A local dog and his owner are hoping to win the covetous ‘Nose of Tralee’ competition later this month.

Mrs. Kate Sheridan and her dog, Bramble, from Enniskillen, have won the County Fermanagh heats of this year’s ‘Nose of Tralee’ and now have their sights set on winning the Ireland-wide pet competition.

Bramble, the four and a half year old Cocker Spaniel, has charmed the competition’s judges with his ability to “make friends with everybody and get on well with children”.

His owner Mrs. Sheridan said she loves most about Bramble.

“He looks lovely, he has a lovely big tail and when he walks, he carries it like a flag. He’s very friendly and he’s a very soft dog.”

Mrs. Sheridan told us how Bramble best likes to greet his house guests: “The first thing he does is that he brings you a present, whether it’s a sock, a sandal, or a shoe.”

Like many dog owners, for Mrs. Sheridan, Bramble is the “apple of her eye” and he helps keep her active and social, especially after all her children have flown the nest.

She says that this is one of the many advantages of owning a dog: “I’ve met like-minded people. We do Florencecourt, we do Castle Coole, and we’ve had great fun. The dogs all get on well and I would never have had that if I didn’t have him.”

Like many Spaniels, Bramble is no stranger to trouble: “If you sit down, he’s up on your knee, he’s about places that he shouldn’t be about and he’s given treats that he shouldn’t be allowed,” explains Mrs. Sheridan.

He even goes as far as “scrounging around for the Saturday night takeaways that are often hidden in the bushes”.

Through entering this competition, Mrs. Sheridan is aiming to “add a smile to people’s faces,” because “there’s been a lot of bad press about dogs recently,” in reference to the proposed Fermanagh and Omagh District Council dog ban.

When asked what made Bramble so special, she responded: “For everybody who has a dog, their dog is the apple of their eye, he has no special thing over any other dog, he’s just a very nice boy.”

Although the ‘Nose of Tralee’ competition doesn’t call for the same level of glitz and glamour as it’s Rose of Tralee counterpart, Mrs. Sheridan maintains that Bramble doesn’t need sparkly heels or fancy gowns to win, “I just put up a photo of him, nothing posed, he’s never groomed, only when he has to get a haircut”.

Pet Sitters Ireland runs this competition through Facebook and the public are encouraged to vote online, having the choice of 32 dogs, with each county being represented with their own dog. Mrs. Sheridan is calling for people to vote for Bramble before the deadline of August 27. When asked about her favourite part of dog ownership, Mrs. Sheridan simply replied: “They’re great company, but they are a commitment. You have to be kind and good to the dog.”