Labrador Alice finalist in Dogs Trust awards

editorial image

A hero dog from Wallsend has made it into the final for the annual Dogs Trust Honours awards.

Alice, a two and a half year old chocolate Labrador, is hoping to get her paws on the Hero Service award for her amazing act of dedication and devotion with her work as a canine partner to Melvin O’Dowd.

Alice is a Canine Partners assistance dog and arrived with the O’Dowd family in November 2012.

Ex-serviceman Melvin O’Dowd was in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers serving in Germany and Northern Ireland where he was injured in a bomb blast.

Diagnosed with a spinal injury and post traumatic stress disorder, he is a wheelchair user and looks after his 15-year-old son on his own, dealing with his learning difficulties.

Alice is constantly by Melvin’s side and knows instinctively how to make life better for him.

Melvin said: “I feel that everyone else in my life seems to want something when I ask for help, but not Alice.

“She gets me and my son up every morning, helps me get dressed, helps me with the washing and makes sure I can get in and out the car safely. She makes me feel very secure and truly is man’s best friend.”

Recently Melvin collapsed in the bathroom but Alice immediately raised the alarm by pulling the emergency cord despite only being shown how to use it once before. Thanks to Alice, within five minutes of collapsing Melvin had carers with him and they called an ambulance.

To vote for Alice to win, visit

The winning dogs will be recognised for their acts of outstanding bravery, dedication and devotion in London on July 23.