A dog who was rescued from death row and taken in by a Nuthall couple is the pin-up star of a 2020 calendar.
Nutmeg, a little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is a happy ten-and-a-half-year-old pet, belonging to Keith and Stephanie Mason.
However, when she was only ten weeks old, she was so poorly that she was taken by her original owners to a vet to be euthanised.
The vet persuaded them to sign her over to a rescue centre which paid for her programme of treatment, lasting three weeks.
Miraculously, Nutmeg recovered, with the help of a foster home, where she recuperated. And at the age of six months, in September 2009, she was re-homed by dog-lovers Keith and Stephanie.
Now, she has been honoured by the Kennel Club who, every year, produce a calendar featuring 12 dogs who have been saved via breed-rescue centres.
Pretty Nutmeg appears as Miss April 2020, helping to raise funds from sales of the calendar which will be used by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust to support a wide variety of valuable work.
Proud Stephanie said: “At her age, Nutmeg is beginning to slow down a bit. But she still enjoys her daily walk and chasing around the garden with her little sister, a three-year-old Cavalier spaniel called Asha.”
The happy life Nutmeg has enjoyed is testament not only to the care and dedication of the Masons but also to her own resilience because, after surviving her early scares, she was hit by another impediment.
“Just before the age of two, she was found to be almost totally deaf,” said retired couple Keith, 70, and Stephanie, 65, of Ayscough Avenue.
“But as soon as it was realised how poor her hearing was, she was trained with hand signals.
“She has never let her deafness stop her doing anything. She doesn’t know she’s deaf. No-one has told her!
“She completed all her Kennel Club Good Citizen awards to gold standard. She also took part in agility competitions, winning her class at her first Kennel Club show. We are very proud of what she has achieved.”
The rescue centre that originally saved Nutmeg’s life is part of the Humberside Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club, near Hull. Volunteers take in unwanted Cavaliers and try to find them homes.