A PRECIOUS pooch who has transformed her owner’s life, who suffers from cerebral palsy, has reached the final rounds of Crufts.
Katy Evans from Rednal is the proud owner of Folly a crossbreed trained by the charity Canine Partners.
The 24-year-old’s life has been made up by a series of battles, sometimes just to stay alive.
People often could not see past her wheelchair and the problems with her speech so she struggled to make friends and when she went to university her confidence plummeted.
Folly first arrived in Katie’s life when she was 22-years-old and not only did the pooch do everything from helping Katy dress to pushing up her wheelchair plates but she also helped her to make new friends.
The canine is now one of four dogs who have made it to the finals of the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition at Crufts, which celebrates the close bond between man and dog and heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity.
The winner will be chosen by public votes and will be announced next Sunday (March 8) at the event taking place at the NEC in Birmingham.
First place will receive £1,500 and the other finalists will be given £750 from the Kennel Club Charitable Trust for their chosen charities.
Katie said she could not have got through university without Folly by her side helping her to do the day-to-day things which were so difficult for her.
She added: “Folly gave me so much more than just independence because her joy and enthusiasm brought something inside of me alive again, making me laugh, and giving me confidence and helping me to make friends.
“Suddenly people could see past my wheelchair and I was gifted with the greatest companion in the world.”
Katie said when she graduated with a first class degree she was so proud to have Folly by her side.
“I now want to seize all of life’s opportunities and I put that entirely down to Folly and how she helped me to grow as a person.
“I am so proud that she has made it to the final of the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition and will be going to Crufts.”
Jose Luis Ibanez, from Eukanuba, said Folly had completely transformed Katy’s life and the bond they shared was incredibly special.
“We are so pleased to be part of a competition which celebrates how loyal and loving man’s best friend truly is.”
Caroline Kisko, secretary of the Kennel Club which runs Crufts, said they were looking forward to welcoming Folly and Katy to the world’s most famous dog stage at Crufts.
Visit channel4.com/cruftsvote to vote for your favourite pooch.