A DOG who was attacked with a machete in Sri Lanka and rescued by a Warwickshire couple, is a finalist in the running for a Brave Briton award.
Sinhalese hound Kandy, was savaged by her owner and dumped on the beach at just one-year-old.
And now she has reached the final four in the Hero Pet category in hearing specialist Amplifon’s search for the ‘Best of British’.
After her ordeal she was taken in by a local dog rescuer, and multiple calls to rehome her went unanswered and she faced an uncertain future.
But Observer editor Laura Kearns contacted the rescuer, who she met during previous holidays to the South Asian country, and said as a last resort she would find a way to take the dog.
She and partner James Pedley raised the some £2,000 needed through a fund-raising page and held a fun day, while also using their savings to rescue Kandy – who is named after the Sri Lankan city where she was fostered.
And in January Laura, her friend Sophie Williams and sister Rebecca, drove ten hours to Frankfurt to collect Kandy from the airport.
But even the journey had its troubles when Kandy missed her connecting flight from Dubai. At first no one could trace her, but thankfully she was found and put on a flight to Frankfurt, where she was picked up by the trio and driven to her forever home.
Laura, aged 31, said: “Kandy is one of the lucky ones – she’s survived so much and now has a loving home. She has settled in so well, it’s like she has always been here. We have taken things really easy, constantly bearing in mind that everything is new to her. She hadn’t even seen a television before and she still jumps every time she sees herself in a mirror.”
Kandy was among 50 animals to be nominated in the Hero Pet category before being shortlisted in August.
And now a panel of judges, chaired by Falklands War hero Simon Weston, has named her among the final four, with the winner to be announced next week.
Laura added: “People really invested in Kandy’s story and helped us to get her to the UK. It’s because of everyone who helped us to get her here that she lives safely with us now, so she belongs to everyone in a special way.
“To know someone has even taken the time to nominate Kandy is wonderful. She is definitely a hero to us.
“She has been through so much and, despite it all, she still loves people and lives life to the fullest.
“She has settled in so well that she is truly a British citizen now.”
Kandy and Laura will attend the virtual awards presentation, hosted by Radio 5 Live presenter Rachel Burden on Tuesday (October 13). Falklands War hero Simon Weston will be guest of honour.