ADOGwhich has transformed the life of a Thundersley woman with a lifelimiting illness has been shortlisted for a Crufts award for heroic dogs.
Brave Lucy Watts, of Swans Green Close, fights a daily battle with Ehlers- Danlos syndrome, a rare tissue disorder which has left her in a wheelchair and suffering intense periods of pain and chronic fatigue since she was 14.
The debilitating illness, caused by a defect in the body’s collagen, means the 20-year-old struggles to sit up unaided and has to be fed through a tube, which makes life extremely difficult for the aspiring young doctor.
But her life has been turned around since adopting one-year-old cocker spaniel Molly last September, who helps her carry out day-to-day tasks.
Now, Molly is one of five dogs competing for the public vote for the Friends for Life award at Crufts 2014.
Lucy said: “Molly has given me a reason for being. Before we got her, I was really struggling to see any point in life because I have somany health problems.
I can’t walk, if I sit up the pressure makes me pass out. I have osteoporosis, my internal organs are failing one by one, so it made me hard to focus on the positives.
“But Molly’s given me a new lease of life. I don’t think I could live without her.
She has givenme the confidence to go out on my own for the first time since I became ill. She picks up my socks and is learning to take off my jacket. She’swonderful.”
The charity Dog AID, which supports disabled owners to train their dogs, is helping Molly to become an assistance dog after three stages.
The winner of the award will be announced on Sunday, March 9, the final night of Crufts, at the Birmingham NEC.
It will be shown on Channel 4.
Lucy added: “I’m really excited for Molly and looking forward to the awards.
It would be wonderful to win the award.