“Amber,” a Cardigan Welsh Corgi owned by Sonja Benavidez, of Geneseo, was a winner in the 18th annual AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence.

“Amber,” a Cardigan Welsh Corgi owned by Sonja Benavidez, of Geneseo, was a winner in the 18th annual AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence.

Amber received the award in the Exemplary Companion Dog category.

Each year, the AKC Humane Fund honors five loyal, hard-working dogs who have improved the lives of their owners and communities.

After surviving Encephalitis in the early 1960s, Benavidez has overcome a coma, paralysis below the waist, braces and many surgeries, none of which stopped her from doing what she loved most - showing Cardigan Welsh Corgis.

In 2013, a series of foot injuries had bound Benavidez to a wheelchair which diminished her independence and motivation.

She received Amber about a year later, after helping a friend with a litter. Just two-years-old at the time of her nomination, Amber is a grand champion. She placed in conformation, obedience, and rally at the 2016 Cardigan national specialty, and was Novice A High in Trial at the 2017 national.

Additionally, Amber has earned a Canine Good Citizen Advanced title, is a certified therapy dog, and has met the requirements for

the Cardigan club’s versatility award.

As the AKC’s Exemplary Companion Dog award winner, Amber will be honored at the AKC National Championship in Orlando, Fla., in December.