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Canine Survivor 2003

When Yvonne Goode first saw Bonnie, she looked more like a discarded dirty rag than a dog. She cowered at back of the pen at the rescue home - her black and white coat more yellow and brown, but through it all her huge eyes glowed. Yvonne had never seen a more pathetic looking scrap of a dog. Now Bonnie is the Canine Survivor of the Year 2003.

Fate brought me to Holly Trees Rescue that day. I had gone there with a stray I had picked up, my two rescues in tow. Buster and Belle, both adopted from Birmingham Dogs Home, are very easy going and didn't object to a stranger sharing their home and food for the night.

Bonnie, a collie X, had been kept on the balcony of a high rise flat in Birmingham. When she was found by Jose Hall and taken to Holly Trees, she weighed less than half her expected body weight. Her body was covered in sores where she had been laying in her own mess and urine had burnt away most of the coat on tail. Even so the life in her eyes showed how she had managed to survive.

The only way she knew how to stay alive was to bite first. She could not be homed with men and would bite any one touching her neck or putting their hand in her collar. She was considered to be one of Holly Trees worst starvation cases. Her kennel maid Tracy had been able to get a certain amount of trust from her but it had been slow going.

I wasn't looking for number three, certainly not a number three with so many hang ups. Still through a flood of tears, I asked Tracy if I could take her home. Tracy initially wasn't sure. She didn't want her coming straight back.

That was nearly four years ago and yes, I can say I had my far share of troubles with her. I rowed with my boyfriend after she bit him. He left; she stayed.

Despite her dreadful start in life, Bonnie now lives life to the full and at 110 mile per hour. She bounces out of bed with a ball in her mouth, bounces out on her walks, bounces into the agility ring. She loves anything life throws at her - agility, obedience, flyball, walks, rabbit chasing, the seaside, breakfast, going away to agility shows in the caravan, oh and did I mention breakfast?

Now my beautiful Bonnie Blue glows with health. I've had many complimentary comments made about me, her looks and her talent but few people know the heartbreak we have gone through to get here.

Canine Survivor of the Year 2003
Roger Colver and Penni Gregory of Postal Pet Products  launched the Fromm Canine Survivor of the Year Competition in conjunction with Dogs Today last year to find the best genuine dog rescue story. They were looking for a dog and owner who have worked together to overcome extreme difficulties to enable that dog to now lead a happy and fulfilled life together. There were so many inspiring stories out there that they decided to repeat the competition.

Bonnie and Yvonne will receive a years’ supply of Fromm dog food which will be presented at Crufts on Saturday, 8 March at the Postal Pet Products stand (Hall 1, Stand 38) with Penni Gregory. 

Editor's note: Wouldn't it be nice to have as many agility people there as possible. See you there at 1.00pm.

Fido File


Bonnie (Backstreet Bonnie Blue)


Collie X


17 inches


5 - ish

Age when rescued

1- ish


Agility, breakfast, Murphy (the Boxer)


Yvonne: To be a senior agility dog
Bonnie: To have an unlimited supply of balls

Kennel mates

Buster (Backstreet Buster Boy)
Belle (Backstreet Belle)
Bess (Backstreet Bess)


Can be overplayful but good with other dogs
Definitely prefers women
Tolerant of children

Other attributes

Extremely photogenic

Career highlights

1st Elementary Agility Pembroke Show August 2001
1st Beginners Obedience April 2000
Best Bitch Coat/ best bitch Rescue/ Best Rescue overall Crossbreed and Mongrel Club September 2000

Previous starring roles

At Hall Green grey hound racing stadium as part of a charity race


Fromm Four-Star Nutritionals
Fromm Family has created a special line of gourmet quality dog food called their Four-Star Nutritionals which is being launched in the UK at Crufts 2003.

It offers the highest levels of fresh meat, fruit and vegetables, prepared in a manner befitting a fine, four-star restaurant.

The fresh ingredients that go into the food are never dried or pre-processed because the fresher the produce, the better the retention naturally occurring vitamins and minerals. Each recipe is slow simmered.

The grains used include pearl barley, brown and white rice, millet and oats.

There are three flavours

  • Chicken a la Veg

  • Duck & Sweet Potato

  • Fish & Potato

Tel. 01531-633985


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