GUTTERING, carpets, a slate roof and glossed skirting boards are features one would expect to find in any newly built home.
Such things are less common, however, in dog kennels.
But these are some of the comforts that Wellington, a two-year-old St Bernard, has come to enjoy in his 6.5ft tall brick-built luxury kennel — designed to look just like owner Julian Kite’s detached three-bedroom house in Barrys Close, Woodville.
Mr Kite, who spent 84 hours building the second home for his dog and is still completing the finishing touches, has scooped top prize in the inaugural ‘pet pad of the year’ awards.
He said: “I can’t honestly believe it. What an honour.
“Designing and building Wellington’s house has been a hobby, so being rewarded in such a way is truly brilliant. It’s just the beginning though. By the time I’ve finished with his kennel I’ll probably want to live in there myself.”
The competition, which boasted a £1,000 cash prize for the best cat or dog home, was judged by TV vet Marc Abraham and celebrity pet lover Dawn O’Porter.
Mrs O’Porter said: “I love the idea of Wellington having his very own property and land to roam. It’s so grand and ridiculous that it’s pure genius.
“Going through all of the ‘pet pad of the year’ entries has kept me amused for days and really inspired me to get more creative with my little dog.”
Mr Kite started a business building premier dog kennels after being made redundant from his job as a site manager. Some of his kennels fetch up to £1,200.
John Ellenger, of More Than Pet Insurance, which sponsored the competition won by Mr Kite, said: “The UK is a nation of dog and cat lovers and this competition shows the great lengths that many owners go to ensure that their pets have a comfortable home to relax and sleep in.
“Julian’s entry brings to life exactly what we were hoping to find and I’m delighted that the inaugural ‘pet pad of the year’ title has gone to such great ambassadors.”