Where it all Began
I can remember it as if it were yesterday.
It was 6.30 in the morning, and I was sitting on the pavement outside Battersea Dogs Home, London's most famous animal shelter. Today was the day the puppy I had chosen became available for re-homing, and I was up - about three hours earlier than usual! - to be sure of getting her.
Eventually 9 o'clock came round and I and the handful of other dedicated dogseekers were let in. Everyone rushed to the area they knew "their" dog was in, anxious to be there first. I reached the puppy pens and there she was, sweet and beautiful and ready for the adventure.
A few forms later, and I was out on the street again, this time clutching my precious new puppy to me. Precious, but not materially. She cost all of £9.50, including the collar and lead!
That was how I came to have Poppy. There had been dogs at home where I grew up, but Poppy was the first I could call mine.
Life with Poppy
Poppy nearly died over the next few days, having caught some nasty puppy disease, probably on the streets before the Home picked her up. But, showing the spirit for which she would become known, she pulled through and we started our 16-year love affair. The adoration was mutual.
A few months later when I moved from London to Ireland, Poppy helped me make new friends. In fact her bright and endearing nature and endlessly-wagging tail got her talent-spotted by a Dog Training Club Instructor.
Now a whole new world opened up before us - Obedience, Working Trials, Agility. Oh, the miles we travelled - all over the British Isles - the friends we made, the rosettes we won, the fun we had!
The high point of our competition career was when my little Battersea stray became Working Trials Champion Flower of Battersea, C.D.Ex., U.D.Ex., W.D.Ex., T.D.Ex. Why, she had more letters after her name than I do! What a long way from those London pavements! As one Obedience Judge put it: "Such grace and elegance from humble beginnings as shown by her name."
Since then I have had several dogs. Mostly Border Collies, but also a German Shepherd Dog and, just recently, a Whippet - linking back to Poppy: one of her 57 varieties was definitely Whippet!
But Why Here and Why Now?
I decided to put pen to paper, or rather fingers to keyboard, because I wanted other people to experience some of the immense pleasure I have had from sharing my life with dogs. This site is more than a dog-training resource, it's a dog-living and dog-loving site - a dog-celebration, you may say!