NAWT's agility team once again took part in the rescue dog agility display at the world renowned dog show Crufts on Friday 6 March.
Crufts remains a highlight of the year for the team, who take part in several displays throught the spring and summer months and Discover Dogs during the autumn.
The four NAWT representatives- Anne Dunwell, Sharon Cann, Kathrin Cumbley and Alison Pearce- led their canine companions -Chanti, George, Lexi and Basil- around the course before taking part in an exciting relay race finale for the first time!
Our handlers displayed their skills alongside a number of other rehoming charities, including Battersea, Wood Green and the Blue Cross. We have been fortunate to have loyal, long-standing team members and dogs so our runners always give a top class performance and this year was no different!
Alison Pearce and Basil
Basil is a 5 year old terrier cross who joined Alison's family in May 2011. Alison says Basil was frightened of everything when he first arrived at home and resembled a tiny, scared Meerkat. During the first night in his new home he slept on Alison's head, shaking like a leaf! Originally starting agility for fun, he has now been competing since July 2012. Basil is a much braver dog than he was but he still sometimes gets worried by the judge watching him all the time! He enjoys every course, even if the judge put the numbers in the wrong place, and always looks very proud of himself at the end.
Anne Dunwell and Chanti
Chanti is a 5 year old Working Cocker Spaniel who was born totally deaf. She came to live with Anne as was she was unable to be the gundog she was bred for, but her deafness doesn't stop her from excelling at agility- Anne says she is the easiets dog to train and the kindest to live with.
Sue Farrell and Jessie
Jessie is a 13 year old Bearded Collie. She was found near the A30, one of the biggest main roads in Devon so her history is unknown and she is frightened of vans and large vehicles. Following an operation on her leg and a cancer scare last year, it looked as though Jessie would have to retire from agility but against all the odds she wants to carry on and will be joining the team at Crufts this year. Havingpreviously reached Grade 4 in agility in 2011, Jessie is an old hand at the displays!
Sharon Cann and George
George is a 7 year old Staffordshire Bull Terrier. He had a bad start in life but his luck changed when he was taken in by a lovely lady called Norma, who spent lots of time with him and taught him lots of new things including flyball and agility. Sadly Norma passed away unexpectedly and George was taken on by Sharon in May 2011. George now lives with another Staffie and two Cocker Spaniels who all do agility. George is a lovely dog but is very nervous of strangers, he loves his agility and has recently won up to Grade 5. He is a fantastic ambassador for his breed and regularly charms the audience with his big Staffie smile!
Kathrin Cumbley and Lexi
Lexi is an 8 year old Utonagan who was rehomed from NAWT's Cornwall branch when she was 6 months old. Her previous owners couldn't cope so she arrived in our care before joining Kathrin's household. Lexi was nervous of a lot of things to begin with but she's more confident with people now Kathrin and Lexi take part in fun showing as well as agility and have previously been awarded best reserve and clear rounds at agility.