicious and savage attack by a large dog whilst out working with her visually-impaired owner Gary Wickett, from Birmingham, has been crowned Overall Champion Guide Dog of the Year 2007.
Dog-loving BBC presenters Peter Purves and Clare Balding made the announcement at a special ceremony being held by Guide Dogs at the Kennel Club last week.
Following a special feature on the Guide Dog of the Year Awards shown on BBC ONE’s morning new programme, BBC Breakfast, on Friday 31 August 2007, Roz went nose-to-nose in a public vote on Guide Dogs’ website with the winners of Exceptional Work and Life-changing Guide Dog of the Year. The voting decided the result; to decide which of the three special dogs should be crowned Overall Champion Guide Dog of the Year 2007.
The three guide dogs are:
Heroic and Overall Champion Guide Dog of the Year – Roz, from Great Barr in Birmingham
Life-changing Guide Dog of the Year – Darcy, from Yeovil in Somerset
Exceptional Work Guide Dog of the Year – Barley, from Surbiton in Surrey
Although a police investigation followed, the owner and dog involved in Roz’s attack have not been found. Dog on dog attacks are appalling, particularly when a guide dog or other assistance dog is injured. Guide Dogs is working with other like-minded organisations to encourage responsible dog ownership. It is testament to the courage and loyalty of assistance dogs like Roz that many have been able to return to their life-transforming work for their owners.
The search for the nation’s Guide Dog of the Year was launched in March by BBC Breakfast. The programme has been reporting on the progress of the awards, which attracted over 300 inspirational nominations for guide dogs from all over the UK.
Nikki Wright, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs, says: “We received over 300 amazing and heart-warming nominations about the ways in which guide dogs from all over the UK are making such an enormous difference to the lives of their visually-impaired owners. It’s a joy to be able to share these inspirational and life-changing experiences with the public, and for them to ultimately decide which of the three special dogs should be crowned overall champion.”