Guide Dog Radley in running for animal hero award

Konrad and Radley
Konrad and Radley

A much-loved guide dog who transformed the life of his owner has been shortlisted for a prestigious national award.

Black Labrador Radley is a finalist in the Daily Mirror Animal Hero Awards and will travel to London this week with former Clitheroe resident Konrad Galen-Bisping, for the awards ceremony.

Lance Corporal Konrad Bisping (37) suffered devastating injuries and was lucky to survive when he was struck in the head with an Army-issue pickaxe during a military exercise in January, 2003.

The attack put an end to a promising career in the Army for L/Cpl Bisping, who was a 26-year-old father-of-two at the time. He was hit from behind with the chisel point of the pickaxe, which was embedded in his skull.

His attacker, Private Grant Kenyon, from Blackburn, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm and was jailed for four-and-a-half years at Bristol Crown Court December 2003.

The pickaxe attack caused serious damage to the optic nerve and left Konrad 95% blind. He spent two years in hospital and rehabilitation, needing 24-hour care, and when he finally returned home he suffered significant memory loss and never went anywhere alone.

Radley changed Konrad’s life by helping him regain the confidence to get out and about again.

Konrad, who now lives in Wales, admits Radley was is “best friend”.

These days, they happily walk around their hometown together without a carer. Radley even helped Konrad meet his wife, Siwan, and they have a family together.

Radley has been shortlisted for the Caring Animal of the Year Award.