A dog from Renfrew has fought off competition from hundreds of other pets to be crowned Scotland’s Top Pet Model.
Clyde, a Briard, topped the public vote to conclude the nationwide search, started in May by Vets4Pets’ 24 Scottish practices.
In total 480 pets were nominated by their owners for the competition, that was launched to find a special pet that deserved some time in the spotlight.
As part of the prize for winning, Clyde took part in a photo shoot at the beautiful National Trust for Scotland’s Pollok House.
Clyde’s owner, Jean Eckford, said: “When I heard Clyde had won the competition and the public had picked him as their winner, I was absolutely over the moon.
“Throughout October when the final voting was taking place I was checking Facebook nearly ten times a day to see how Clyde was getting on and making sure that all our family and friends had voted for him.
“I know first-hand what a special pet Clyde is, but for other people to recognise that and vote for him was a very overwhelming and proud feeling for me.
“Everyone in our local community loves Clyde because he is such a sociable dog and he wants to befriend everyone he meets. The school children even call him Chewbacca.
“Normally people can’t resist walking past Clyde without giving him a pat, but recently people have been recognising him from the competition, so we always get people coming up to us when we are out walking. It’s almost like he’s become a local celebrity.”
The ten-year-old dog was nominated by Jean, after he overcame a battle with cancer and then sadly lost his companion Fluke to the same disease shortly after.
“A few months ago we went through a hard time, when we sadly lost our other Briard, Fluke, to cancer whilst Clyde was battling the disease too,” added Jean.
“Clyde is a tough cookie and won his fight against cancer after undergoing an operation to have one of his toes removed.
“Although he recovered well, I could tell that Clyde was missing Fluke terribly. Then when I heard about Vets4Pets’ Top Pet Model competition, I knew I had to nominate Clyde because he deserved some extra love and attention.
“I had faith that Clyde could go all the way and win and we are so delighted that he managed to clinch the top spot.”
Between May and September, pet owners from across Scotland nominated their pets into the competition, and each month a pet was selected as that month’s winner to go onto the final vote.
Going into the final in October alongside Clyde were four other finalists; Ziggy the cat from Ayrshire, Leo the rabbit from Kilsyth, Milo the Tibetan Spaniel from Motherwell and Cody the Shetland Sheepdog from Cowdenbeath.
Cody and Milo, who came second and third respectively, also joined Clyde at the photoshoot at the National Trust for Scotland’s Pollok House, and the three dogs, along with their owners, enjoyed a spot of modelling together as a reward.
Lucy Abercrombie, Milo’s owner, commented: “Milo has been shown at a number of competitions so enjoys his time in the spotlight, and the photoshoot at Pollok House was no different, he loved it.
“The photoshoot with Clyde and Cody was a great experience. Milo doesn’t only bring me great joy, but brings happiness to so many other people as a Therapet (therapy pet), and I’m thrilled that he came in the top three of Vets4Pets’ Scotland’s Top Pet Model.”
Kayleigh Reekie, Cody’s owner, said: “This was the first time Cody had done any sort of modelling but I think he thoroughly enjoyed himself and loved meeting the other two finalists too.
“Cody has been a rock for us after we lost our mum in January and I couldn’t be prouder of him for coming second in the competition, he definitely deserves it, he’s a star.”
All finalists represented their Vets4Pets practice, and in Clyde’s case this was Vets4Pets Paisley Phoenix.
Alemu Shewakena, owner and veterinary surgeon, who also attended the photoshoot, couldn’t be prouder of him.
“We always love seeing Clyde and Jean in the practice, as they are such lovely clients of ours, and we are all delighted that Clyde has triumphed in the competition,” said Alemu.
“As vets, we are lucky enough to see numerous wonderful pets in our surgeries every day, and we wanted to create an opportunity for their stories to be heard which is why we launched the Scotland’s Top Pet Model competition.
“We’ve loved seeing so many owners getting involved across the past six months. It really goes to show how much people care about their pets and consider them as a member of the family.
“We want to thank everyone for entering the competition and say a big well done to Clyde for becoming our Scotland’s Top Pet Model 2016.”
For more information about Vets4Pets’ Scotland’s Top Pet Model competition, please visit, www.vets4pets.com/scotland-hub