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Brianna Lynch with Charlie.

Killaloe hero sparks interest in Great Dane pups

THE life-saving exploits of an award-winning Killaloe Great Dane has sparked a run of requests for young puppies from prospective buyers, according to his owner, Arabella Scanlan.
Charlie, a gentle giant, made international headlines last year, when The Clare Champion revealed how he could detect when three year-old Brianna Lynch was going to have an epileptic fit, about 20 minutes before each episode.
Arabella, Brianna’s mother, is still effusive in her praise concerning the uncanny bond, which has developed between Charlie and Brianna since he came to live in their home on the outskirts of Killaloe when he was just six months old.
The Irish Kennel Club celebrated the special relationship between humans and their dogs at an awards ceremony hosted in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin recently.
Following thousands of entries, Charlie was shortlised in the final 15 and was awarded his Golden Paw Hero certificate, after being highly commended in the Exemplary Companion/Life-Changing Dog category.
His amazing endeavours with Brianna were already officially recognised with an award at the Irish Great Dane Club (IGDC) Club open show at the National Show Centre in Cloghran, Dublin, earlier this year.
In addition to the latest award, Arabella believes this duo “stole the show” in Dublin.
“A representative from the Great Dane Society said they have been inundated with requests from people who want to book Great Dane puppies because of all the publicity involving Charlie and Brianna.
“Great Danes were on the decline, people didn’t want to pay for one and feed it. They hadn’t a massive reputation previously. However, on the strength of the whole story about Charlie, they can’t get over how many people are enquiring about getting a Great Dane pup.
“When Charlie and Brianna came in, they just stole the show,” she said.
They were also instantly recognisable by bus drivers in the middle of Dublin City.
“Taxi drivers were saying, ‘Oh my God, there is Charlie and Brianna’. Charlie is now instantly recognisable, thanks to all the publicity that was generated by The Clare Champion story last year.”
Musician Sharon Shannon, who was one of the judges, said she loved all of the dogs.
“You couldn’t pick one story from another. One story was better than another. You would have been happy for any of the dogs to have won it.
“One dog who was trained by the Irish Autism Society was with a family in Galway to help children with autism. The husband worked nights so he could help his wife with their child who had autism. He was in bed during the day, when the child had gone to school. The dog kept barking, even though they are trained not to bark. When he got up, his wife was having an epileptic fit on the kitchen floor, which she had never experienced before. This dog was a cross between a German Shepherd and a Retriever,” she explained.
The renowned Irish musician said it is wonderful to be part of something that celebrates the important role that dogs play in our lives, whether they save lives, solve crimes or are a constant source of companionship through difficult times.
Echoing her sentiments, Sean Delmar, president of the Irish Kennel Club, said, “The Irish Kennel Club has always been dedicated to the celebration of Irish canines and we are overwhelmed with the response and support received from the public in running the first ever Golden Paw Hero Dog Awards. It has been a great achievement to celebrate these amazing dogs.”

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