I have grown up in a home full of animals, from my earliest memories of my Nan and Grandads rather grumpy terrier/bearded collie mix called Sweep, through numerous rehomed cats, birds and our family’s own rescue German Shepherd/Collie Cross called Hope
So as soon as Danny and I were married in 1994, we picked up our first rescue cat Foster and 6 months later our first rescue dog Labrador/collie cross Reggie. Reggie had been badly treated in his early months and as a result, probably due to rickets, his front legs were badly twisted. This did not stop him walking, running and loving life. After 13 loyal years and lots of love, when he passed away we were unsure if we wanted to commit to another dog in our home. The cats took over for 2 years and during that time I volunteered with the RSPCA and met loads of new doggie friends. It was during my time without a dog of my own that I first saw dogs being trained in Dog Agility and thought it looked like fun!
Stanley, our large Working Cocker Spaniel, came into our lives 6.5 years ago and has been an absolute blessing! He is so well natured, always happy and great with all other animals. When he was a year old I wanted something to channel his busy energy and his brain so I started to take him to Agility classes and we were both soon addicted. Once we had started competing, we wanted more focus on the training to get the most out of the local shows we were attending. So we joined UpAndOver Dog Agility club at Cholderton where most of the members compete and there are a great bunch of people who all love their dogs
I have been so proud of Stanley and the progress we have made. The sport really does create a great bond between us. I am closer to him than any other dog in my life so far. Many of my evenings and weekends are working on building confidence so the sequences flow. Stanley is currently running in UKA senior performance and UKA Champ Steeplechase. And whilst I came to Agility later in life (I was 40 years old) I am looking forward to getting another Spaniel sometime soon and seeing what adventure that brings.
UpandOver Dog Club has members from all walks of life, dedicated to their dogs and I have made some fantastic friends through the club. I have recently volunteered to be the Vice President because I felt I could offer an unbiased point of view in my advice to the Committee and because I really want to help the club bring the Agility fun to others.