North East Connected

Celebrity ‘nails’ his rescue dog tribute

ONE of the beauty industry’s leading lights has given his backing to a public art project that is taking the North East by storm.

Award winning celebrity manicurist and nail technician Leighton Denny MBE – whose famous clients include Penelope Cruz and Kate Moss – has designed one of the 61 large sculptures that form the Great North Snowdogs trail.

The 1.5m high sculptures are inspired by The Snowman™ and The Snowdog, by Raymond Briggs and follow the route of the Tyne and Wear Metro in a fundraising initiative for Newcastle-based St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice.

And Leighton – whose cosmetics empire includes the recently launched Sun Believable tanning range, LIGHT and DARK fragrance collection and Lip Dual lip colours – used his late rescue dog Rhino as the inspiration for his Snowdog, Rhino The Rescue, at Marine Park South, South Shields.

“Rhino was a pitbull cross and when I got him from a rescue centre in LA he’d clearly had a very hard time,” said Leighton, “but to me he was lovable rogue and I adored him.

“He came into my life when I really needed a friend and, for all he was a rescue dog, in fact he rescued me – he was my superhero and that’s what inspired my design.”

Now Leighton hopes Rhino The Rescue will not only raise a generous sum for St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice when the Snowdogs are auctioned on behalf of the charity in December, but that he will also shine a light on the plight of rescue dogs.

“I only had Rhino for about four years but in that time he became the world to me,” he said, “and the tragedy is that rescue centres are full of older dogs that get passed over in favour of puppies.

“I would urge anyone wanting to own a dog to check out their local rescue centre. I also hope as many people as possible head to South Shields to see Rhino The Rescue and support the incredible work the Hospice’s children’s service is doing here in the North East.”

The hospice’s children’s service provides short breaks and respite for North East children and young people with incurable conditions, and help and support for their families and loved ones.

Fans can support the trail through twitter @great_snowdogs and @Leighton_Denny #RhinoTheRescue.

For further information, visit or call 0191 285 0063.

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