Towy Valley guide dog makes it to final at Crufts

South Wales Guardian: Konrad Galen-Bisping of Talley and his guide dog Radley who have made it to the final of Friends for Life in this year's Crufts. Konrad Galen-Bisping of Talley and his guide dog Radley who have made it to the final of Friends for Life in this year's Crufts.

A TALLEY guide dog that helped his owner to trust again following a brutal pick axe attack has made the final of the Friends for Life competition at Crufts 2014.

Labrador and Golden Retriever cross Radley came into former soldier Konrad Galen-Bisping’s life after he had suffered a horrific attack at the hands of a fellow soldier while serving in the army in 2003.

After being blinded by the attack, which saw a pick axe embedded into the back of his skull, Konrad spent more than two years in hospital, didn’t want to leave the house and refused to trust anyone.

However, Radley changed all that and gave Konrad, 37, a new lease of life, even managing to find his owner a wife.

“I didn’t want a guide dog because it would mean going outside and I didn’t want to do that,” said former Lance Corporal Konrad.

The ex-soldier said he wasn’t able to trust anyone, but there was something about Radley’s nature that drew him to man’s best friend.

‘He gave me back my life.’

Konrad’s wife worked at a local gym and Radley was an ice-breaker, the couple now have three children.

“I suffer anxiety attacks when I’m out and about but Radley can tell and he’ll come over and give me a nudge as if to say ‘what’s wrong dad?’

“He has given me everything and I wouldn’t be here today if he wasn’t in my life.”

The Friends for Life competition celebrates the heart-warming stories of friendship in adversity, where dogs have truly earned the title of man’s best friend, through bravery, support or companionship.

The Kennel Club, which runs Crufts, named Radley as one of their five finalists for the Friends for Life competition and the public can vote for the guide dog to win by calling 0844 646 0203.

The winner will be announced on Sunday, March 9, at Birmingham’s NEC.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club spokesperson, said: “Radley and Konrad have a truly inspirational story and such a close partnership and they have done so well to reach the final of the Crufts Friends for Life competition.

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