Dog lover James Middleton posed with his beloved dogs today to announce the five dogs competing for the Friends for Life Award during this year’s Crufts.
The brother of Kate Middleton, 32, participated in the prestigious dog competition last year as a volunteer at Pets As Therapy (PAT).
He has previously spoken about how his dogs – Luna, Inka, Ella and Mabel – helped him in his fight for mental health.
Dog lover James Middleton posed with his beloved dogs today to announce the five dogs competing for the Friends for Life Award during this year’s Crufts
This year, James, an experienced Cocker Spaniel breeder, is an ambassador for the Friends for Life Award.
Today he worked with The Kennel Club for a photo shoot in London’s Green Park to reveal the five hero dogs that will participate in the public vote.
The annual Friends for Life competition at Crufts celebrates the unique relationship that people have with their dogs, the important role they play throughout our lives and the support they give us in the event of adversity.
This year’s finalists include a German Shepherd police dog named Wolfie, who worked tirelessly as a support dog for firearms and a close dog colleague for his owner Louise McMullen for the West Midlands police.
Kate Middleton’s brother has talked about how his dogs – Luna, Inka, Ella and Mabel – helped him in his fight for mental health
James 32 took part in the prestigious dog competition last year as a volunteer for Pets As Therapy (PAT). This year he is the ambassador of the Crufts Friends for Life Award
Wolfie was left with a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an auto-chase hunt for criminals resulted in an accident.
Among the finalists is dog Cocker Spaniel Jovi, who saved his owner Graham Sage from Wallingford, Oxfordshire from the fear and isolation of being deaf and enabling him lead a life as normal as possible as a teacher and rugby coach.
Leo the Golden Retriever therapy dog, who has saved countless children’s lives and gives emotional support to children who are seriously ill and in intensive care units, is also in for the prize, after being introduced by owner Lyndsey Uglow.
Pictured from left to right: Sean Laidlaw with Barrie, Lyndsey Uglow with Leo, Graham Sage with Jovi, Hayley Byrne-Ingle with Ellie, ambassador for the Friends for Life Award James Middleton and Louise McMullen with Wolfie at a launch event for the Crufts of this year
And the sweet story of the Syrian rescue dog Barrie caught the attention of the judges, who made him a finalist.
Former royal engineer Sean Laidlaw worked as a bomb removal expert in Syria when he heard the rubble of a school that had exploded and collapsed.
Upon closer inspection, he discovered that the source of the noise was a small, abandoned puppy surrounded by her four dead brothers and sisters.
Barrie now gives Sean a new meaning to life and helps him deal with his PTSD.
Among the finalists is the dog Cocker Spaniel Jovi, who depicted his owner Graham Sage, from Wallingford, Oxfordshire, in the photo on the left, of the fear and isolation of being deaf, and Hayley Byrne-Ingle and her labradoodle Ellie, both from Loughton, pictured on the right
Hayley Byrne-Ingle and her labradoodle Ellie, both from Loughton, are the last pair to reach the last five.
The cross became a lifeline for Hayley, who lost her sister through suicide, gave her much needed support and a reason for life, allowing her to participate in many dog activities.
Hayley and Ellie have previously qualified in different categories at Crufts and have collected two trophies.
This year the Crufts will take place at the NEC in Birmingham from 5-8 March.
James pictured at the Pets As Therapy booth at Crufts, Birmingham, with two of his dogs in 2018