Dedicated dog owners are hoping for a “pawfect” day when they compete in Crufts next month.
Lynne Lawrence and her Border Terrier cross Poppy, of Victoria Street, Barrowford, and Kym Pearson and her Border Collie Zara, of Brent Street, Burnley, have both beaten tough competition to land themselves a spot in the World’s Largest Dog Show.
Mrs Lawrence will be part of the Northern team in The Inter Regional Obedience competition on Thursday, March 6th, while Mrs Pearson will participate in the GCDS Special Pre-Beginner Obedience Stakes Final on Saturday March 8th. Both are members of Reedyford Dog Training Club, who meet every week at Marsden Hall Community Centre.
Mrs Pearson (54) has had experience in obedience from a young age, with her mum and dad Pat and Peter Steele also having a passion for dog training.
She took a break for a number of years, but after her dad died in 2009 she decided to pick her hobby up again. She has never looked back, beating around 1300 other handlers and dogs over the past year to be one of just 20 in the Crufts grand final.
The Burnley General Hospital porter, who also competed in the prestigious contest last year, said: “I think my dad has been with me every step of the way.
“Zara was three on the Christmas just gone, and we have done really well this past 12 months at shows.
“I was nervous last year, but this year I am more excited. Reedyford Dog Training Club is so proud to have two dogs going to Crufts.”
For Mrs Lawrence (55), this is the first time she will be competing in the Birmingham-based show.
She has watched the competition for years, and is now both excited and nervous to be a part of it.
The progress manager for Buoyant Upholstery, who has just been on two training days, said: “When I first got Poppy, I didn’t get her for obedience - but we found she had a real ability for it.
“I have enjoyed it, not just the competitions, but the social side of it as well. I just got the bug.
“Crufts is getting closer, so the nerves are coming now. When they rang me up to tell me I was competing, I was lost for words.”