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Brianna at her home in Killaloe with her two-year-old Great Dane pup Charlie. Photograph by Arthur Ellis

National award for lifesaving Great Dane

THE  lifesaving exploits of a Great Dane will be fittingly honoured with a national award this weekend.

Charlie’s ability to detect when a three year-old Killaloe child is going to have a seizure, will be officially recognised by the Irish Great Dane (IGD) club at a national ceremony in Dublin.

The club wanted to honour Charlie following the phenomenal response to Clare Champion story highlighting the unique bond between the dog and Brianna Lynch, which enabled him to detect her frequent seizures, up to 20 minutes before the start of each episode.

The once-off award, which has never been presented to any other dog previously, will be presented to Arabella Scanlan and Charlie as the Great Dane Open Show in the National Show Centre, Dublin this Saturday.

Claire Daly of the IGD said the club were delighted to present Charlie with the award following the huge national and international reaction to the Clare  Champion story.

“The club is 51 years old this year and has never given an award of this type before to a dog. The bond between Charlie and Brianna has made a huge impact on people.

“It generated huge positive feedback about the great temperament and fantastic attributes of a Great Dane,” she said.

“Great Danes are known for their temperament, they are known to be solid family members. They are very good with kids and adults alike and are dogs that like human company as well as dog company.

“It shows that pedigree dogs can really do amazing things. To have a dog with a temperament like this is fantastic.

“This story has captured the hearts and imagination of the country. I have an incredible amount of people saying how fantastic this really is,” she said.

Ms Ryan bred Charlie out of a champion bitch and passed him onto Arabella when he was about seven or eight months old.

There were ten pups in the litter and some of these participated in shows as far away as Greece as show dogs, some are in the United Kingdom and some are in Ireland.

Arabella joined forces with Deirdre Cullinan from Ahane, whose three-year-old daughter, Mia, is also being treated for epilepsy, to raise €18,000 needed to purchase a new ambulatory EEG machine, which has been sanctioned by the University Hospital, Limerick, UHL.

The club will also present a sponsorship cheque for this new machine at the event. Meanwhile, Ballina Medical Devices company, Technopath, has provided great support by purchasing the machine with the money raised from fundraising and has agreed to cover the cost of a five-year service and maintenance contract once it is provided in UL.

Ms Daly has also nominated Charlie to receive the inaugural Golden Paw Hero Dog awards, which has been launched by the Irish Kennel Club to find Irelands most courageous, brave and life changing canines. The awards, which were officially launched by Ryan Tubridy on The Late Late Show on Friday night, will acknowledge Ireland’s hero dogs that unconditionally avail themselves to us in so many important ways.

There was a huge reaction to the appearance of Arabella, Brianna and Charlie on the Late Late Show on social media.

The unique bond between Brianna and Charlie was clearly evident as she lay on top of him during the show.

Arabella said  some of the guests on the show, including Midge Ure, Ultravox of Band Aid fame and Richard Dreyfuss took a major shine to Charlie as they hugged and patted him backstage in the Green Room after the show. In fact, Mr Dreyfuss’s wife was happy to put her expensive Channel coat over Charlie while they were backstage, she was so taken with him.

The awards are open to any dog deemed to have performed an exemplary act or series of acts, whether large or seemingly small, that has significantly benefited a community or individual.

They include the following categories exemplary companion dog/life changing dog

therapy/guide dog; bravery dog; search and rescue dog and law enforcement dog.

Five finalists will be selected, one from each category, and inducted into the Irish Kennel Club ‘Hall of Fame’. The overall winner will be chosen from these five finalists and will receive the Golden Paw Hero Dog Award 2014.

Anyone, including the dog’s owner or handler, may submit a nomination. Submissions for the IKC Golden Paw Hero Dog Awards 2014 in association with GAIN Pet Food must include:

*A non-returnable, original photograph of the dog;

*  A 500 word (or less) description of how the dog has demonstrated excellence;

*  The dog’s call name, registered name (if applicable), breed, age and sex

*Owner/nominator name(s), address, phone number and email (if available)

Nominations may be submitted for both pedigree and non-pedigree dogs.

Nominations are now being accepted and should be emailed to: goldenpaw@ikc.ie  or posted to:

The Irish Kennel Club, Fottrell House, Harold’s Cross Bridge, Dublin 6W.






About Austin Hobbs

Austin Hobbs

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