Top dog Bella and owner Lynn hoping to star at Crufts

Lynn Stacey and Bella.
Lynn Stacey and Bella.
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A Sunderland pooch and her owner are in the running to star at the country’s biggest dog show.

Bella, five, an assistance dog for her Ryhope owner, Lynn Stacey, has been shortlisted for the finals of the Kennel Club’s Eukanaba Friends for Life Competition, to be held at Crufts in March.

She has really brought a lot to my life

Lynn Stacey

Lynn, 50, who has a number of disabilities, relies on the cocker spaniel to help with many daily tasks, as well as providing emotional support and being a constant companion.

And for Lynn, the world would be a very different place without Bella by her side, but is thankful for the light the cocker spaniel has brought to her life.

Lynn said: “She is able to pick things up for me, open and close doors, put clothes in the washing machine and fetches my medication, to name just a few.

“Emotionally, I couldn’t be without her. She gives me so much confidence, to just live life.

“It’s made me more sociable, she has given me more confidence to go out, and she has really brought a lot to my life.”

The Friends for Life competition celebrates heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity, where dogs have truly earned the title of man’s best friend.

For Lynn, the chance to appear at the world’s largest dog show would offer a perfect opportunity to praise her furry friend.

She said: “I didn’t even know I’d been nominated, and I was absolutely in tears when someone told me. It was so emotional that people feel that way about Bella.

“It would be amazing to take part because I’m so proud of her, and for people to see what she brings to my life would be great.”