'He's my sunshine boy' - Suffolk support dog in running to win award

Tess with Kratu, who is in line to win a national award

Tess with Kratu, who is in line to win a national award - Credit: Fiona Bond Photography

A "simply amazing" rescue dog who helps his owner face the struggles of anxiety and autism is in the running for a national award.

Kratu, a Carpathian-Mioritic Shepherd mix who lives with his owner Tess Eagle Swan in Newmarket, has made the top four in the People's Pet of the Year Awards.

Tess, who was diagnosed with autism three years ago, said she struggles with leaving the house due to the condition and anxiety.

The 58-year-old has had Kratu since he was rescued from Romania as a puppy, and the eight-year-old pooch helps his owner when she struggles with sensory overload.

Kratu has built up a following on social media — he has more than 10,000 followers on Instagram — and has appeared several times at the Crufts dog show.

Several clips from the show have gone viral after Kratu repeatedly ignores the route through the agility course.

But Kratu has also become an emotional support dog for Tess since her autism diagnosis, and a book about the pair is due for release next year.

Tess is hoping Kratu will be named 'Pet of the Year' in the People's Pet Awards when the winner is announced next month.

Tess with Kratu on a day out in Brighton

Tess with Kratu on a day out in Brighton - Credit: Tess Eagle Swan

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She said: "I don't have any support other than Kratu — he's the reason I get up every morning.

"Kratu loves to see people, so he's the polar opposite to me. Children love him, the elderly love him, everybody loves him.

"I have to face anxiety and couldn't cope without him. He faces every day with such positivity and spreads joy and happiness.

"Being autistic is hard with communication but, for the first time in my life, I'm happy with him. He's my sunshine boy.

"I love his sheer, unadulterated joy and naughtiness, it makes me laugh. I could not imagine life without Kratu — he is simply amazing."

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