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An Animal Trust customer from the Ellesmere Port branch recently realised her dream when her seven-year-old Blue Merle Collie Yoshi won first place in the Obedience Championships at Crufts – beating 22 other competitors in the category at the famous dog show!

“I’ve got five dogs and they all come to Animal Trust’s Ellesmere Port surgery,” said Julie. “I started bringing them to Animal Trust about five years ago. Mario, one of my previous dogs, had amazing treatment at the Animal Trust when he had cancer. He sadly didn’t make it, but his treatment was second to none – I’d never take them anywhere else,” she said.

Julie’s definitely keeping it in the family as far as Animal Trust is concerned – previous patient Mario was Yoshi’s brother (different litter), and now Yoshi’s two sons, Kooper and Diddy, are registered patients at Animal Trust’s Ellesmere Port surgery – along with their other brother and sister, Luigi and Laila.

“Animal Trust has been wonderful for my dogs – I’m definitely staying with them!” said Julie.

 Julie set up her dog training business 9 years ago after being made redundant and has been competing in the famous dog show since 2009.

“I got into dog obedience when I was about 19 and I went with my mother-in-law to the Moreton Dog Training Club, which was run by Cecile Jones. She taught me everything I know today and we’re still in touch now. She told me that once you get into obedience training, you’re completely addicted to it – and she was right!  She was over the moon that Yoshi did so well,” explained Julie.

Julie recognised something special in Yoshi from when he was a puppy: “There was just something about him and I knew I could work with him. You have to be patient and consistent with obedience training – in addition gaining their trust and ensuring the dog is motivated. Yoshi doesn’t really know when he’s doing his training – as far as he’s concerned, he’s just having fun. But once he’s in the ring – he’s like a different dog. He’s incredibly focused.

“Winning the competition was the ultimate dream for me – I felt like I’d won the lottery! After we won, wherever we went people would come up to make a fuss of him, which he loved,” she said.

Yoshi may have been enjoying lots of treats and fuss since his big win, but success hasn’t changed him. He’s happiest when playing with his favourite toy – a small piece of astroturf. “We use it in training and for some reason, he absolutely loves it!” said Julie.

After such an amazing achievement, he definitely deserves some time for play!

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