A PORTLAOISE dog is in the hunt for the Nose of Tralee.
Hunter the Golden Labrador is the county’s representative in the canine equivalent of the iconic annual competition. However, that’s probably the least remarkable thing about this special dog.
His owner Stef McGinn explained that the happy three year old dog was incredibly caring of her three children who have autism; DJ aged six and four year twins Áine and Aoifá.
“He is not an assistance dog but he always does things to assist. If they drop something he will go over and pick it up and bring it to them. If they are crying, he will go over and bark to alert me.”
Such is Hunter’s care for the children, if they were to drop some food on the ground his instinct is not to eat to bring it back over to them.
Once the kids are in bed Hunter often goes in and gives them a good-night lick on the cheek.
“He is amazing, I could have asked for any more, even if he was an assistance dog,” said Steff. “He’s literally always smiling. I know that sounds stupid, he is a dog but look at that photo, he’s always like that. His tail is always wagging.”
Hunter is now three and has been with the family since he was just six weeks old. He was selected as the Laois Nose of Tralee in the national competition organised by Pet Sitters Ireland. The final will be decided by public vote. To vote go onto the Pet Sitters Ireland Facebook page and click on its Nose of Tralee App. The closing date is the 18 August.