Office dog who helps owner teach first aid named Britain's Best
A CLEVER pooch who helps his owner teach first aid has been named Britain's Best Office Dog.
Axl the Rhodesian Ridgeback left 90 other competitors behind to win the national title.
The six-year-old pooch, who lives with his owner Kerry Rhodes in Elloughton, was nominated by one of the students in his class.
Axl and Kerry, 42, teach dog owners and those working with canines how to perform first aid if man's best friend gets into trouble.
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Kerry said: "I was absolutely thrilled when I found out he had won. He has had so much support from everyone, it has been fantastic.
"He led from the beginning though – he had far more votes than any other competitors."
The competition was run by Red Rocket Media and urged dog-lovers to vote for Britain's Best Office Dog via Twitter and Facebook.
Competition was fierce, with Axl's list of competitors including Ralph, who has his own blog; Maisie, who can do pig impressions; Daniel the spaniel, who works in IT; and Dexter, who has his own Twitter account.
Kerry said: "He had about 480 'likes' on his photograph on Facebook the day before the competition closed.
"People could also vote on Twitter, but I couldn't tell how many votes he had on that because the tweets get lost down the list as the day goes on."
Axl's prize is £75 of vouchers for Muddy Paws, a boutique for pets.
But the vouchers will not be spent on a new collar or bed for Axl, as Kerry will be donating them to Midlands and Northern Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue for use as a raffle prize.
Axl's framed certificate will be added to his countless dog show medals and rosettes at the Rhodes' home, as proof of his new title.
The Mail asked Kerry why she thought Axl was worthy of the honour of being Britain's Best Office Dog.
She said: "He is such a mellow fellow. I don't come across anyone who doesn't fall for him straight away.
"It takes a very calm and relaxed dog to allow strangers to come up to him and practise bandaging.
"With all that touching and prodding, some dogs would get very agitated but Axl is calm and just sits there and lets them do it.
"The students just fall in love with his nature."
The courses are called Rhodes 2 Safety, for which Axl has also "written" a book. Rhodes 2 Recovery ... Doggy Style is a humorous story about Axl's numerous scrapes and adventures, combined with a step-by-step guide on how to perform canine first aid.
Kerry, who lives with her family, Axl and her other dog Rain, said: "The book has just gone international – we sold the first one in America this week. Someone in Kentucky requested one.
"The book is proving popular. We've been really impressed.
"The book and the courses are how a lot of people know Axl, so I think that is why he got a lot of votes in the competition."
Visit www.rhodes-2-safety.co.uk to buy a copy of the book.