National Pet Week’s ‘Best Friends’ are chosen

Mother and daughter Georgie and Mandie, two collies living near Exeter, have been judged as National Pet Week’s ‘Best Friends’ to their owner Barbara Wherlock. This was in a competition run by the charity, which promotes responsible pet ownership and how pets have a positive impact on people’s lives.

In the run up to National Pet Week, which took place from 30 April – 8 May, people were asked to send in a picture of their pet and say why they were their best friend. Barbara Wherlock describes her two ‘best mates’ and says just how important they are in keeping her well and active. She says: “Every day we go for long walks on Woodbury Common in sunny Devon, so they keep me fit and healthy. They are good company even when you are not feeling well.” Mrs Wherlock has retired from work in the health service, and says that the dogs make sure she never sits and gets bored. The dogs obviously appreciate the exercise and love she gives them too. She says: “I hate to leave them, when I go out, but the welcome home is worth it”.

She wins a ‘doggy bag’ of prizes including a special prize from Dog Bag, who make items for pet transport.

Second and third places went to two school children in Reading. Six year old Jasmine Lovick-Earl was second, with her ‘smelly cat’ Cooper. “My pet is the best because he is silly and makes me laugh. He is very fat and lazy so he can’t wash himself so he gets smelly. He has the loudest meow in the world,” says Jasmine.

And Charlie Brown, 7, who was third loves his fish Jaws “as much as my mum” and cares for him “so so much”. Jaws, according to Charlie “is the best pet anyone could have. He is very fast. He swims mostly when I’m not looking.”

Special under 10 award went to Alessandra Yolland from Peppard Common, Oxfordshire and her Welsh Mountain pony Minstrel. Allessandra says: “He comes when I call him and looks like he is smiling. If ever I am feeling down Minstrel makes me smile. I would like anyone that is unhappy to come and spend a day with me and my pony – I bet they would smile.”

The judges also made a special commendation for a fantastic photograph sent by Jo Warren from Great Barr, Birmingham, of her Yambuki Koi carp. “This Yambuki is a real character and a great favourite. Here he is playing in amongst the bubbles and has such a surprised look on his face as if the bubbles tickle.

We love to watch them as they glide around the pond and follow you as you walk, a real tonic at the end of a long day when you can switch off and be anywhere in the world with them. We may not be able to cuddle them but to know they are well and happy is reward enough”.