Ness and Jack on Burnham-On-Sea beach

The owner of a Crufts-winning Burnham-On-Sea dog is celebrating a double dose of good news after her pet was highly commended at a national awards ceremony and has been featured in a new diary.

Vanessa Holbrow – known as Ness – and her re-homed Border Terrier, Sir Jack Spratticus, were short-listed in an ‘Animal Star Awards’ category.

Earlier this year, the duo won the Crufts 2018 Friends for Life award, as we reported here.

The Animal Star Awards winners were announced at a prestigious awards ceremony on Saturday 3rd November in Guildford.

Ness Holbrow and Sir Jack

Ness, who was unable to attend due to poor health, told “A few months ago we learnt Jack had won a place as a finalist in one of the 16 categories as ‘Rescue Animal Of The Year UK’.”

“Each category had five finalists and Jack was one of the five. Out of these the judges chose a winner and a highly-commended dog to be awarded.”

“To my wonderment, Jack, although not the winner, achieved highly commended! I am completely over the moon! We avidly ‘watched’ events unfold using social media on Saturday.”

Jack was rescued by Border Terrier Welfare in 2012, and is now Ness’ Owner Trained, Assistance Dog for Mental Health.

The dog is credited with saving Ness’ life after helping her overcome various mental health problems.

Jack helped her recover from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD), Dissociative Disorders (DD) and an eating disorder.

Ness said: “Jack’s journey from a rescue dog is extraordinary. I rehomed him at 13 months and I was his fourth home. He was a considerable challenge initially because of his agressive behaviour.”

“We spent many weeks in dog training classes and we even had to go in a broom cupboard initially during lessons because of Jack’s terrible behaviour. He had a lot to learn.”

“Since then, he’s become a wonderful pet and an incredibly special loving companion for me.”

“Jack’s coped with long breaks away from me while I have been in hospital, but he has been there to help me recover. He’s taught me what love is.”

“He’s such a wonderfully friendly dog who’s loved by a lot of people in Burnham-On-Sea.”

“We found Canine Generated Independence last year and he’s now training to be my assistance dog.”

In a double dose of good news this month, a unique photo of Sir Jack sitting on a wooden post has been featured in The Little Dog’s 2019 diary and on a new postcard.

“We found the card – unbeknown to me that it was available on a card, so I was extremely excited – in a local gift shop in Wedmore!” says Ness.

The winning photo features in The Little Dog’s 2019 diary, available here.