Lady came to us at 8 weeks old from The Dog's Trust, one of my favourite charities.
She was part of a Litter that had been abandoned at a roadside in Ireland. The team at The Dog's Trust rescued the litter and by chance, she came to us. We had visited the Dog's Trust at West Calder at the right time and we fell in love with her when we saw her the first time.
Lady was a handful as a pup. She loved to chew things, I mean really loved to chew things. And she certainly had the energy levels of a Collie
By good fortune, Lady did extremely well with her training and passed all the Clubs tests with flying colours. I wanted more and was extremely keen to do more. I ended up meeting a Dog Trainer with the Club one Sunday called John Hood who took me under his wing and introduced me to Tracking. I was absolutely hooked. At the time I couldn't believe I was getting up early on a Sunday Morning to meet John, even in extremely cold Weather, to go Tracking. Lady was an absolute star. I credit John with getting me into Dog Training in a serious way
Tracking led me to the competitive sport of Working Trials. Probably best described as Police Dog Training formed into a competitive civilian sport. It involves nose-work with tracking and searching which Lady excelled at. Agility jumps - a six foot scale, a nine foot long jump and a three foot clear jump. Other exercises to qualify are Down Stays (ten minutes out of sight with other Dogs), Sit-Stays, Retrieve a Dumbell, Steadiness to Gun Shot and Competition Heelwork Lady was a star and competed at the top level in TD by only four years old. Sadly she had to retire from the sport then due to hip problems. This didn't stop us and we continued with her excellence in tracking for the rest of her life. Tragically we lost Lady when she was eight years old due to a malicious poisoning
What Lady taught me
Last but not least, never ever go to a family vote over the name of your Dog. How I didn't see it coming that my Wife would side with our Daughter and vote with her choice, I really don't get how naive I was to this day!!!
Tomas, another wonderful Dog from the Dog's Trust at West Calder
Tomas came to us at eight years old under the full foster scheme. He absolutely filled our hearts from the moment we got him. The Dog's Trust rescued him from the streets as a stray.
He was a Dog who loved life to it's full, but was extremely excitable with it. We had Tomas until he was 14 years old and gave him a full and happy life whilst he was with us. Tomas, however had absolutely Zero recall, was massively over excited when he saw other dogs and basically ate anything that would fit down his throat. Tomas started me in Dog Training, firstly through necessity and this later became my Hobby, then my Passion
What Tomas taught me
We met Heidi at the Dog's Trust at West Calder when she was 12 years ago. She was 'Kennel Aggressive' which meant that she would growl and bear her teeth when anyone approached her in the Kennel. the team assured her she was only like that there and to try taking her for a walk. we totally hit it off, especially when she cuddled into my Wife and gave her a big sloppy kiss. After that we were taking her home! We had two of the most wonderful years with Heidi, one of which we spent living in Ireland and had a great time with her
What Heidi taught me