Friday, 15 December 2017
A PUPPY has been crowned Henley’s Top Dog 2017.
Logan, a 10-month-old Rhodesian ridgeback, is owned by Vincent and Lucy Boon and their children Riley, 10, and Imogen, nine, of Ancastle Green, Henley.
The family, who got Logan in January, win hundreds of pounds worth of prizes.
This year’s competition, which is organised by the Henley Standard and Aspen Weatherburn, was a celebration of the bond between dogs and their owners — inspired by the dog-friendly palliative care at the Sue Ryder hospice in Nettlebed Hospice, where residents can be visited by their pets.
There were about 20 entries and many of the entrants and their dogs were present when the results were revealed in the grounds of the hospice on Saturday.
The judges particularly liked the Boons’ entry, which read: “We love Logan, Loges, Loge-ster, Logey-Lou-Lums.
“Since we got him in January he has changed our lives. We’re a happier little lot and whoever walks him is more sociable (people are so eager to get talking to you when you have a dog) and fitter!
“Now Logan is 10 months old and he’s still growing... and we wouldn’t have it any other way!”
The words were accompanied by several photos of the family with Logan, including one of him asleep with Imogen, their heads together.
Mrs Boon, 47, said: “Logan was a terror in the beginning but he’s very much a one-family dog — he adores us.
“He’s very chilled. He never barks and doesn’t need that much exercise. He has changed our lives and he makes us happy.”
The runner-up was Maggie, a German pointer owned by Simon and Sharon Ingoldby, who manage the Holmwood Estate in Binfield Heath, while third place went to a border terrier called Jack, belonging to Linda Seward, from Cookley Green.
Maggie, five, is a previous winner at the Bix fun dog show.
In their entry, her owners said she loves jumping in the river to retrieve her tennis ball using a unique “cannonball” technique and watching squirrels in the grounds.
Mrs Ingoldby, 45, said: “My mother-in-law has been nagging us for the last five years to enter the competition as she adores Maggie. We nearly did it last year and this time we took the plunge.
“We are really thrilled because there were lots of entries and dogs with some really special stories. It means a lot that Maggie has got second prize.”
Mrs Seward, who was unable to attend the awards, said in her entry that six-year-old Jack was the “most important member of our family” and stands on his back legs to greet them when they get home.
The competition, now its eighth year, is sponsored by Naughty Mutt Nice dog groomers in Reading Road, Henley, and was judged by a panel including double Olympic rowing champion Alex Gregory, Erik D’Arcy Donnelly, of the Henley Vets, Naughty Mutt Nice proprietor Karole Robertson, Top Dog founder Aspen Weatherburn and Henley Standard editor Simon Bradshaw.
Gregory, who retired from rowing following the 2016 Olympic Games, attended the prize-giving ceremony only days after returning from a rowing challenge across the Arctic Ocean. He was accompanied by his partner Emily Airey and children Jasper, Daisy and Jesse.
The winners received a hamper full of dog-friendly goodies, including premium dog food, toys and treats, a Naughty Mutt Nice spa treatment voucher, ultrasonic toothbrushing treatment and shaggy chic full grooming session worth £100 and a health check consultation at Henley Vets.
Both the runners-up won treatments at Naughty Mutt Nice and a health check-up at the Henley Vets.
Ms Weatherburn, who started Naughty Mutt Nice and sold the business to Mrs Robertson earlier this year, said: “This year’s Top Dog was, as always, fun and it was lovely to see all the dogs in the flesh.
“It was fantastic to see how people embraced the competition. We are in our eighth year and people still love it.
“It’s always hard to pick the winner and we judges went round in circles. We wish everyone could have won. What tipped it for Logan was the fact that the entry really embraced the theme of the competition. At Sue Ryder dogs can go in and see their owners, which is amazing, and we were really focusing on the connection humans have with dogs.”
Mrs Robertson, who donated £100 from Naughty Mutt Nice to Sue Ryder, added: “I want to say thanks to everybody for entering. Naughty Mutt Nice is pleased to be sponsoring the event and we had a tough time choosing a winner. There were so many lovely dogs.”
Gregory, who lives in Ipsden and has two dogs, a three-year-old working cocker spaniel called Roo and a two-year-old springer spaniel called Tiggy, said: “I’m a massive fan of dogs and it was great to meet so many people who clearly love their dogs.
“Our dogs are an important part of our family and it’s nice to see people celebrating that. It was hard to judge as we had to just go on feel.”
Mr Bradshaw said: “Thank-you to everyone who entered. I loved all the entries, which showed how much people love their dogs and were full of warmth and good humour, especially some of the pictures.
“For me, what swung the result was the Boons saying that Logan had made them happier people.”
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