The life-saver with four legs and a wagging tail

Kerenza Holzman with her Canine Partner Whisky PICTURE BY KATE SHEMILT C131360-5 ENGSUS00120130930164244
Kerenza Holzman with her Canine Partner Whisky PICTURE BY KATE SHEMILT C131360-5 ENGSUS00120130930164244

KERENZA Holzman’s dog Whisky is not just her best friend – he has transformed her life.

Kerenza, who lives in Heyshott, has nominated her Canine Partner assistance dog Whisky for a Crufts Friends For Life award.

Now she is asking others to give Whisky a pat on the back – or head – for all his support and companionship, by voting for him. The Crufts Eukanuba Friends For Life category celebrates stories of friendship in adversity.

Kerenza said: “Without Whisky, I’m not sure I’d be here. He’s transformed my life and pulled together a fractured family.

“I do get some funny looks when I’m in a park and shout ‘I need Whisky!’”

Whisky helps Kerenza with household chores and to overcome the crippling pain she is in every day.

“In 2005 I had everything, a promising career as a diplomat saw me posted to Saudi Arabia where I helped British people in trouble. “Then my life was turned upside down as I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and myalgeic encephalopathy (ME), a neurological disorder that has left me in a wheelchair, in constant pain and reliant on carers.

“I already had a serious condition which affects the nerves. It felt like my body was giving up. I lost my home and my job, my son had to move schools and we ended up sharing a room at my parents’ home. I felt utterly worthless. My salvation had four legs and a tail. I’m still in constant pain and crippled by energy-sapping fatigue, but with Whisky by my side I’ve been able to build a life for my son and me again.

Kerenza and Whisky also give something back by selling crafts to raise money for Canine Partners.

“After six long years of stud, Whisky accompanied me when I collected my degree at our graduation and he got the biggest cheer of the day. He’d been by my side as I’d studied and sat my exams. I miss my old life, but today I have a new life filled with purpose thanks to Whisky. I want everyone to know how much I owe him. Without him our family wouldn’t be what it is today – strong, happy and united.”

Anybody can nominate a Friend for Life online at www.crufts.org.uk

The deadline is January 9, 2015.