VIDEO: Pet Daisy nominated for Crufts award after giving Bottesford woman her life back
A PET dog that helped a grieving mother deal with the loss of her son has been nominated for an award.
Tracey Marshall and partner Craig lost their son Jack in October 2011 after the six-year-old died following a two-year battle with a brain tumour.
Jack's battle drew world-wide attention – earning him friendships with celebrities such as Jack Wilshere, Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney.
And although nothing can ever make up for his tragic death, bullmastiff Daisy has given the family some comfort since Jack died.
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Now Mrs Marshall and her beloved pet dog have been nominated for one of the most heart-warming awards at the international dog show Crufts, which started yesterday(Thursday, March 7).
The Kennel Club's Friends for Life competition has been running since 2006 and celebrates heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity, where dogs have earned the title of man's best friend, through bravery, support or companionship.
Mrs Marshall, from Bottesford, admits she found it hard to go on after Jack passed away with Craig back at work and 14-year-old son Josh returning to Frederick Gough School.
But after Daisy entered her life to help try to fill the immense void left by her son's passing, the 40-year-old insists her life started to get back on track.
"You are not meant to outlive your children, but Daisy gave me a bit of my life back," she said. "She just slotted in perfectly, as though she could sense what we were like as a family.
"No parent should have to lose a beloved child and losing our family pet in the same year just added to our misery. The house was so quiet and lonely. Daisy helped to bring love and laughter back into our home and without her I don't know how we would have had the strength to go on.
"People underestimate just how much healing the love of a dog can give, in even the most tragic of times."
Jack was diagnosed as terminally ill last March and the family were told he would not survive the weekend. He passed away six months later.
"Daisy hasn't replaced Jack, but she gives me something to look forward to," Mrs Marshall said.
The winner of the Friends for Life competition will be presented with £1,500 to give to their chosen charity and the other finalists will receive £750, with Mrs Marshall ready to donate the cash to the Jack Marshall Brain Tumour Fund, set up in her son's honour, if Daisy wins.
To vote for Mrs Marshall and Daisy, call the Kennel Club Friends for Life competition line on 0844 646 0203, with lines closing at 6.30pm on March 10.