AN Alcombe woman and her young dog have come home from Crufts with a first place certificate and rosette.
Cheryl McGuinness bought Fleur, a Dandie Dinmont, as a puppy last May to keep her occupied after she was forced to give up work for health reasons.
She took Fleur (pedigree name Siwop Secret Wish) to ring craft classes and found it so enjoyable she decided to dip her toe further into the world of dog shows.
Fleur qualified for Crufts by being placed in three championship shows.
“I’d been two years ago to watch but competing made me really nervous, though I’m so glad I did it, and her breeder was there to watch her,” said Cheryl.
“Fleur really strode out when we walked and stood beautifully for the final observation – I was so proud of her.”
Fleur went on to win her junior bitch class, even though she was up against older bitches and just two weeks past the age for the puppy class.
Fleur and Cheryl, together with her partner, are also planning to join a special event when they travel to Selkirk in Scotland in June, where plans are afoot for a Dandie Dinmont get-together and the erection of a Dandie dog statue.
“We’re keen to promote the breed, they are on the rare breed list now,” said Cheryl.