Voice 1: If there was a competition to find the most intelligent and talented dog in the world, pet owners from Ap Lei Chau to Zurich would be clamouring that their pet deserve to win the trophy. Many believe their pooch is the most intelligent animal in the world bar none.
Voice 2: The winner of last year’s popular UK TV show ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ wasn’t a singer, or a boy band or a dancer. In fact, the greatest talent in the UK in 2012, according to the public vote at the end of show, wasn’t a human at all. It was Pudsey, a dancing dog. Voice 1: There is no doubt that dogs have a certain level of intelligence and can be trained to do all sorts of things, even dancing round a stage and winning the hearts of thousands of television viewers. But they can be trained to carry out important tasks as well.
Voice 2: Dogs can be taught to lead a blind person or rescue people trapped in earthquakes or avalanches. And often in these situations, a dog will show natural intelligence as well as skills taught by training.
Voice 1: If a way to assess a dog’s talents and intelligence is how well it can support a person in need, there is no doubt that the title of the ‘World’s Superdog’ should go to Eli, a six year-old Labrador retriever owned by Lorna Marsh. Lorna was born with cerebral palsy and is quadriplegic, and Eli is her lifeline.
Voice 2: Eli the Superdog has been trained to carry out a staggering total of three hundred and sixty tasks that support Lorna throughout her day. He can take letters to the post box and post them, pay for items in shops, tuck Lorna up in bed at night before he goes to bed himself, unload the washing machine and open the pedal bin in the kitchen.
Voice 1: When Lorna leaves the house, Eli zips up her jacket for her and when she return, he pulls off her socks. Eli is so keen to help that he teaches himself tasks that he sees need to be done. He learns things by copying human behaviour, and his energy and enthusiasm know no bounds as he watches over Lorna as she goes about her day.
Voice 2: Eli the Superdog was trained by Canine Partners, a charity that provides dogs for the disabled so that they can lead as full a life as possible. When Lorna first met Eli four years ago, he could already carry out more than two hundred tasks, and since then he has added a hundred-odd more to his list of duties.
Voice 1: The first time Eli came to Lorna’s home, he did something remarkable that cemented the relationship between them. Lorna dropped the remote control that raises her bed so she can sit up. Eli hadn’t been taught the command for picking up the remote control, but he just did it and placed it into Lorna’s hand.
Voice 2: And that was the beginning of the strong bond between Lorna and her amazing dog. Eli doesn’t need to win a competition to show that he is a super dog. He proves his status to his owner and number one fan every day - and that is enough for both of them.