NOT MANY dogs are as loyal as one Rottweiler once was to her owner.

To Emily King, a 23-year-old student from Launceston, the loss of her two-year-old dog Lulu was truly heart-breaking, not only as a pet, but as her lifesaver, too.

When Emily found herself in an abusive relationship, her health deteriorated, close to the point of taking her own life.

But the introduction of Lulu turned all that around, taking her to a point from which she has never looked back.

“When I got Lulu, I was in an abusive relationship and she stopped me from overdosing and taking my own life,” explained Emily.

“She stopped me from having panic attacks after arguments, and one time when the abuse got really bad she jumped up and defended me from the abuser.”

Emily plucked up the courage to move back to her parents’ home, but Lulu’s health soon took a heart-rending downturn.

Vets found that Lulu’s heart had a grade five murmur and Emily was told it would be kinder to put her to sleep.

For Emily, it was quite simply the hardest decision she has ever had to make, especially after Lulu had fought so hard to keep her alive.

But that hasn’t stopped Emily – a lifelong fan of Crufts – from nominating Lulu for The Kennel Club’s Friends for Life award in the man’s best friend category, where she narrowly missed out on the final short-list, celebrating a pet dog who has seen its owner through the hardest times as well as the happiest.

The Kennel Club wants to celebrate and share the amazing stories of how dogs give back to us every day of our lives. There will be one winner per category, decided through a public vote, and the overall winner will be announced in the NEC arena at Crufts 2019. 

The winner will also be awarded £5,000 and the runners up will each receive – for their nominated canine charity – £1,000 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust – helping to make a difference for dogs.

“It’s been really difficult since she died because I still have the same problems that she helped me with,” explained Emily. “When I get panic attacks and anxiety attacks, she’s not there anymore. It does get really hard.

“I feel like she made such a big impact on my life and helped me in such a heroic and selfless way that she deserves some kind recognition in her memory.
“She was very playful, goofy, loyal and very trusting dog. 

“My best memories of Lulu are our long walks on the beach under the stars and that she was a massive goof-ball. She was always running into walls and chasing flies.”