Anne Francis

Having a dog is a gift that I really treasure.  I grew up messing around in my local countryside with our family dogs, first a little cantankerous Jack Russell and then a beautiful gentle dog called Gemma of indeterminate breeding, but could not have one of my own until 17 years ago when my work allowed it.  So my partner and I got our first rescue Treya, a staffie/whippet cross, followed swiftly by another rescue our first collie cross the very handsome Toby.  At this point we realised instead of having a dog who just wanted walks, food and sleep we had a dog that also wanted to work which is why we discovered the relatively unknown sport of agility and joined Mark and Karen at UpAndOver.

Minty at a UK Agility Show June 2009

Since my first steps with Treya in 1999, I have trained and competed with 3 further dogs. My star is Minty my first collie who we got as a rescue at a year old and we think was from working farm stock; she is hugely intelligent with masses of energy and was desperate to work. She has been my greatest challenge but has given me the greatest rewards as she would work her socks off for me, a true agility addict. When we finally got our act together which took a while, we got from Grade 3 to Grade 6 in just 5 consecutive KC shows and the future looked rosy. Sadly, that same summer we found that Minty had been hiding severe arthritic hip pain and I had to take the painful decision to retire her at the age of 6. Today my partner in crime is Buzzy who again is a rescue of questionable parentage and is completely different to Minty in character and has been great fun to train. I’m still not sure what he loves more, cuddles, meeting his mates or doing some agility!

Buzzy qualifies for the Clean Run Final at the UK Agility Grand Finals 2014 at AJAXS

I love competing and go to a show most weekends from spring to autumn, always with a goal or two in mind even it is to chill out and have some fun with my dog and then to bring home ideas for my next week’s training. Although I live quite a distance from UpAndOver, I have been with the club all these years due to the great training, atmosphere, support and friends, and am proud to be a member. In the not too distant future, I hope to get my first puppy and achieve a long waited for ambition of bringing a “young un” through foundation to competitive agility. Agility changes the dynamic of living with dogs, coming home from work to the laughing faces of my dogs, keen to do something now “Mum” is home, is great fun and keeps me on my toes!