Hornchurch dog-lover hopes for triumph at Crufts contest

PUBLISHED: 15:00 01 January 2017

Jessica Groom with her Jack Russell named Jacob hope to make the final of a Crufts 2017 competition. Photo: Sportsbeat.

Jessica Groom with her Jack Russell named Jacob hope to make the final of a Crufts 2017 competition. Photo: Sportsbeat.


A pet which helped his owner overcome a tragic bereavement has been entered into a prestigious dog competition.

Jessica Groom, 22, of Cornwall Close, Hornchurch has entered her 13-year-old Jack Russell terrier Jacob into the Kennel Club’s Eukanuba Friends for Life category at Crufts, the largest dog show in the world.

The category celebrates dogs that have earned the title of man’s best friend through bravery, support or companionship.

“My old dog passed away, and we were looking to get another around the same time that my dad was very ill,” she said.

“My parents wanted to get me a dog to help me through what my dad was going through, for companionship when he was in hospital.

“We went to the kennels and found Jacob. He came running up to us, and we just fell in love with him there and then.

“He had quite a hard life up until then. His previous owners had been strict with him, they had beaten him and things like that, but he’s been a brilliant dog for us ever since.

“About a week after we brought Jacob home, my dad passed away, so he was a massive help to me, just having him there.”

Jessica said she only felt comfortable talking to Jacob.

“We found comfort in each other really. He is just brilliant for me,” she continued.

She said it would be the “icing on the cake” if Jacob won the top prize at the category showpiece on Sunday, March 12. Jessica insists no dog is more deserving of the recognition than Jacob.

“I used to be very shy and never used to go out, but since I got Jacob, I’ve taken him to dog shows and lots of other things. He has helped me come out of my shell,” she said.

“It would mean everything to us if we got to the final. I want other people to realise how amazing he is, because he is everything to me.”

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