Dogs Trust hero nomination for Cornish lurcher cross Blitzen

Annie Thomas with Blitzen
Image caption When Annie was found, Blitzen stood in front of her to protect her

An unwanted dog rehomed by a Cornish family has been nominated for a "hero" award for refusing to leave their unconscious 13-year-old daughter.

Annie Thomas from St Agnes was taking the lurcher-collie cross out for a walk when she slipped and fell, knocking herself out.

Blitzen stayed by her side for eight hours until she was rescued.

Annie's mother, Heather Garton, said Blitzen had kept her daughter warm and protected her.

Ms Garton said that when Annie did not return from her walk one afternoon last October she became increasingly worried and eventually contacted Devon and Cornwall Police.

Cold weather

Cornwall Search and Rescue volunteers, who were also involved in the search for Annie, finally found the missing girl about midnight when the light from their torches was reflected in Blitzen's eyes.

"And when Cornwall Search and Rescue actually found her, he went forward and stood in front of her in a protective mode," Ms Garton told BBC News.

"They had to convince him it was ok because they were there to help - only then did he let them by and he went back to her side again."

Annie spent two days in hospital but made a full recovery.

Blitzen is one of four dogs shortlisted for the Dogs Trust Honours hero award.

The Dogs Trust said the weather was extremely cold, so Blitzen's determination to stay by Annie's side "undoubtedly" saved her life.

Blitzen, who is 17-months-old, was rescued from a local dogs' home as a five-week-old puppy.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on 21 May, hosted by Dragons' Den presenter Deborah Meaden.

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