A DOG from Dorset has been shortlisted as a finalist in a national competition to find the Dog of the Year 2017.

Daisy, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from Gillingham, and her owner Barbara Borwell, will find out if they have won the title at this year’s Crufts during a ceremony on Friday, March 10.

Daisy, who is a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog, visits three primary schools each week as part of the charity’s Read2Dogs scheme. She also visits the local hospital, Westminster Memorial in Shaftesbury, which includes the Weldmar Hospice.

Not only this, but Daisy visits Fives Court Residential Care Home, where she has recently received ‘The Order of St John Care Trust’s appreciation award.

Barbara said: “One of the schools that Daisy visits recognise her as a teacher and a dedicated member of staff, she is often referred to as a ‘member of the school and of the family’.

“It is the most rewarding and privileged job to be involved in. I get to share my pet, that I am so lucky to have in my life, with others less fortunate. She brings joy and pleasure to everyone she meets, sometimes making real positive emotional and behavioural changes to their lives.”

Daisy and the other five finalists will proudly parade around the show arena, soaking up the glory as their achievements are revealed to the crowd, before the top dog is announced as the winner of a cheque for £500 and a three-month supply of goodies from HiLife, which is sponsoring the competition.

Marketing director for HiLife, Peter Parkinson, said: “We are so proud to be supporting Pets As Therapy and we can’t wait to see which one of the amazing finalists is crowned HiLife PAT Dog of the year 2017.

“We have worked with PAT Dog for more than 10 years and every year we continue to be amazed by the work of the finalists. They improve the lives of so many who are going through tough times or illness. Working with this charity is a pleasure, and we love hearing their stories, they never fail to brighten up our day.”

Daisy will be set for a busy day when she prepares for the show.

“Daisy will get a wash in some special shampoo the night before. She has visited Crufts previously, so the occasion will be taken in her stride with some liver-cake treats. Everyone that we know has noted the date in their diary and will be eagerly waiting to see how Daisy got on,” Barbara added.