The biggest dog ever to be rehomed by Dogs Trust, the country’s largest dog welfare charity, has been crowned the Dog of the Year at a star-studded ceremony at the Grosvenor Hotel, London Friday.
Tipping the scales at 100kg – the same weight as a heavyweight boxer or baby elephant – the mammoth Mastiff called Galahad, walked the red carpet at the Daily Mirror’s People’s Pet Awards and rubbed shoulders with stars including BBC broadcaster Nicky Campbell, Great British Bake Off winner Giuseppe Dell’Anno and the Duchess of Cambridge’s brother and owner of six dogs James Middleton.
Galahad, who likes nothing more than resting his giant frame on his own three-seater sofa for a dog nap, took the attention in his stride. A seasoned media performer, he made global headlines in May when an appeal to find him a new home went viral.
Dogs Trust Chief Executive Owen Sharp, who with 80’s pop icon Shirlie Kemp, Love Island host Laura Whitmore and BBC broadcaster Nicky Campbell* were among the judges who chose Galahad said: “I’ve heard so much about Galahad and it was brilliant to finally have the chance to meet the lovable giant. The entire judging panel were touched by the gentle giant’s journey to finding his forever home.
“The stories behind the award winners are all so heart-warming and inspirational – from campaigners who are working to change the law to help animals, to animals who have changed the lives of the people they share theirs with, just like Galahad.”
Broadcaster and Dogs Trust patron Eamon Holmes who presented the award to Galahad said: “I think it’s amazing that this beautiful animal has found its forever home thanks to Dogs Trust.
“The Dimmock family [who adopted Galahad] obviously love him, despite the size of the undertaking of looking after him. This is a massive animal and his family have made a massive commitment, but they are all so happy. It makes me very proud to see dogs in loving families. There is a family for every dog and that’s why we should adopt them.”
Galahad’s owners, the Dimmock family from Canterbury – Colin, Lindy, 15-year-old Matthew and their other dog Odie – adopted him in June, during lockdown.
Speaking at the event Colin said: “It feels quite surreal that he’s won this award, but he’s a really special dog and we’re thrilled. We’re so grateful to Dogs Trust for bringing him into our lives. Galahad is the fourth really big dog we’ve had and is the biggest of them all. Every one of them has been so loveable and loyal.
“He’s absolutely brilliant with Matthew, who is autistic. They have such a great relationship. He loves everything about Galahad, apart from the slobber and his snoring that’s so loud we can hear him from our bedroom!”
Leon Greenland, who works at Dogs Trust Canterbury where Galahad was cared for while a new home was found for him, attended the event. He said: “Galahad made a huge impression on everyone at the centre. We’re absolutely delighted that we were able to find him the perfect family.
“He’d had several homes already and it was so important that this one stuck. His personality is as big as he is and to see him again, with them, and hear about what he’s added to their lives, is wonderful.”
The People’s Pet Awards will be available to watch on YouTube This evening (Tuesday 14 December) at 7pm.
Find out more about the People’s Pet Awards 2021: www.thepeoplespetawards.co.uk