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Valgrays dog makes good

In March 2000 Trudie Beckwith enquired about a Valgrays dog. At the time Val did not have any young dogs but promised to keep her name on record. A couple of weeks later Val rang and told her about a black and white, five month old bitch called Amber. If she decided to take her on, she would be her fifth home! Trudie did wonder why so many homes in such as short time but she decided to go ahead with the re-homing. Not too much later on she found out why!

Amber's name was changed to Sasha and she became Super Sasha of Valgray. But she wasn’t super at first. Before too long, I found out why she'd had so many homes. She was manic! One evening I left her on her own with my other dog D’Arcy for company and came back to no wallpaper on the wall, ripped up carpets and mess indoors. She was a nightmare!

I also describe Sasha as having ADHD. She would have been placed on Ritalin if she was a human. She has so much energy that I thought I would not be able to cope and even contemplated on giving her back to Val. That may have happened if it wasn’t for my partner Angus who told me to stop pitying Sasha and to get firm with her and train her properly. Well, it was like a miracle, as soon as I changed my ways with her she began to behave.

I had my hands full until I got her into agility and then it was full speed ahead. I trained her at Valley Farm agility club with Nigel Rudd, the trainer, and she took to it straight away.  Going from a slow Midi dog handler to an energetic large dog handler was an eye opener. I had to learn long distance handling because Sasha is so much faster than me.  Her body ripples with delight when she sees agility equipment, and she will not wait at the start line so as soon as I release her collar she’s off like a rocket.  I have mastered the contacts at training, but she hardly gets them in competition.  She has always been my Jumping dog, winning quite a lot of trophies and rosettes and getting herself into many finals. One in particular was the Genesis Novice Jumping finals in 2007 where she came 4th. She has always been a jumping dog, always wanting to get round as fast as possible, placings in agility were a fluke, her A-frame contact let her down.

On the Sunday at Norfolk, Sasha who had an accident in the Grade 5 Agility ring. She's been checked over by the vet who can't find much wrong with her apart from maybe some nerve damage, so plenty of rest has been prescribed. Though she has made a remarkable recovery, I have come to the decision to retire Sasha as I cannot face her doing something like that again.  Maybe she can do Veterans or Allsorts when she has fully recovered.

Sasha or Super Sasha of Valgray received her third jumping win at Wellingborough to make it to Grade 6 and she even won the Grade 5 Jumping on Saturday morning at Norfolk, so at least she can retire a Senior dog.  

She is now eight going on nine years old in October and she has blossomed into a gorgeous, sensitive and cuddly dog. She can still be hyperactive at times, but I have learnt to cope with that. I am glad that I did not give up on her, and she has made me a very proud owner. I can’t express how much I love and cherish her and I wouldn't part with her for the world.

Valgrays Dog of the YEar 2006About the author...
Trudie Beckwith
didn't know what agility was until her dog D'Arcy fell asleep in her obedience class - too many in her class and so couldn't stay awake for her turn. The instructor reckoned that obedience was not her thing and suggested that she should try a more active activity. She became a member of Valley farm Agility Club, run by Nigel Rudd who helped train her and D'Arcy, her Midi collie X who is now 12 years old. D'Arcy is still involved and competes in Allsorts classes, but would prefer running after a tennis ball instead.

Trudie didn't get truly addicted to agility until she got Sasha who really showed her owner what it was really about - time, patience and lots of fun.  She now has four dogs in total including Billie (Billie on the Beat) and Dezle (Running on Dezle). Her partner Angus calls himself an Agility Widower as he never sees her as she is either working for the Suffolk Constabulary, training the girls or at a show, but he is always interested in hearing about how they performed at a show.  

Trudie is the Vice Chairperson of Suffolk Five Rivers Dog Agility Club, and through being a member of both the clubs has made many new friends. She is grateful to everyone who has helped her with all my dogs, especially when Billie qualified for Olympia in 2007. She is sure there will be many more dogs in the future; she's just got to persuade the other half!


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