Dagenham dog named as the most handsome pet at Scruffts
PUBLISHED: 07:00 29 October 2018
A Dagenham couple felt like top dogs last week when their prize pooch picked up a national award.
Tara Ellison and partner Andy Chandley, both of Woodward Road, became the proud owners of crossbreed competition Scruffts’ Most Handsome Dog of 2018.
Their beloved pet, Teddy, was a standout star at Sunday’s semi-final, held at the ExCel exhibition centre in Royal Docks, strutting his stuff before two judges looking at his poise and grooming.
The two-year-old Chihuahua/Shih Tzu mix measures just 10 inches tall — but still managed to catch their eye.
Tara, who is 44, told the Post the win left her and Andy, 53, “speechless”.
“When I heard he had won, I could not take the smile of my face,” she said.
“I was amazing. It was so unreal, all the photographers were there and it was like we were famous.”
She added: “We walked around the show and everyone recognised Teddy.”
Teddy, a former pupil at Dogs Trust Dog School, is now invited to compete in next year’s grand final at Crufts, held at the NEC arena in Birmingham.
He is fending off attention from new fans, as well as Andy and Tara’s six adult daughters, making him “a very spoilt dog”, joked Tara.
The three-kilo mutt has also proven popular at the couple’s workplace.
Learner drivers at Cardrome Learner Centre in Hornchurch often ditch theory books for
tummy rubs when they spot him underneath Tara’s desk.
“He is very fast,” she added.
“He will run all around the park and sleep all day.”
Aside from dog shows, the canine-mad couple also act as emergency foster carers for rescue group Scruffy Angels.
“He gets on really well with other dogs,” said Tara.
“He has lots of company but gets us all on his own.”
She said fostering can last just few hours while kennels are contacted, though they once looked after a missing pet for two weeks.
The owners, it turned out, were on holiday. They had left the pet with a neighbour, but it slipped the leash.