It could be said Chase the boxer is lucky to compete at this year’s Gore dog show.
The all-breeds championship show was hosted by the Gore and Districts Kennel Association at Hamilton Park at the weekend.
Chase, whose official name is New Zealand Champion Fortress Wildhearted Son, is owned by Norman and Christine Jones of Gore.
Mrs Jones said last year Chase was standing on the couch beside her and he pawed her hand.
‘‘It was like he was trying to tell me something.’’
She examined the dog’s neck and found a small lump.
A trip to the veterinarian confirmed it was a tumour and then the couple took Chase to a Christchurch specialist who diagnosed thyroid cancer.
‘‘He told us we were extremely lucky to find it so early.’’
The thyroid was removed and the dog had chemotherapy.
On Sunday, Chase won boxer best of breed and reserve best dog of the utility group of dogs of which boxers are a part.
The couple showed two other dogs, Ozzie and Zuri.
The family had owned boxers for about 40 years, Mrs Jones said.
‘‘They’re very childlike, they’re naughty, they’re full of personality, they’re very loving, very cuddly but in our opinion they’re beautiful.’’
Kennel association president Sue Pinnow said the show had been very successful with 240 entries.
‘‘We’re quite happy. We’ve had exhibitors travel from Auckland [and] Christchurch.’’
Judges from Ireland, Australia and Japan and Auckland made up the judging panel.
‘‘We’ve been lucky enough to score a very experienced overseas panel.’’
The group also celebrated its 50th anniversary at the weekend.
‘‘It’s a milestone for the club — very special.’’