Four Paws Committee
As a child, I have lived a life around dogs! My first memory of owning a pet dog, was a spaniel called Sam. I have vivid memories of Sam pinning me down in our front garden, not vicious just crazy. Sam didn’t last long. Next came Tina, a dash hound crossed Jack Russell. We had Tina all my years growing up.
We all loved her.
When I moved to Oxford, 27 years ago, we rescued our first GSD- the children named her Candie, due to her fluffy coat.
A year later, we rescued a Goldie called Inca. We trained both dogs ourselves. The dogs came everywhere with us; we wanted well trained dogs that would be accepted wherever we went.
We were lucky, they were perfect,( mostly!).
When the children left home, we rescued a homeless male GSD, long story. Suffice to say, he had some bad manners. We knew we would have to work hard to get him where we wanted and if the children still lived at home, we wouldn’t have attempted it! However, Apollo, as we named him, had won our hearts and lived with us for a further 5 years, until his sudden death.
We then decided for the first time, to buy a male GSD. At this time, we had Candie and Inca. The puppy, whom we named Chinook, joined us at a time when both Candie and Inca were elderly dogs. We decided to join our first dog training club at this time. Chinook was gorgeous but like many large male GSDs, was a handful and I handed over his training to Grahame. Up to this point, I had never actually trained a dog myself, I was very inexperienced.
Sadly, we lost Candie about a couple of years into Chinook joining us, she was 15 years old. It was around this time when we, along with some other dog trainers, decided to set up our own dog club. After lots of hard work- Fourpaws was formed! I became the club secretary, (not a role I had ever imagined for myself), we built up Fourpaws between us. Our original site was at Western on the Green.
After a couple of years Inca passed away, she was at this time, 17 years old. For some time, Grahame and I had been keen on the idea of owning a white GSD. After much research we found the perfect breeder. This dog, I was determined, would be trained by me. When I saw Zenzi, I fell in love with her instantly. Full of spirit and a love for humans, Zenzi became my soul mate and she has never been far from my side since. At the age of 3, Zenzi was selected to take part in a Gold display team at Crufts. She has met most of the puppies we have trained at Fourpaws and has grown up with a love of children and anyone who loves her!
We now have another white GSD, as Chinnok passed about 4 years ago. Skeena is now 5 years old and adores Zenzi. She is trained and handled by Grahame. I am thrilled to be entering a new chapter of my Fourpaws journey by once again joining the Fourpaws committee.