Shropshire photo competition finds top dogs close to home

A publisher in Shropshire searched internationally to find the world's most photogenic pooches – and found at least some of the top dogs close to home.

A giant leap for dog kind by Rummy.
A giant leap for dog kind by Rummy.

And now the likes of Ellie, Bess, Freddie and Dennis have lined up with Spot, Gizmo, Jasper, and many others for a book that celebrates the joys and challenges of dog ownership.

A giant leap for dog kind by Rummy.

The book, called My Friends Who Don't Have Dogs, marries a poem by author Anna Levin with images of dogs chosen from entries to a competition run by Merlin Unwin Books of Ludlow.

Lydia Unwin from the publishers said: "The book is a moving poem about dog ownership and the impact dogs have on an owner's life.

"We ran an international photo competition for dog owners to send us photos of their pets. All entries have been featured on a dedicated Instagram page.

Walkies for Coco.

"We were delighted by the response. People sent in their photos from as far as Europe and even Canada. We also had some lovely photos from dog owners much closer to home.

"It was a lovely book to publish and a pleasure to see all the entries. The character of each dog really brings the verse to life.

"We asked independent judges to select the 66 winning dog photos within the book. This was no mean feat as there were lots of opinions as to what makes a great dog photo and which dog suits a given line in the poem.

Ellie, owned by Paige Ingram of Ludlow.

"All winning entries to the competition received a complimentary copy of the book, and the feedback so far has been very positive with people sending in photos of their dogs next to the book.

"A lady called Sharon Dewstowe is a regular visitor to Ludlow, she comes once per year to the town with her dog Jasper, who features on page 108 of the book. She came to the office to collect her copy in person and we met Jasper.

Some of the competition entries.

"Ludlow is a dog friendly-town. There are many people visiting the town who bring their dog. This is a book that will strike a chord with all dog lovers, but also those ‘friends who don’t have dogs’ can see the joys they bring. It is stocked or can be ordered to all UK bookshops, it’s available on the Merlin Unwin Books website, and in Ludlow from the Castle Bookshop and The Ludlow Assembly Rooms shop."

Freddie is owned by Sue Bradley of Ludlow

The book, which is hardback and costs £9.99, includes images of dozens of dogs, and the full list of local dogs featured is: Coco, owned by Victoria Galbraith of Pentre, Chirk; Rummy, owned by Maria Pound of Bitterley; Ellie, owned by Paige Ingram of Ludlow; Rhaegar, owned by Emmie Parton from Lucton; Budweiser, owned by Jo Evans of Tenbury Wells; Bess, Charlie, and Max, all owned by Jo Potter of Ludlow; Freddie, owned by Sue Bradley of Ludlow; and Dennis, owned by Julian Taylor of Ludlow.

Rhaeger owned by Emmie Parton of Lucton

Anna Levin is a journalist and author, and a former section editor with the BBC Wildlife Magazine. She lives in Cambridge with her family and terrier pup Canna.

You can see the gallery of pictures on Instagram at @my_friend_who_dont_have_dogs.

Relax, Max.
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