RESCUE dog Zoe regularly visits Denville Hall Care Home in Ducks Hill Road, Northwood, and has been nominated in the Friends for Life category at Crufts 2014.
The competition celebrates heart-warming tales in which dogs have truly earned their title as man’s best friend.
Zoe, a chocolate Labrador, who was born only for a horrific life of breeding, was rescued at Christmas time in 2008 by 24-year-old Linzi Follett.
Since then, Linzi has helped Zoe back to good health and the nine-year-old pooch has acquired her Pets at Therapy qualification and often visits the home to put a smile on retired performers' faces.
Zoe still carries the scars of her breeding programme, including tie marks on her legs, miss-formed feet, a saggy belly and arched back.
"She was just mentally shut down when I found her. It was like she just had no interest in life at all," said Linzi, who prefers not to have her address made public.
"The first time I saw her I knew I was going to take her. I couldn’t leave her there. She just reminded me more of what I had at home.
"She’s got a look that she does, and other people have commented on it. It’s her smile. She’s just thrilled with life, she can’t believe her luck.
"She’s an inspiration for others when they see her."
The Kennel Club, which runs Crufts, will announce a shortlist tomorrow (February 18) of the five dogs that will go into the Friends for Life final. The public will then vote for which of the five dogs has the most truly deserving tale.
The winner will be announced on Sunday March 9, in the Main Arena at Birmingham’s NEC, with the trophy presented by Chris Amoo, dog lover and 70s pop sensation with the band The Real Thing.
Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “Zoe’s story truly demonstrates how important dogs are to our lives and what a difference they make to us, both in our best times and when things are tough.
“Linzi and little Zoe are thoroughly deserving of this nomination. Each and every one of the finalists has helped to change and save live in their own unique and special way.”