Gold Kennel Club Good Citizen awards for rescued dogs By fdart | Blackmore Vale Magazine. Posted: June 09, 2015
Poppy had five owners before she was seven months old. Fern was picked up running feral in Ireland. Polly was discovered starving and dehydrated. Bella had been mistreated and then abandoned in North Wales. All four of these seemingly hopeless cases repaid the love, attention and sheer hard work of their "forever families" on Saturday when they brought home Silver or Gold Kennel Club Good Citizen Dog Scheme awards. Vivienne Tomlinson from Bourton was introduced to Bella, a gorgeous eager to please black spaniel by Rose Knott from Zeals who fosters many rescue dogs and works with a charity called Protecting Pre-Loved Border Collies. "I told Rose I didn't want a small dog and I didn't want a puppy," Vivienne laughs, "then down the path came Bella." It was clearly love at first sight and Bella has even tolerated the arrival of two-year-old Patterdale/Jack Russell cross Poppy. A typical snappy terrier, she had a succession of false starts with families who couldn't cope with her before she found Vivienne.
Penny Varnes from Penselwood found four-year-old lurcher Fern through Greyhound Rescue West of England. Havin been rescued from living rough, Fern is now a soppy and docile lap dog who loves agility and is an official pat dog for school and nursing home visits. Polly had been through two charities before she found her home just 14 weeks ago with John Osborne at Child Okeford. The bond between them is already strong and John was thrilled when Polly got her Silver award on Saturday. Proudest of all these fabulous happy endings was trainer Nicky Waltham-Weeks who brings the dogs and their owners together every Wednesday morning at Silton field to "train the owners how to train their dogs." The Companion Dog Training Classes are designed to teach your dog to become a well behaved family pet, one that is a joy to own and a pleasure to take anywhere. Classes are held outside in a realistic environment rather than a hall and her training methods are reward based to encourage correct motivation and learning, creating strong boundaries from the onset of training. Allyson Tohme, a Kennel Club accredited instructor and A1 list examiner for the Good Citizens Scheme judged Nicky's group on Saturday and said it was one of the best organised groups she had ever visited. For more information visit or call Nicky on 07851 757097. Report pictures by Fiona Dart. The White Lion at Bourton is holding a fun dog show on 29th August in aid of Protecting Pre-Loved Border Collies.