07:00, 24 March 2015
By Karen Hambridge
Lurcher Scout got through to the final of the online Facebook contest as winner of the ‘perfectly imperfect’ category
A blind rescue dog from Hinckley has been pipped at the post for the title of the RSPCA’s national Ruffs champion in the second year of the Crufts alternative competition.
Lurcher Scout got through to the final of the online Facebook contest as winner of the ‘perfectly imperfect’ category. Up against five other heat winners he was neck and neck on ‘votes’, narrowly missing out right at the last minute to the eventual top dog. Lucy.
Launched last year the idea behind Ruffs is to offer an alternative to the usual beauty pageant style dog shows which judge pooches primarily on their looks, even when it’s these looks which can cause them to suffer.
Scout’s owner, veterinary nurse Tracey Ison said: “I picked up some information on the RSPCA’s Ruffs competition via my Facebook newsfeed and as soon as I saw the category ‘perfectly imperfect’ I knew I had to submit an entry for Scout as he is almost totally blind I felt that this category suited him down to the ground.
“I managed to submit an entry just a couple of hours before entry applications closed so it was all very last minute. The main reason that I decided to submit an entry for Scout is that he does so much to represent dogs with disabilities by showing the public how a blind dog can go on to live a perfectly normal life and enjoy all those things that fully sighted dogs can.
“Scout is also an amazing ambassador for the three rescue organisations – Greyhound and Lurcher Aid, Lancky Dogs and East Midlands Dog Rescue – which pulled together to save his life and helped to him to get to safety when he was just another unwanted ‘poundie’. He has also recently become a poster boy for Hound Aid, a group of fundraisers who raise money to help dogs just like Scout.”
Tracey, who has two other dogs Izzy and Misty, adopted Scout in 2011 after he had been taken on by East Midlands Dog Rescue.
As a puppy he was found straying on the streets of County Durham and handed to the local pound. Once at the pound it was clear that all was not well – Scout was malnourished, had kennel cough and was also suffering from mange.
But with some tenderness and care he [quickly] bounced back
Tracey added the lurcher had totally changed the family’s lives: “We were told when we first adopted Scout that his life had been saved for a reason and I guess that the reason is that if only one person is moved enough by Scout’s story to consider adopting a not so perfect rescue dog then Scout will have done his work well.
“He has taught us so much about looking after a dog with a disability. He is now an ambassador for East Midlands Dog Rescue and attends fundraisers to help to raise awareness of the rescue and the amazing work that the charity does.
“Scout loves everyone he meets and his ability to make people smile is legend.”
n Scout’s story can still be read in the book about his life and that of his friends in For the love of Hounds, copies of which re available at Feldon Vets, 257 Coventry Road Hinckley or via Tracey’s website www.traceyison.co.uk