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Cathy Shepherd, Her dogs and how she started agility

Cathy says it all started back in January 1992 when they got a new little fluffy family member. Her name was Cassie and she was a Lhasa Apso. Cathy took her to puppy classes and after they gained her 'Good Citizen Award' the trainer invited Cathy to try a bit of agility. So she went to a few classes and the agility bug bit and it bit hard. Cathy took Cassie to a few shows and Cathy says she got addicted.

So in 1997 Cathy got another pup, this time a Cairn Terrier called Amber. This was not a family pet but Cathy's very own first dog. Cathy started to train Amber and as soon as Amber was old enough she took her to her first agility show where Amber tried her best just to please her, oh and for the sweetie at the end of the course.

In 2000 Cathy's little pack grew when she got another terrier, Peggy, a Jack Russell Cross Cairn Terrier cross Yorkshire Terrier. Cathy thought she knew agility but with this little girl it was different. Peggy didn't want to run alongside Cathy around the ring, she wanted to run as fast as her little legs would go. All of a sudden Cathy had to learn new skills like turning at speed and being told off by Peggy if she was in the wrong place. So you could say this is when Cathy really learnt to do agility. Cathy took Peggy out to her first shows and Peggy made Cathy work hard but paid Cathy back with love and they ended up, after lots of hard work, moving in perfect harmony around the rings. This little girl got Cathy through the levels from KC Grade 1 all the way up to Grade 6.

In 2003 Cathy and her Mum inherited an elderly Aunt's dog, Candy, she was a sweet little Shih Tzu. She came into their life and with a little training took to agility like a duck to water. Candy was just settling into the shows when sadly her life was cut short.

Their agility pack grew again in 2004 when Cathy's mum took on a hairball of a dog, full of licks and love but little brain. Heidi, a German Spitz was and still is a law unto herself, running 3 jumps ahead and having all the speed but no brakes and very little steering. Heidi was going to be a big challenge, as Cathy had to learn a completely different way to train and run her, but Cathy was not going to be beaten. After a lot of work and lots of people having to stand guard around the show ring waiting to post Heidi back when she ran across the field, they finally got it right and Heidi's agility career was off to a flying start.

Then in 2006 Cathy got a new little dog, Pippa, a Jack Russell cross Shih Tzu or a Shit Russell as she is fondly known. Pippa is a little dog with a big personality and an even bigger jumping action and is well known around the agility circuit as ' the Flying Flea'. Pippa is the type of dog that doesn't believe that the contacts are meant for her and although Pippa consistently gets them at training she never even looks at them at a show. For Pippa agility is fun and that's all there is to it.

Finally in 2008 Cathy's mum got her latest little bundle of fun, Teasel a Papillon with huge ears and an even bigger bark. Teasel is the youngest of Cathy's pack and Cathy says she is a joy to train and work with. So as you can see for the last 20 years agility has been a big part of Cathy's life, both in training her own dogs and helping others to train theirs, as well as competing at shows and even doing some judging. For Cathy ' agility is fun'.