DOG owners in the Helensburgh area have been showing off their precious pets online recently in a virtual competition.

The fun event was organised by the Rhu Bay Facebook page with plenty of prizes up for grabs, including vouchers for the Co-op, Helensburgh Pet Shop and the Mandarin Chinese restaurant, plus a free dog massage from Clyde Canine Massage, a free dog portrait by award-winning photographer Louise Cairns, and some dog biscuits and Prosecco.

The event was organised to plug the gap left by the cancellation of this year’s Rhu and Shandon Gala due to the pandemic - and of the dog show which is a hugely popular feature of the day.

Eight winners were selected from more than 200 entrants: cross-breed Nova, entered by Annmarie Campbell; 16-week-old Cocker Spaniel Ozzy, entered by Jane Murray; Boxer Cuillin, entered by Rhona Price; Dachshund Henrik, entered by Kayleigh Haddow; five-year-old rescue Staffie Logan, entered by Sarah Jane McNee; 14-year-old Scooby, entered by Gill Thompson; eight-and-a-half-week-old Willow, entered by Riana Jones, and 12-week-old Brie, entered by Laura Inkley.

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Adding her submission, Sarah Jane McNee said: “Logan gets a bit of a bad rep for his breed but he is the sweetest, most patient guy ever with my one-year-old son.

“He’s had a bit of a ‘ruff’ time as he fractured his lower canine last year and had to have two surgeries.

“I think we should win as my husband could benefit from a wee treat. He is a response police officer in Glasgow and is working the front line with next to no PPE. He’s also doing most of our shopping so I can stay home and cut our risk of contracting the virus and on top of that he’s being an amazing dad to a very energetic 15-month-old who runs us both ragged.

“The police are often forgotten as front line key workers along with many others who are risking their health to uphold the promise they have made to protect others.”

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Gill Thompson added: “Scooby is 14. He’s almost toothless and completely deaf but so happy to have his whole family locked down with him.

“Please vote for him because since we rescued him at seven-months he’s been our family’s best friend and deserves a treat.”

Riana Jones wrote: “Willow is only eight-and-a-half-weeks-old. She is so bubbly, loving and super cute. She is being trained to be an emotional support dog, helping me to see the light in the world and to know that there is still something good to hold on for.

“She isn’t just a dog, she’s my best friend.”

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Annmarie Campbell said: “This is my dog Nova, he is a cross-breed, he has got a good nature and he is protective over my four kids. He has been through a lot since when he was a pup, we got him from Milton rescue home, he loves his cuddles and is so laid back.”

Jane Murray said: “This is Ozzy, he’s a 16-week-old cocker and is desperate for different walks and to meet lots of new puppy friends.”

And Rhona Price said: “This is Cuillin, he’s keeping us all smiling through lockdown.”

A spokesperson for Rhu Bay said: “The competition was extremely well supported beyond expectations and well received by all our communities and in fact further afield, with many asking for a re-run and for it to be rolled out again in the future.”

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