A retired search dog who was believed to have been the oldest working Mountain Rescue dog in the UK has been awarded an “animal OBE” for her service.
Before hanging up her lead back in 2020 at the age of 14, Skye the Border Collie had carried out 200 searches during her 11 impressive years of working in the Lake District fells, and it’s because of these countless courageous acts that she has been awarded a prestigious PDSA Order of Merit this week.
The PDSA Order of Merit was set up in 2014, is known as the animals’ OBE, and according to the charity, recognises animals that display outstanding devotion to their owner or wider society, and go above and beyond companionship.
Born in 2006, Skye served as a puppy trainee with Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue Team (MRT), and after qualifying as a Mountain Rescue Search Dog in 2009, she went on to serve with Duddon and Furness, Langdale and Ambleside, and finally, Kendal MRT, where she finished her career.
Skye and her handler, John Leadbetter, also attended searches outside their MRT areas in Lancashire, the Pennines, and Scotland.
During her expansive career, Skye searched day and night in all kinds of weather, even in the face of 70 to 80mph wind, and had worked in the highest Lake District Mountains, some of the remotest valleys, and even Morecambe Bay’s coastal expanse.
Skye is the 36th animal to receive the PDSA Order of Merit.
Speaking on the renowned achievement, Mr Leadbetter said: “Skye means everything to me, she’s my best friend on the fells and we’re life-long partners.
“To see her receive the PDSA Order of Merit is a truly humbling and touching experience, and it’s a wonderful recognition of the time and hard work that search dogs and their teams dedicate to mountain safety.
“To say we’re chuffed is an understatement.”
“Skye is a worthy recipient of the PDSA Order of Merit for her long and distinguished career of outstanding service to society,” the charity said.
Jan McLoughlin – Director General at PDSA – added: “We’re incredibly proud to be honouring Skye with our PDSA Order of Merit as her exceptional skills and outstanding devotion above and beyond that of normal companionship make her a very worthy recipient.
“We feel this is a fitting tribute to her lifetime of dedication and hard work.
“Her long and distinguished career has not only seen her protect and help people in danger, her ambassadorial work has helped to raise important funds and increase awareness of the incredible work these Mountain Rescue teams perform.”
Now almost 16, Skye is enjoying her retirement with Mr Leadbetter and his family – who say she still loves to get out on the hills and fells, only just at a slightly slower pace these days.
Portugal deny claims Ronaldo threatened to leave World Cup after being benched
Portugal have denied recent claims that Cristiano Ronaldo threatened to leave the 2022 World Cup after he was benched before their match against Switzerland.
Speaking in an official statement, the Portuguese FA rubbished a number of reports that their all-time leading goalscorer and national hero threatened to leave the tournament following manager Fernando Santos’ decision to drop him ahead of the game in the round of 16.
Ironically, the previous European champions weren’t left in short supply of goals, as they went on to win in a staggering 6-1 victory against the Swiss, with Ronaldo only coming on for 17 minutes at the end.
Nevertheless, the Portugal Football Federation (FPF) has insisted that no such conversation took place between the player and head coach Santos. As per national outlet A Bola, Ronaldo has apparently also made it clear that his country’s success at Qatar 2022 is his top priority.
The FPF went on to clarify in the statement: “Cristiano Ronaldo builds up a unique track record every day at the service of the national team and the country, which must be respected and which attests to the unquestionable degree of commitment to the national team.”
They also went on to thank him for his dedication and continued contribution to the squad by coming on as a substitute regardless of his reaction to being dropped.
The statement concludes by saying that the “players, coaches and FPF structure is, as it has been since the first day, fully committed and enthusiastic in building what the country wants to be Portugal’s best-ever participation in a World Cup.
Featured Image — Portugal/Cristiano Ronaldo (via Twitter)
Peter Kay issues heartfelt thanks to Manchester fans and teases ANOTHER big announcement
Peter Kay has sent a lovely message to fans in Manchester after making his triumphant return to the live scene last weekend.
The Bolton comedian has just ticked off the first two nights of a mammoth run at the AO Arena, which includes 42 Manchester shows between now and 2025.
On his opening night – his first real venture into the spotlight since he largely stepped away from the public eye 12 years ago – he was moved to tears by the standing ovation he received before he’d even started the show.
And now Peter has issued a heartfelt thank you message.
He said in a statement: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who came to the first shows in Manchester.
“It was incredible to be part of such a happy experience.
“Everybody deserves a bit of joy. Here’s to a lot more in the shows to come!!”
And that’s not all – his post also hinted that there’s yet another announcement to come (because apparently more than 100 tour dates and breaking the internet with ticket demand wasn’t enough).