New Zealand Dog News

Reviewing the dog news in New Zealand with editors comments. Someone needs to keep reviewing how our dogs are doing in society.

October 12, 2009

Phoebe the Dalmatian is Service Dog of the Year

Phoebe the Dalmatian has a heart of gold.

The 11-year-old Nelson pooch has a long list of community-based roles, and no matter what, is always kind, calm and loving.

Phoebe is used to educate children, teach dogs better manners, ease people's dog fears, socialise old dogs and comfort the lonely.

Now, the pooch has been awarded the Service Dog of the Year award at the National Dog Show. The 11-year-old, who loves her food and sleeps on her owner's bed, got on an aircraft for the first time last weekend. Along with her owner, Steph Loader, a Halifax Veterinary Centre canine behaviourist, she flew to Feilding to receive the award, which included a "beautiful" sash and a year's supply of dog food. "After all the things she has done in Nelson, it was really nice for her to be recognised," Ms Loader said.

Phoebe's down-to-earth personality could be put down to having good dog parents and being trained properly, Ms Loader said.

"She is calm and amazingly chilled out. She thinks about her stomach a lot. She is really kind – you could do anything and she would never bite.

"She has had a varied and long career in the community." MORE>>

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