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October 17, 2008 4:46 PM

The financial climate may be looking a bit 'ruff' but you can still count on the unconditional love and loyalty of your canine friend. This year's Westminster Dog of the Year competition celebrated 'man's best friend' (and woman's too of course!) and set competitive juices flowing as all entrants fought it out to be named top dog of 2008.

Local MP, Nick Harvey and his faithful friend Crumpet, a 5 year old Golden Retriever lost out to Bob Spink MP's dogs Jessie and Fuzzy Bear in first place, second place winner Roger Gale's dog Lollie and Andrew Rosindell's dog Buster in third place. Nick said: "Today was a great opportunity to promote the unique relationship between dog and owner. Crumpet may not have won the competition, but he has made me proud once again!".

A loyal guardian to Nick's young children, Crumpet takes her responsibility very seriously. With the patience of a saint, she is often the object of entertainment and a play thing for them (which we are sure she secretly enjoys!) Truly part of the family, Crumpet enjoys long walks and bounding around the countryside.

Now in its 15th year, the Westminster Dog of the Year competition is run by the Kennel Club. The aim of this lighthearted event is to highlight the special relationship between a dog and owner and promote responsible dog ownership. Crumpet was judged by celebrity vet Marc Abraham, Kennel Club Secretary Caroline Kisko and owner of the Westminster Dog of the Year Winner 2007, Mike Hall MP.

Dogs from all shades of the political spectrum will be represented at what has become known as the canine equivalent of the general election. Westminster Dog of the Year rewards contestants on their responsibility as a dog owner and aims to find the nation's 'paw'litical top dog, based on the contestants' good deeds, winning personalities and dogged devotion to their owner - and vice versa.