Kratu’s cheeky, clownish behaviour often has owner Tess Eagle Swan in stitches. “I love his sheer, unadulterated joy and naughtiness, it makes me laugh,” says Tess.

Kratu stole the show at the annual Crufts dog show in Birmingham, England, three years in a row for his total disregard for the competition’s obstacle course, instead running all over the floor, hiding in the tunnels, and – in a show-stopping grand finale – grabbing a pole from one of the hurdles and making off with it.

Kratu, eight, a Carpathian–Mioritic mix rescue dog, is also a support animal for Tess. 

She was diagnosed with autism in adulthood, and when she feels a sensory overload, Kratu will put his paw on her to keep her calm. “It is called deep paw pressure and is very grounding, that stops anxiety for me,” explains Tess. “I could not imagine life without Kratu, he is simply amazing.” 

Kratu also supports the All-party Parliamentary Dog Advisory Welfare Group (APDAWG) in Parliament and is a regular at the House of Commons at their meetings. During lockdown he conducted virtual therapy dog visits with primary school children and a book telling his life story is being launched in March.