We are delighted to crown our 4th Nose of Tralee winner and hand over the title to Lenny the ‘Louth Nose’. Lenny is an amazing dog who does a very important job for a very special boy, Daragh.
It’s a honour to have him as our 2017 Nose Winner and we were delighted that his mum Colleen took time to tell us a little bit more about what makes him so special.
Meet Lenny – Nose of Tralee Winner 2017
Pets Name: Lenny
Breed: Golden Doodle
Special Skill: Fully trained service dog for autism. He graduated in August 2015
Favourite Food: He loves his treats.
Favourite Toy: He loves being with the kids on the trampoline.
Favourite Place to Sleep: He loves to sleep in his own bed and if he gets too warm he likes to sleep on the tiles in the kitchen.
Favourite Activity: He loves to go for a walk with his best buddy Daragh. Dargah is 8 years old and has autism.
Most Mischievous Thing They Have Every Done: Because Lenny is trained he doesn’t really get up to anything mischievous, but he is great at opening doors.
How did Lenny come into your life?
Lenny came into our lives in August 2015. We applied for a service dog through My Canine Companion which is a charity based organisation who breed and train dogs for autism and other disorders.
He was a godsend. Daragh never walked anywhere before Lenny came along. One of Daragh’s traits of autism is flight risk. So, Lenny wears a working jacket and Daragh is attached to him with a little belt. Daragh does not want to bolt off when he is with Lenny. This means we, as a family of 6, can go for walks, picnics, into shops, shopping centres, even for a coffee, as Lenny is allowed in all public places.
I have to give My Canine Companion a mention. This is a fantastic charity run organisation who train these dogs. They are professional at what they do and I only wish every child with autism had a dog like Lenny.
Daragh always has a friend in Lenny.
What makes Lenny the most pawtastic dog EVER!
I think he is the most pawtastic dog ever because dealing with Daragh and autism can be challenging and Lenny never bats an eyelid. He’s the best.
Lenny has the softest most gentle nature of a dog. He is so loveable and loves being around us. He thinks he is smaller in size than he actually is though!
Why did you decide to enter the Nose of Tralee?
I entered the Nose of Tralee for one reason only. I wanted to promote and highlight the importance of dogs like Lenny. They don’t get enough recognition and I thought I could do this through the competition.
How did you prepare for the contest and get votes?
Even though Lenny was the Louth Nose he got so much support from my mum’s large family in Co Down. I also worked in Aer Lingus for 11 years so a lot of my ex colleagues voted and supported Lenny. Even family in the UK were voting too.
What did you enjoy most about the Nose Of Tralee?
I enjoyed everything about the Nose of Tralee. It was a great platform to share all that we love about Lenny. I think I tortured my friends and family to vote, but everyone was so supportive.
What advice would you give to the next Nose of your county?
Enjoy it. Don’t enter to win, enter for the wonderful experience it is and who knows you might get a little bonus at the end like I did and your pet might win.
How is Lenny handling his new-found fame?
Lenny is still doing all his normal duties. Fame hasn’t gone to his head yet, but he loves the attention he is getting.
If Lenny could be any super hero who would he be?
If Lenny was a superhero (a superhero is someone who has superpowers) he would be my Daragh. In my eyes Daragh is a superhero because he has to contend with a lot of difficulties that you are or I don’t have to. He has overcome so much and this is with the help of our Lenny.