Celebrities may customarily receive top billing, but the line up of luminaries at London’s Haberdashers Hall on June 1, 2011 happily played supporting roles to the deserving dogs who lapped up the limelight at the fourth annual Dogs Trust Honours
Presented by Dogs Trust (the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, which cares for approximately 16,000 dogs at 17 rehoming centers), Dogs Trust Honours gives kudos to canines in five categories: Hero Dog, Dogged Devotion, Celebrity Canine, Golden Oldie and for pals of those with paws, Dog’s Best Friend.
Following are a few of the famous fans of Fidos who took part in the event:
His portrayals of Rupert Giles in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and King Uther Pendragon in Merlin may have endeared Anthony Head to TV viewers, but the role which is closest to the star’s heart is that of protector to our four-legged friends. A doting Dad to five Fidos, over the years Head has helped with Dogs Trust’s “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas” campaign, launched a Dogs Trust dog walk in Royal Victoria Park, opened a Dogs Trust shop in Salisbury, and has attended several Dogs Trust Honours presentations.
Amy Childs from the series The Only Way is Essex may have a passion for pugs (she’s a pet parent to Pucci, Pugsley and new arrival Prince), but the reality personality couldn’t resist falling for this little Rover. The TV star was the co-presenter of the Hero Award, which was presented posthumously to Theo, a dog who defined the word devotion. Accepting the award on Theo’s behalf was the sister of Lance Corporal Liam Tasker, the late Arms and Explosives Search dog handler whose bond with the bomb-sniffing dog could not be severed even by death. Killed in action in Afghanistan, Liam Tasker was reunited with his four-legged friend a few short weeks later when the dog died of what is believed to have been a broken heart.
Former Bond girl Britt Ekland, who stated that Dog’s Trust Honours is …”much better than the Oscars because you can bring your dog” bonded with her barking buddy Tequila at the awards event.
Strictly Come Dancing judge Alesha Dixon was dancing on cloud nine when she met Holly, the recipient of the Golden Oldie award. A faithful friend to Neil Woodmansey, over the course of her career as a search and rescue dog the nine-year-old Labrador has helped to save lives in earthquake ravaged Pakistan in 2005 and Haiti in 2010, and is now passing on her worldly wisdom to the next generation as her handler trains a two-year-old black Labrador named Maisy to follow in her prominent pawprints.
Holly, who frequently visits schools and charitable events, was no doubt excited to meet Alesha Dixon as well. The high profile parent to a Pointer named Daisy, a Collie called Roxy and Rosy, a Cocker Spaniel who attended the awards presentation, the former member of the group Mis-teeq is always ready to help a paws cause.
Media personality Paul Ross, who is known in the US for his appearance as Mr. Sit-up Britain in Bridget Jones’s Diary and as the presenter of the paranormal presentation Most Haunted Live!, took on the mantle of host at Dogs Trust Honours. At the awards show the proud Poppa of a French Mastiff called Gracie gave a fatherly hug to Hero, an abandoned Collie pup who– along with his siblings– are waiting at Dogs Trust for their forever homes.
It’s easy to see why the panel of judges chose Sykes the dog the winner of the Celebrity Canine Award. A star Spot who has shared screen time with Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean and Sweeney Todd, the tiny pooch with the big personality had viewers of a Thinkbox TV ad sold on the idea that ” every home needs a Harvey.”
For more information about Dogs Trust:
- visit www.dogstrust.org.uk
For more information about Dogs Trust Honours:
All photos courtesy Dogs Trust