Protective pup Teddy, from Colchester, is a finalist at Crufts

Friends for Life finalist Teddy Bear, the Lhasa Apso cross, and owner Louise Jacobs

Friends for Life finalist Teddy Bear, the Lhasa Apso cross, and owner Louise Jacobs - Credit: onEdition

A dedicated dog who helped a Colchester woman get her life back on track has made the final of a prestigious award at Crufts 2016.

Teddy Bear, a Lhasa Apso, Bichon Frise and Yorkshire Terrier cross, is one of four finalists in next month’s Kennel Club’s Eukanuba Friends for Life competition.

Louise Jacobs suffered with depression for many years after being bullied throughout her time at school. She was hit by a car when she was 14, which left the 27-year-old, of Whitehall Road, with spine and hip problems.

This means she sometimes struggles with simple day-to-day tasks such as taking off socks, coats and other clothing items.

But since owning Teddy Bear Louise’s physical and mental health has improved and together the pair have raised around £10,000 for various charities through holding companion and fun dog shows, sponsored walks, and online photo competitions.

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Teddy Bear’s significance set to be recognised as the world’s largest dog show Crufts celebrates its 125th anniversary in Birmingham on Sunday 13 March. And Louise insists her dog is “one in a million” in her eyes, no matter what happens.

“To be one of the four finalists for the Eukanuba Friends for Life competition is overwhelming, I cannot believe it,” said Louise. “I read some of the entries and they were amazing so to be here, I really can’t believe it.”

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“My dog is Teddy Bear, he came into my life when he was three weeks old, I first went to see him back in 2011. He has changed my life so much, I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for him. I know that for a fact.

“Not only has he helped me but he’s also helped others as well. We run dog shows throughout the year and we’ve raised roughly around £10,000 for various charities through doing the dogs show’s sponsored walks. We’ve met some amazing people from doing this who we now call friends.”

“My depression turned more towards suicidal depression and I’ve tried to take my life on several occasions. Obviously it didn’t work, but I don’t have those thoughts any more, and that’s all because of Teddy.”

The dog who recieves the most votes from the public will win the competition. Voting is open online now.

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