Rocky the Whippet became ‘therapy’ for Castleford family caught up in the Manchester bombing

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A pet that became ‘therapy’ for a Castleford family who were caught up in the Manchester bombing has gone on to become a multi prize-winning puppy.

Rocky the whippet is just seven months old but landed a host of awards at the recent dog show at Castleford’s Queen’s Park, including being named supreme champion on the day.

He was named best puppy, best short coat, champion of the small dogs category and was highly commended in the best pedigree category.

Not a bad haul for a dog making his debut, and his owners, the Gee family, say it could be the start of a glittering show career. Rachael Gee explained: “My daughter Scarlett was so happy, before getting Rocky she was scared of dogs, I would have never have dreamed she would be so inseparable with him.

“When we’re out people just stop us all the time and say how cute he is, so we decided to enter him into the show.

“I didn’t think he’d do that well, there were a lot of cute dogs and puppies there.”

But behind Rocky’s haul of rosettes is perhaps a greater achievement, having helped the family come to terms with the tragic events of May 22, 2017.

Both Rachel and Scarlett had been at the Ariana Grande gig at Manchester Arena in which 22 people were killed by a suicide bomber.

Although seated in another section of the venue, the tragic events have been difficult to come to terms with.

Rachel said: “It was a strange noise, we’ve never heard a bomb go off so we didn’t know that’s what it was.

“Up until 18 months ago it was just prominent (in Rachel’s thoughts).

“Even now it’s always in the back of your mind, especially going to public places, you become very wary.

“Luckily we where not physically hurt but it has been emotionally upsetting.

Rocky has helped us focus and helps calm us down. It’s like therapy, I can’t put my finger on it but it’s a calming feeling.”