Dog who helped owner battle eating disorders set for Crufts

PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 January 2016

Vanessa Holbrow with her dog Jack.

Vanessa Holbrow with her dog Jack.

Archant

A woman whose dog gave her a new lease of life after she suffered with eating disorders is hoping her pet will win an award at Crufts.

"To even think I am a person of worth is unimaginable for me, so I can’t put it into words what it would mean to me if we won."

Vanessa

Vanessa Holbrow, from Berrow, and her dog Jack have made it to the final of the Kennel Club’s Eukanuba Friends for Life competition at this year’s prestigious canine contest.

The four-year-old border terrier has been nominated for the huge impact he has had on Vanessa’s life.

Vanessa, aged 44, has battled with eating disorders throughout her life and has suffered from dissociation and depersonalisation – which affect a person’s sense of reality.

But when she adopted Jack as a 13-month-old puppy Vanessa’s life changed for the better.

She said: “I love walking and I noticed that when I looked at a dog it would make me feel warm inside, despite feeling very low.”

Vanessa Holbrow with her dog Jack.Vanessa Holbrow with her dog Jack.

When she first adopted Jack he had serious behavioural issues and Vanessa said it took her a year to ‘turn him around’.

She added: “He has taught me some invaluable lessons and the most important thing he has taught me is how to love.

“I’ve had quite a traumatic upbringing and I’d never really attached to anyone before, but Jack is my family.

“He helps me in unimaginable ways, and enables me to be sociable with people.

“I just can’t fathom our journey together and where I have got to in my personal journey.

“To even think I am a person of worth is unimaginable for me, so I can’t put it into words what it would mean to me if we won.”

Vanessa is now a keen fundraiser for Border Terrier Welfare.

Kennel Club spokesman Caroline Kisko said: “Vanessa and Jack are thoroughly deserving of this nomination.

“We have been honoured to hear about the hundreds of dogs throughout the UK who are making a profound difference to people’s lives.

“Each and every one of the finalists has helped to change and save lives in their own unique and special way.”

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