Spike just pipped for coveted award

Hearing dog Spike and his master Ken Scott
Hearing dog Spike and his master Ken Scott

One of Cupar’s most popular characters enjoyed a taste of the limelight this week when he appeared on a TV awards ceremony.

Hearing dog Spike was one of three four-legged nominees in line for the Hero Animal of the Year title in the STV Real Hero Awards, sponsored by RBS.

He just missed out on the top prize to a Riding for the Disabled pony called Jewel, but his proud owner Ken Scott and his partner Sandra Donaldson came away with a trophy as a memento of Spike’s achievement.

Now aged 11, Spike will be retiring in about a year and a new hearing dog is currently being trained to take over his duties.

But Spike will stay with Ken as a pet and enjoy being able to put his paws up for a well-earned rest.

Spike and Ken have been constant companions for seven years and Ken describes the cute cockapoo as his ‘four-legged hearing-aid.’

Having suffered from tinnitus at a young age, Ken lost his hearing but lip reads in order to talk to people.

But it’s when Ken’s at home that Spike really comes in to his own, alerting his master to the sound of the doorbell or a text on his phone.

Should the smoke alarm go off, Spike will give Ken a warning before leading him safely out of the house.

The inseparable pair have become well-known throughout Cupar and beyond, and spend a great deal of time raising awareness for the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

Tomorrow (Saturday) they’ll be t the Christmas market in the Corn Exchange being organised by Caring for Cupar.

Viewers of Tuesday night’s show saw a short film made of Spike and Ken back in August, when they were accompanied on a walk round Cupar by the actor Richard Wilson.

“Everyone’s been asking how Spike got on and now at last we can reveal all,” said Sandra, who was at the star-studded ceremony with Ken and Spike.

“He may not have won, but we’re very proud of him.”