Crufts 2024: Samoyed from Edinburgh wins prestigious prize at dog show just two months after life-saving surgery

The Samoyed, from Edinburgh, has won a prestigious honour at Crufts in Birmingham

A dog that survived having a four-inch cancerous tumour removed has won a prestigious honour at Crufts.

Tayto the Samoyed and her 13-year-old handler Diarmuid Sim, from Edinburgh, claimed the “good citizen” prize at the world’s most prestigious dog show, which ended in Birmingham on Sunday.

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However, the pet had been lucky simply to be alive to compete, having undergone life-saving surgery in January after being diagnosed with a granulosa cell tumour.

Tayto the Samoyed won a prestigious honour at CruftsTayto the Samoyed won a prestigious honour at Crufts
Tayto the Samoyed won a prestigious honour at Crufts

Mr Diarmuid, who is a pupil at James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh, said just getting to the event had been a major achievement after an “uncertain period”.

The pair also achieved a fifth-place finish as a “highly commended” selection in the yearling class for dogs aged between one and two.

Mr Diarmuid told the BBC “you never really think that your dog is going to get cancer”.

A tumour was first discovered in Tayto’s ovarian region during a scan in October last year. But after having that growth surgically removed, a secondary lump was found during a follow-up screening in January that also had to be taken out of the animal.

Colin Sim, 56, with son Diarmuid, 13Colin Sim, 56, with son Diarmuid, 13
Colin Sim, 56, with son Diarmuid, 13

“It really hit us, but we were with really good vets and through a few surgeries, she kind of won the battle,” Mr Diarmuid said.

“She was really brave. Part of me doesn’t really think she knew what she was going through. But she just powered on, she was really inspiring.”

Father Colin Sim, 56, watched his son compete with Tayto from the stands at the NEC in Birmingham, and said he had been biting his nails throughout.

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Tayto has been competing in shows since she was a puppy, having managed to achieve silver medals in local competitions and featured at Crufts last year.

“It was just amazing to see them do so well,” Mr Sim said. “They have a special bond and she really looks up to him. It’s our first ever dog. She was Diarmuid’s choice of pet and she is a lovely dog to have.”

A three-year-old Australian shepherd named Viking was crowned best in show at Crufts, beating 24,000 other dogs for the coveted honour.



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