Posted 2 months ago ago
By Caroline Abbott
Ruby, my five-year-old cavapoo, has been crowned “the UK’s most hopeless guard dog” in a competition run by home security company Boundary – and I’m delighted.
She won us a state-of-the-art, pet-friendly alarm system and subscription worth £350, but I’m more chuffed about the fact she won the title. As far as I’m concerned, it’s another way of saying she’s the UK’s friendliest dog. I got a dog for companionship, not safety, so the fact she’s so sweet-natured suits me down to the ground.
If someone told you to imagine a good guard dog, you’d probably think of a big, brave, scary, intimidating, protective and aggressive hound. Ruby is the total opposite.
She’s not very much bigger than a cat, people we come across on our walks tell us several times a week that she looks like a teddy bear, and when she’s scared, she hides behind my legs.
If someone rings our doorbell, Ruby seems to think our visitor has come just to see her. If we had an intruder, the only way she’d possibly protect the house is by getting under their feet and tripping them up.
She doesn’t meet the criteria to be a therapy dog, but she’s an unofficial one. She’s so friendly and gentle, she has helped several young children in my neighbourhood to overcome their fear of dogs.
We live in Torquay and this morning I was interviewed live by BBC Radio Devon about Ruby and the competition. I’d never been on the radio before, so I was nervous but grateful for the opportunity. I was interviewed by Gordon Sparks, who had clearly done his research.
He had seen Ruby’s Instagram page, which has more than 2,800 followers, and my Twitter account, which has recently been filled with even more dog stories and videos than usual. I think he thought I was the cavapoo-owning equivalent of a “crazy cat lady” – but I explained that I’d just joined the TeamDogs editorial team and spent most of my days reading and writing about dogs, with Ruby by my side. (Best. Job. Ever!)
Gordon asked how I knew Ruby was “the UK’s most hopeless guard dog” and I told him the judges had singled out Ruby for her cute appearance and harmless attitude.
I saw the Boundary competition on Facebook and decided to enter for a bit of fun as it was free, easy and quick to do. I had to provide a short description of Ruby and enter a photo to illustrate why she’s a useless guard dog. I submitted this one:
I’m looking forward to receiving our prize, which is probably worth more than most of the items in our home. It’s going to give me peace of mind, especially on the rare occasions I have to go out and leave Ruby behind – she’s priceless to me.