Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Top Dog winner receives pup portrait and Olympic bouquet

THE owner of Henley’s Top Dog 2016 has been presented with her prizes.

THE owner of Henley’s Top Dog 2016 has been presented with her prizes.

Melinda Dalzell, of New Road, Shiplake, received a large portrait of her border collie puppy Pippin, which was painted by Henley artist Clive Hemsley, and an Olympic-themed bouquet containing a mix of hydrangeas, roses, eustoma, anthuriums and chrysanthemums in gold and violet made by the florist Bluebells of Henley, of Reading Road.

Mrs Dalzell, 26, and her husband James, who were married in June, bought Pippin earlier this year and were among almost 40 entrants to the annual competition run by Naughty Mutt Nice and the Henley Standard.

This year’s contest had an Olympic theme and the couple entered several photos of their pet, whose full name is Philippa Longsocks, competing in in “sports” such as tugging on her toy rope, catching a ball in her mouth and “herding” a toy sheep.

Mrs Dalzell, a dog trainer, said: “The painting is incredible. I love how Clive has got her eyes and her smile just right. My mum always says Pippin looks like Basil Brush and he really captured that.

“This isn’t just a painting of any border collie puppy — it looks exactly like Pippin and could be a photograph. Clive is very talented and it’s so good I could almost cry.

“We’re doing the house up at the moment so it looks like a building site and I’m not sure where I’ll put the painting but I reckon it will go in the living room. It should go where everyone can see it. I’m very impressed with the flowers too. They’re really elegant.”

The winner’s prizes also included lunch at Henley’s Leander Club with double Olympic rowing silver medallist Debbie Flood, a groom with spa treatments at the Naughty Mutt Nice parlour in Reading Road, a full health check worth £130 at the Henley Veterinary Centre in Reading Road, a selection of Lily’s Kitchen organic dog food and a four-week agility course with Healey’s Hounds, of Maidenhead.

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