Lucy Named 2021 SuperDog Of The Year!
Our 2021 SuperDog of the year is ... Lucy! Even though she crossed the rainbow bridge in 2016, Lucy's legacy of love is as strong as ever and, thanks to her adoring fans, in September she became a SuperDog Awards finalist by a public vote.
Winners of the seven SuperDog Awards categories were announced on the 9th of November at a star-studded red-carpet event in London hosted by Stacey Dooley.
In our eyes the finalists were all SuperDogs too, Floss, Max, Rico, Hope, Fabulous Finn, PippaPip-Squeek & Trooper, Plum Pudding, Bella, Bert Snuggs, Ruby & Rowley, Mae, and Scout. The organisations were Southampton Children's Hospital Therapy Dogs and Broken Biscuits who both do incredible work with dogs.
Accepting Lucy's SuperDog award was her mom Lisa Garner and Lucy's little sister, Plum Pudding.
We got a chance to chat with Lisa about the extraordinary little dog named Lucy who has won this an award posthumously but also helped bring Lucy's Law into being.
How does Lucy still have so many fans?
I set up Lucy's page not long after adopting her. Lucy was my first ever rescue dog and I wanted to share her progress. People fell in love with her cheeky character, her resilience and even after all she'd been through just how she just loved every day.
Her Facebook following snowballed and we have followers from all over the world. The day Lucy passed away so many, like me, were left utterly heartbroken. But to this day I continue to share pictures from my time with Lucy and she still manages to reach the hearts of new people and show them how amazing rescue dogs are.
What was it like to attend the Naturo SuperDog Awards?
We travelled from Warwickshire, in The Midlands via train. For some strange reason Pudding loves train stations, I think it is all the people she loves to see!
Pudding loves the red carpet (she is quite the poser!) and she also knows that pictures being taken result in extra treats too!
There were a few familiar faces on the night, we got to catch up with Vet Scott Miller and Matt Johnson and his gorgeous pug, Alan Shearer.
It was also lovely to meet Leon Towers who was so passionate about the awards.
Johnny Vaughan presented our category and it was so nice to spend some time with him.
The whole evening was full of inspirational stories and just highlights how life-changing dogs are and how they enrich our lives.
How did it feel when Lucy won?
When I heard Lucy's name as the winner was announced I think I was in a bit of shock. Obviously, I adored Lucy and to me, she'll always be a SuperDog but to know so many people continue to love her and her memory shines so bright is truly heartwarming.
Every dog that was nominated, or was a finalist, or won on the night is truly special because they have that unbreakable bond with their owner. I totally agreed with Jonny Vaughan when he said win or lose everyone went home a winner that night as they had their dog.
In our eyes the finalists were all SuperDogs too, Floss, Max, Rico, Hope, Fabulous Finn, PippaPip-Squeek & Trooper, Plum Pudding, Bella, Bert Snuggs, Ruby & Rowley, Mae, and Scout. The organisations were Southampton Children's Hospital Therapy Dogs and Broken Biscuits who do incredible work with dogs.
Any words for the SuperDog nominees of 2022?
Shout from the rooftops about your dog! No matter how far you get it's brilliant that the awards help spread so much joy about our beloved four-legged family members. It means more people get to learn how dogs are such an amazing part of our lives and all the incredible things they do for us on a daily basis.
How did you learn of Lucy's plight?
A post from the rescue centre that rescued Lucy was shared on Facebook. I've always loved Cavaliers but at the time was naive and didn't realise just how many cavaliers were in rescue centres. I came across Lucy's profile on the rescue website and it said she felt the cold. I owned an online dog boutique so I asked her fosterer if I could send her some clothes to keep her warm. I had no intention at the time of adopting Lucy (or Halo as she was called at the time) However, over the coming weeks, I started an email conversation with her fosterer who sent me pictures of Lucy with her new jumpers and gifts I'd sent.
I think it was love at first sight, looking back. Lucy had a few medical problems and wasn't up for adoption straight away. However, as soon as she was I mentioned to Carol, her fosterer, I wanted to apply (I don't think it came as any shock to her) and that is where our story together began.
Lucy's early days with you?
When you adopt an ex breeding dog it's important that you have calm resident dogs. Dogs that have come from that background very often don't know how to behave in a home environment. Many have never eaten out of a bowl or been used to kindness from humans, so there's a period of adjustment and the other dogs really help as it gives them an example to follow, confidence and reassurance.
I had to feed Lucy up slowly as she was very underweight from the conditions she'd been subjected to for many years. She also had poor muscle mass, so it was lots of small meals and building up exercise.
She also had various health conditions including arthritis, epilepsy and was blind in one eye, it used to break my heart knowing she had suffered in silence with these conditions for so long.
Fortunately, Lucy settled in fairly quickly to family life with the help of her new four-legged sisters and me. She soon became very dependent on me and we were inseparable. On the very odd occasion, she was left I'd come back to find her whimpering behind the door waiting for me and then as soon as I sat down with her she would fall fast asleep, exhausted, happy knowing I was back.
How did Lucy become a campaign poster girl?
I had known Marc Abraham who spearheaded the campaign for a number of years. He had been working tirelessly for years campaigning to see the end of third party sales of puppies.
When Lucy passed away we wanted to find a way to honour her. Making Lucy the face of the campaign made it more 'real' for people, they were more engaged and wanted to support change so NO more dogs had to continue to suffer as little Lucy had.
Part of [Marc Abraham's] book focuses on Lucy's early life when she was in foster and then when I adopted her. I helped give an insight into life with an ex-breeding dog and how Lucy progressed over time.
Do you have any rituals to honour Lucy?
I don't have anything specific. To be honest I still find it quite painful each year. But as Lucy was known for her love of cake, we often have cake in her memory.
Do you think life is better with dogs?
I've always been very animal-focused, our first dog when I was much younger was a Welsh Springer Spaniel called Bella and then my first Cavalier was called Izzy. Izzy made me completely fall in love with Cavaliers but sadly she passed away just before her 8th birthday. It's cliche but dogs really do make a house a home. Life doesn't seem complete without a dog, or dogs in my case!
What were Lucy's favourite places to go?
My two other cavaliers, Annabelle and Lady were Lucy's best friends, they would all curl up in a big pile together. They used to go to Cavalier meetups together so they could see all their cavalier friends and enjoy some dog-friendly cake!
Lucy used to love our little adventures, going to events and getting pictured with different celebrities. It used to amaze me after her awful start to life she just took everything in her stride as long as I was by her side.
Did Lucy change your life?
Lucy was my first ever rescue dog and I can honestly say she changed my life immensely. Once you adopt you look back and wonder why you didn't do it sooner. The bond you have, the love you feel for them it's hard to put into words.
From the moment I adopted Lucy, she was like a little old lady, it was guessed she was only around 5 years old but her body was frail from the years of neglect she had endured. However, she loved every single day of her freedom and lived every day happy.
She had the waggiest little tail and as long as she had me by her side and some treats she was happy. I just wish we had found each other sooner, she was my little soul mate.
Are Lucy and Plum Pudding similar?
Lucy was rescued at around 5 years old whereas Pudding was rescued at around 6 months so they were very different in the stages of their life. Lucy was happy to eat, sleep, cuddle and repeat as long as I was by her side. Pudding is the same, just with a bit more mischievousness thrown in (she has a fascination with toilet rolls!)
How will Lucy's win help other dogs?
Our main goal is to raise awareness for rescue dogs and to show people what incredible members of the family they are given the chance. Lucy winning the SuperDog award further raises the profile of rescue dogs, and it will also highlight puppy farming.
Will Plum Pudding follow in her sister's paw-steps?
Pudding, like Lucy, continues to show people that adopting truly changes lives, both theirs and yours. We've had many people say to us that they have adopted since following our social media pages and that is so special to us.
Is Lucy's Law adopted elsewhere?
The ripple effect for change is so important. Northern Ireland are currently also looking to adopt Lucy's Law which Marc is helping them with and hopefully more countries will follow.