A GUIDE dog which risked its own life to save his owner could be voted the best in Britain.
Texan the Labrador cross is in the final three for the coveted national Guide Dog of the Year award – much to the delight of his owner Lara Welch.
Registered blind, the 23-year-old works on reception at the council’s Saxon Court offices, where, unbeknown to visitors, Texan sits quietly beneath her desk.
She relies on him to commute daily from her Bletchley home, catching a bus or train to CMK station and then walking to the council offices.
Last year the pair were walking their usual route and about to cross a road when Texan suddenly hesitated.
“I could hear the engine of a car nearby and it seemed to be parked in the road. Thinking it would be OK, I walked forward,” said Lara.
“Half way across Texan suddenly barged in front of me and stood there, preventing me from moving.
“Then I heard another car whizzing past at full speed.”
The car, which missed Texan by inches, had overtaken the parked vehicle and not seen Lara, she said.
“There’s no doubt that Texan avoided a very nasty accident. I could easily have been killed.”
On another occasion Texan was attacked by another dog at Milton Keynes station.
Stoically he guided Lara to work, and it was only when she arrived that she noticed he had two painful wounds in his side.
“He is amazing. I honestly don’t know what I would do without him,” she said.
The pair will travel to the Guide Dog of the Year prize-giving ceremony in London on July 19.
Meanwhile, Lara is busy teaching Texan more homely tricks when they relax together after work.
“I’ve already taught him to put things in the bin for me and he’s now learning to put the dirty washing in the machine when I ask him to,” she said.
“I have trouble bending down, so that’s a real help.”