1. ITV Report

Hero dog up for award for helping his owner

Molls has transformed the life of owner Steven Courtney Photo: PA

A dog who has transformed the life of an 11-year-old boy from Oxfordshire after giving him confidence and enabling him to play football has been nominated for a Crufts award for heroic dogs.

Molls, a cocker spaniel, was initially only the family's pet until Steven Courtney noticed she showed an interest when he was hypo after being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of three.

Now Molls is trained to detect when Steven's blood sugar levels rise or fall because the family contacted the Medical Detection Dog charity to train her.

Steven's mother, Serena Courtney, 40, said the family heard about their work after a talk at their dog training club at the end of 2010 and decided to seek training for Molls to support Steven.

Steven, from Bicester, explained how Molls changed his life. "She's helped me be more confident because I'm not worrying about my diabetes," he said.

His mother said Molls brought relief and support for the family.

"It was so much more stressful before. I was just desperately trying to see what was going to happen to Steven. Obviously we wanted to try and keep his levels as good as we can.

"It's amazing what Molls has done. She can tell what's wrong when we can't and he's alert in the night which is a big thing for us. She also picks up rapid changes when Steven plays football and games don't get interrupted so much!"

Molls is joined by four other hero dogs who will compete in the public vote for the Friends for Life award at Crufts 2014.