Picture perfect Monty was snapped by owner Julie Morris while enjoying a tranquil cruise along the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal near Talybont-on-Usk last August.
The photograph stole the hearts of dog lovers who voted in their droves for Monty to win the Canal Dog of the Year title ahead of his 12 canine rivals. Monty’s glory has earned him and owner Julie a winter break in a dog-friendly Bannau Brycheiniog holiday cottage, courtesy of Bannau Brycheiniog Holiday Cottages.
In a tightly fought competition shih tzu Maisie from Llangynidr, owned by Helen Griffey, came in second place, while Denise Thomas’ Llangattock-based English Springer Spaniel Magic took third place. Maisie wins a £40 Hay & Brecon Farmers voucher, while Magic is the lucky recipient of three one-hour dog walks courtesy of Smartpets.
Overjoyed owner Julie Morris, of Cambridgeshire, said of Monty’s win: “We had a boat from Cambrian Cruisers for a week in the summer holidays and Monty really enjoyed the boating holiday, as did we. It was such a great holiday, the weather was lovely and the views are to die for.
“When we got home I used my Facebook page to push for votes for Monty to win, and I emailed and rang lots of people too. I think people at work were sick to the back teeth of hearing about it, so they’re glad that we’ve won, but they all want to come on the holiday now!
“We’ve given Monty a bone for being such a good dog. It’s fantastic that we have won; we’re really looking forward to coming back. We would have come back anyway, because we thoroughly enjoyed our week there.”
Carol Williams, Tourism Growth Officer for Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, said: “According to our visitor surveys the canal towpath is one of the most popular walks in the National Park –especially with dog owners. We’ve been absolutely thrilled with the response of dog lovers to our Canal Dog of the Year competition, which celebrated the 200th anniversary of the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.
“We’ve had dogs of all shapes and sizes enter the contest from all over the UK, and it’s been a fantastic way of promoting Bannau Brycheiniog National Park and the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal.”
Julie James, Chairman of Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority, added: “It’s fair to say that this competition has really captured the imagination of pet owners around the UK, and we’ve had some fantastic pictures of dogs in, on or along the Canal. Congratulations to Monty and his owners, I hope they enjoy their return visit to Bannau Brycheiniog National Park.”
Canal Dog of the Year was jointly organised by Bannau Brycheiniog National Park Authority and The Brecon & Radnor Express with support from the Canal & River Trust.
For more information about the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal please visit http://canalrivertrust.org.uk/canals-and-rivers/monmouthshire-and-brecon-canal.