Dogstival Awards

Honouring dogs and dog-friendly businesses who go that extra paw!

At Dogstival HQ we love dogs of all shapes and sizes and it’s about time we honoured them. Launching in 2019 will be the first Dogstival Awards and we’re going to need your help to seek out nominations!!

With five separate categories, designed to highlight the incredible things dogs achieve, how they help people with needs or disabilities, but also the unique characters they have. Dogstival organisers are also seeking to highlight some of the many dog-friendly businesses across the Forest who ‘go the extra mile’ for visitors and locals with their pets. Dogstival is about celebrating the joy and companionship dogs bring to our lives. But dogs also provide us with a better mental and physical wellbeing plus, there is an army of working dogs out there, trained to do incredible things that change people’s lives for the better. We want to give something back these brilliant canines and honouring them, their owners and businesses at Dogstival is the perfect place to do it

The Dogstival Awards has now closed and the shortlsted nominations below


In the face of adversity, a dog who has overcome a tough start or situation in life.

Sponsored by Hampshire Hounds


1. Wendy Morris and Dog Fleur

From the life on the streets to a kill shelter, barbarically spayed and having contracted distemper. From the kindness of strangers she was rescued, repaired and rehomed. Three weeks into my new life I collapsed needing major surgery and was given a low chance of survival. Following miracle RVC operated pioneering surgery I survived and now live a normal life as a pet and PAT dog, Fleur teaches us to never give up, cruelty knows no boundaries but love and hope conquers all.


2. Sean Laidlaw and Dog Barrie

Sean found Barrie at the begining of her life.. trapped scared and surrounded by her dead family. She quickly became the morale of my team whilst we were in Syria working as civilians to rid the city of Raqqa of IEDS in schools. Hosptials and homes. Barrie helped everyone of us battle the horrors we saw on a daily basis.. but Barrie had her own demons.. She doesn’t want o be alone, scared to be inside and very very territorial! Now she couldn’t be more different.. she is still my morale and continues to help me with my mental health BUT now she is so friendly to everyone.. she loves a lot of attention and cheese. She is an incredible dog from what we can only assume a death sentence of a start in life!

3. Gerri Hickman and Summer

Summer was found on the side of the M25. She was emaciated, in terrible condition and still had milk but sadly no pups were ever found. She was my wedding present and we adopted her two days after our wedding. We now try and give something back to Forever Hounds Trust who saved her. She’s done the Santa Run for them and was part of the team at Pup Aid. She’s a regular attender at street collections and meet & greets, showing how wonderful lurchers and rescue dogs are!


For the dog who has made the biggest change or difference to someone’s life. Be it physically, mentally or from a disability ‘assistance’ perspective.

1. Claire Balcombe and Chester

I have many painful and debilitating conditions. For many years I was bedbound. I had lost my independence, my confidence and my emotions hit rock bottom. My husband who is in the British Army was due a 6 month long deployment when I got the call that I had been matched with my assistance dog Chester. Having Chester has changed my life. He does everything possible to help me, including getting the post, picking up dropped items, opening and closing doors, taking off my clothing, getting tins and items off low shelves and he can even put away the washing!

He alerts me before I collapse and has also got help for me when I suffered a prolapse and then later a miscarriage. My sweet boy even brings me a pillow & blanket if I am unable to get up off the floor.

He has helped me relocate dislocations, provided pressure therapy when my stomach issues have flared and been by my side during every hospital appointment, doctors visit and all injections of medication. Chester is my main supporter and comfort. He is affectionate, loyal and incredibly loving. He strives to help others and has visited wards in hospitals around the country just for a cuddle and to put a smile on poorly people’s faces.

2. Jess Louise and Luna

In 2011, I woke up unable to move due to sudden dizziness and disorientation. This lead to me leaving uni- versity and I was told it wouldn’t go away. I developed agoraphobia and was unable to leave the house alone, until 2014 when Luna arrived. When she was able to go for walks I pushed myself to take her. It was terrify- ing, but Luna made me feel like I wasn’t alone.

Since then my health has deteriorated. I was diagnosed with several conditions including daily migraines, leaving me in chronic pain. Luna began training as my assistance dog and now performs numerous tasks to mitigate my disability. Because of her I even managed to go back to university and graduated last year with her by my side. Luna truly has saved my life. 

3. Emma Smith and dog Bodhi

3 years ago I contracted Sepsis, as a result I have a life altering neurological condition causing disruption to my balance, blood pressure, heart rate, strength and depth perception (to name a few). My mental health suf- fered and leaving the house was near on impossible to me as I felt out of place and utterly unsafe in my own body.

With the help of Canine Generated Independence, CGI Bodhi has been trained as my assistance dog, he is trained in medical alert & response, counterbalance and various mobility and dexterity tasks.

He has opened the world up for me again. I am back to work full time and embracing my differences rather than hiding from them!

Sponsored by Canine Partners


Awarded to a business; be it a pub, hotel, place of work or attraction that really goes that ‘dog friendly’ extra mile.

Sponsored by Shorefield Holidays

1. The Hobler Inn

Situated on a main footpath between Setley Pond and Roydon Woods Nature Reserve in Battramsley, and always have full water bowls, treats jar and on some Sundays Doggie Roasts to join the human ones. The pub has an enclosed garden and lots of parking with adjoining alpacas! They also hold special events like ‘Breakfast and Walkies’, Quizzes, Dog Fancy Dress and a Summer Fete. Emma and Danny are friendly, welcoming and can tell every regular dog by name . with water bolws and biscuits a plenty its a doggie heaven. Just don’t stand up or Sexby the pub spaniel will steal your chair!! 

2. The Mayflower

This stylish coastal pub in Lymington is super dog friendly and the perfect base to start a long walk along the Solent Way, a 60-mile footpath that follows the coast of the Solent. Its all wagging tails at The Mayflower. Dogs are welcomed into the pub area and even in all of the bedrooms if you are staying overnight and there is a lovely large garden area. Apart from the human food and drink they serve Snuffle dog beer and biscuits and there are plenty of dog water bowls for our four legged friends.

3. Greedo Dining

At Greedo dogs are always warmly welcomed at this popular Lymington restaurant, they even have their own K9 Hydration station in the form of an old beer barrel in the garden, and biscuits and a cuddle on demand. Dog of the month snaps hang with pride around the restaurant.




Move over Britains Got Talent....we are looking for a canine with a special trick or that ‘celebrity factor’ that makes us smile, laugh or watch in amazement.

Sponsored by Jollyes Pet Superstores

1. Tess Eagle Swan and Kratu

Kratu made people laugh world- wide with his tunnel tricks at Crufts. He is a rescue dog, assistance dog but most of all he is a huge clown that just loves to make people laugh. He brings joy and sunshine to everyone he meets. He has an amazing presence and a huge personality. After millions of views it is safe to say that Kratu has an incredible celebrity factor so I am nominating him for being so entertaining, making so many smile, laugh and watch in amaze- ment as he does his hilarious performance!

2. Emma Louise and dog Doodles

Doodles loves to play Toto on stage & he also loves doing his circus themed tricks at the shows.

Deborah Fisher and dog Roxy

Roxy has talent ...competes in obedience HWTM and auditions for theatre tv work...she is a rescue bug in turn has rescued me ..and was behind me setting up my present business ...orpington Bark..she helps me train and socialise other rescue dogs...she's inspirational



From the above winners, there one will also be chosen as the “Dogstival Dog of the Year”

Sponsored and selected by Go Get it pet insurance 

Get Your Paws on Tickets

Dogstival will be back on Sat 16th and Sun 17th May 2020 so get that pawprint in your diary

Tickets will be on sale on the 1st Nov 2019


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