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24th Aug 2023

Loyal pup who comforted owner through chemo crowned Nose of Tralee

Fiona Frawley

Nose of Tralee winner

A worthy winner.

As the lights went down in the Dome on Tuesday night and New York Rose Róisín Wiley took home her crown, elsewhere in the country another winner was being given his dues.

After a nationwide search and months of campaigning by pet parents from Dundalk to Dingle, Limerick Nose Stitch has been crowned as the 2023 Nose of Tralee.

Now in its tenth year the Nose of Tralee is a competition organised by Pet Sitters Ireland, to celebrate the love Irish people have for their animals. Any pet is welcome to enter – from horses to  hamsters, puppies to parakeets, they’ll all be considered for the crown.

This year however, the title went to one-year-old maltichon, Stitch, who’s been by his owners side since 2022.

In his short life, Stitch has done a lot more than sniff and search for treats – he’s also comforted his owner Courtney Smith through some immeasurably hard times.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Courtney explained how Stitch curled up by her side while she underwent treatment for stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

“He just brought me so much joy, especially when I was doing my chemotherapy at the time, it was a distraction,” said Courtney.

“I wasn’t really coping well with the whole hair coming out and all that. He came into my life in August, and he has been with me ever since. He was like a companion during the worst time of my life really, he just knew to be by my side.

“He could tell I was sad and he just comforted me, he definitely is my best friend. I couldn’t imagine anyone else being there with me.”

Courtney also recorded the moment Stitch was announced as the winner, incase you’re in need of a bit of wholesome content to get your through Thursday.

Runner up was Louth Nose Winston, who’s adapted to life as a blind dog in the last year and is thriving. We recommend a scroll through the Instagram page to brighten your day significantly.

Lead images via Instagram/stitchthemaltichon


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