A HERO hound could be taking a bow-wow-wow at the Echo’s Pride of Wearside awards.
German shepherd Sam, who will join owner Scott Andrew on a charity trek around the British coast next year, has been nominated in the Local Hero and Fundraiser of the Year categories.
The mammoth hike will see the pair cover 11,127 miles in six months, heading clockwise around the nation from Roker.
Dad-of-two Scott, from Ryhope, who is hard at work arranging the trip, put his marvellous mutt forward for the annual honours, which will culminate in a glittering ceremony Stadium of Light later this month.
“He is a brilliant dog,” he said. “When we’re out and about on walks, he’s like a celebrity.
“Everyone knows him locally and wants to come up and say hello.
“It’s a bit like being with a TV star.”
Setting off on March 16, they hope to raise up to £200,000 for the good causes.
Asda worker Scott said: “I’ve already held a collection in one of the stores at Leechmere and we managed to raise £373. But it was Sam who was the big attraction.
“He helped us reach that target. Shoppers were rushing up to see him and make a donation.
“We’ll be holding another collection in the Seaham store on December 14.
“And once the walk has started, we’re going to visit 41 stores around the coast to raise more money.”
However, despite spending months on the road, the 51-year-old said he was not worried about becoming lonely.
“I’ve never even thought about loneliness.
“Besides, I’ll be with my best friend.
“We usually walk 10 to 15 miles a day anyway and I’ll be seeing places I’ve never seen before. It’s going to be like a big adventure.”
Scott said Asda, where he works as a warehouseman, has given him a career break to complete the walk.
“They’ve been 100 per cent behind us and we couldn’t have done it without their support,” he said. “We’ve also had a fantastic response from the public.”
To make a donation to Scott and Sam’s charity drive, visit www.justgiving.com/teams/scottandsamgoforawalk
NOW in its seventh year, the Pride of Wearside is a chance to give our city’s unsung heroes the recognition they deserve.
There are 11 categories to enter.
They are Child of Achievement, Community Champion, Child of Courage, Safer Community, Sporting Achievement, Student of the Year, Community Group, Fundraiser of the Year, Local Hero, Local Force Hero and Green Champion.
The deadline for entries has been extended to November 9.
Winners will be awarded at a ceremony at the Stadium of Light, on November 21.
•To make a nomination in the Pride of Wearside 2012 visit www.sunderlandecho.com/community/events-exhibitions