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Blaze of glory


Poor Ďole Blaze. Regular visitors to Agilitynet may remember him as an overweight Papillon from the Rescue Me page. He'd been rescued twice by Denise Welsh of Hailsham and then rehomed with the Richard and Sheila Partridge when they were persuaded that they could manage another 'small' dog.

The second time Blaze was returned to Denise, he was in a real state, vastly (dangerously) over-weight, unfit and miserable. He was over ten kilos. She started him on a controlled diet and fed him lots of TLC and 'happy pills' and put him firmly on the road back to being a proper dog again.  Then we took him over.

Blaze joined our menagerie along with our other Paps Rupert, Bandit and Smokey together with the infamous Twerphound, the cat and a dozen goldfish.

He is definitely an 'Essex' dog, - all white trainers and gold medallions! Where we live is very, very rural; fields all round, narrow lane outside, no streetlights and nearest supermarket eight miles away! This was a bit of a culture shock for our man.

His first walk, through the long wet grass and mud, met with a curled lip and an 'Oy, I donít do dirt!' look. His idea of a proper walk is a trip down a nice civilised pavement, quick poo and pee and back home by the fire. We have discovered that he has what we call a flat battery. He needs his lead on for the first quarter of a mile to jump-start him, and then he is off on his own.  Strangely, once he is firing on all cylinders he leaps and gambols with the others quite merrily.

Once he had settled in and lost a bit more weight  -  he's down to seven kilos but still a bit tubby - and got a bit fitter we introduced him to the wonderful world of Agility. He has taken to this like a duck to water. He is quite a bright lad, learns quickly and seems keen to please. Not too surprisingly he is food orientated so is easy to motivate/reward.

He is also pretty brave. He runs up the seesaw and jumps up and down on the end, enjoying the ride down and the bang when it lands!  As an aside, Smokey our other 'new' dog, is very timid on contact equipment, so we send Blaze over in front of him, and Smokey follows.  Blaze is built like a tow truck, so might as well use him.

With his black and white colouring and relatively small ears he looks a bit like a miniature Collie in appearance, so we have dubbed him Big-Fat-Collie-Pap. However, he is settling in well, is good natured, even though he still has the occasional bad tempered growl, we just laugh at him. That usually shuts him up). He is even beginning to enjoy his country walks, and now the weather is cooler and we light the log fire in the evenings, he has discovered the joys of the hearth.

We expect by the Spring he will be ready to compete, so when you notice a lumbering, tubby Pap waddling round please be kind and donít laugh too much. He is only doing his best.  If you hear 'Fat Boy Slimmer, ' his Sunday name, called among the winners you will know that the lad has made it!


From Val Clark...
I have just read the article about Blaze and would just like to wish Richard and Sheila all the very best, not just on the agility circuit, but on their life with him as well. I also rehomed a larger than life Papillon, Echo, from Denise - although an official measure puts him in the small category - and he is a delight. They look very similar and, if Blaze shows the same strength of character, courage and cheek as Echo, I'm sure they'll do well when they start competing. We are still waiting for our first clear round, but my goodness has Echo put the fun back into Agility.


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