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Reflections of a dog person

Having been in dog training for well over 40 years, and dealing with Dog Behaviour, Domestic pet training, Obedience, Agility, and recently hoopers and scent detection, the world of dog training just grows and grow as does our knowledge and wisdom.

I was so lucky to have experienced street dogs, when I was 9 years old and lived in London when I got very friendly with a dog, which came knocking for me most days. We lived in a council flat and the door knocker was very very low and my mother thought it was unbelievable the first time this little mongrel knocked on the knocker and it was her favourite story if we had visitors.

I wasn't able to have my own dog as both my parents worked so I became involved with riding at the Army stables not too far from where we lived. Horses were another huge love of my life and I continued to ride for many years.

When I got married, the dogs started to arrive. One just was never enough and over the years I have had the real pleasure to spend my life with a Golden Retriever, German Shepherds, Border Collies, A mini American, A Papillon and lastly a Border Pap. I have ranged from 5 dogs up to 10 dogs and today I live with 9 dogs ranging from 13 years old down to 10 months Old.

Spending time, watching how my dogs interact with each other, and observing my clients' dogs and how they interact has taught me so so much over the years. I have also learned from amazingly talented trainers that I have either trained with or been involved with and I continue to learn as I "walk" through life. Long may this continue to be the case

Sadly only one of the above dogs is alive today, and that is Zing whom I am cuddling. She has been the mum of two fabulous litters that I bred and competed from time to time in agility. All my dogs have taught me so so much.

Starting from the left. Foxy competed in the top classes in obedience and was also the mother to my beautiful Juice who is in the front of this picture. . Juice competed both in Obedience and Agility and was one win off Championship Class in Agility when she ate rate poison and died very very young. My heart was truly broken. I haven't really got over this. Whooshman peeping from behind me, was the very first dog I bred and he was my boy. We were close and our working relationship now and grow as we learned together. He worked in C class in Obedience with only one more place needed to work championship C but I decided to go totally over to Agility and worked in Championship Class In agility. Such a fabulous boy and I have so many wonderful Memories. Cracker to the front on the right I bred and he was born on Christmas Day as a lone pup by C Section. We grow and evolved together and he competed in Championship Classes in Agility and Also in Class C in Obedience before I went totally over to agility. Bryn who is behind Cracker was an amazing boy but sadly had severe Hip Dysplasia so I had to stop competing with him. However he did get to the top Class in obedience and Competed at Crufts. He never competed in Agility.

I also judged at Championship level in Obedience on many occasions which I enjoyed very much Here we are, my two ring stewards and myself

in our outfits for the day.

I have also had the pleasure to compete at Olympia a couple of times, firstly with Fizz, and then with Psyche. Juice did qualify but sadly came into season and was not allowed to compete. I love Olympia the atmosphere is electric and in my opinion there is just no place like it.

It is so wonderful to look back over some amazing memories and to continue our journey forward with different types of training. For example. Distance handling in agility, as I am getting a bit older and too past it to be racing and charging around too much, though I will jog about if I feel I need to and particularly with a youngster that needs a little more support than maybe a more advanced dog, I have found that distance handling suits me though it is much harder on my mind and on the dog doing everything at big distances. Great fun though and we are enjoying our learning

Playing at hoopers, which we have found such fun and I totally recommend people to have a go. The dogs love it and it isn't taxing on their bodies like agility can be and definitely helps if you want to distance handle in agility

So today 2022. I do not compete in Obedience anymore though I have wonderful memories and photos to look back on I am glad to say

I am continuing with Agility with Psyche in Grade 7, Champ, so able to run the big qualifying classes, not sure I can though 😂 so walking will probably have to do with a bit of a jog here and there hopefully. I have Wowza and Ouzel in Grade 4, Touche in Grade 3 Seer just starting out in Grade 2 and Saucypap at 11 months old not competing yet. I have a fabulous field to spend all day in with my own dogs and my lovely clients so I absolutely have nothing to complain about. I am constantly learning and I have just embarked on learning scent detection with two of my dogs and maybe will introduce a few more to it, so hopefully will be able to make that part of my ongoing blog.

The above photo is all of my current dogs, except Cracker on the RHS looking at the photo who died a year ago, and Mojo my little Papillon in the front who died suddenly a month ago. He was only 9 and I am still coming to terms with losing him.

So all that remains is to say goodbye for now, and leave you with a photo of Little Saucy Pap who isn't in the above photo as she wasn't born then. Today, May 2022 She is a 10 month old, A Bundle of Joy, Naughtiness and Fun and hopefully you will see much more of her in future blogs

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