One of the best known folk tales in Wales is the story of faithful hound Gelert and as part of S4C’s Legends month, an appeal has been launched to find Wales’ bravest dog.
The channel is searching for stories of brave, heroic and loyal canines. As part of a competition on the nightly magazine programme Heno. And the prize for the winner is a year's worth of dog food provided by pet food company, Pero.
During the month, Heno will celebrate the fantastic achievements of some truly heroic dogs, and those four legged friends who provide a great help or comfort for their owners.
One of these is the homesick sheepdog Pero who travelled 240 miles from Cumbria to Ceredigion to be reunited with his owners. And the special bond between Wini Lwyd and Malan Wilkinson, proves that dogs really are a 'man’s best friend’.
“When you have a pup as a little one, you bond straight away. Once you are friends you will be friends forever,” says Alan James, owner of Pero the sheepdog who lives in Penrhyncoch, Ceredigion.
“Pero went to a farm in Cockermouth, Cumbria to do some work with the sheep but he was homesick. He refused to do anything, he missed us too much. He escaped from the farm and travelled 240 miles to come back to us. How he found his way home we will never know. Pero is by now a local hero. When I go to the Royal Welsh Show, people know Pero before me!”
The story of the special relationship between Wini Lwyd and her owner Malan Wilkinson is sure to bring a tear to the eye. Malan, who is from Caernarfon, has talked openly in the past about her battle with depression. She thanks Wini for helping her through some of the darkest times.
“There is something about Wini that has helped me through the darkest times and taking her out for walks is the best feeling,” says Malan. “I love the fact that S4C is looking for a heroic dog, without a doubt Wini is my hero. On days when I’ve struggled to get out of bed, wash and do the most basic of things, Wini has put her paw on my shoulder and we start the day together.”
The competition is open until 14 November and the winner will be selected by a special panel of judges. The prize is a year worth of dog food by North Wales based company, Pero who are sponsoring the competition and a hamper of products.
The judges are former Miss Wales, Sara Manchipp who is also ambassador for RSPCA’s Llys Nini centre, vet Dr Lowri Davies and Jonathan Rees, from Pero dog food company.
“We believe that the bond between a dog and their owner is special, and should be celebrated. It’s fantastic to partner alongside S4C to find Wales’ bravest dog, and from what we’ve seen already, we’re in for a treat!” says Jonathan Rees, Director at Pero.
To take part, send a picture and a description of your dog to firstname.lastname@example.org