Just look at her now! Rescued dog makes it to Crufts

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LULU the border collie was once so desperate for exercise she used her natural instincts to herd the children she lived with.

Her original owners simply couldn’t cope with the boisterous young pup and she was given up to an animal rescue charity.

SO PROUD Anne Arbon and her dog Lulu.  Picture: Allan Hutchings  (120804-831)

SO PROUD Anne Arbon and her dog Lulu. Picture: Allan Hutchings (120804-831)

But now Lulu’s energy is encouraged and put to good use – and today she will compete in the finals of the agility competition at Crufts.

She beat 900 other pooches to compete in the world-renowned dog show.

Anne Arbon rescued Lulu from the Blue Cross animal charity when she was six months old.

The 65-year-old has trained her so well she is now one of the best agility dogs in the country.

But life could have turned out to be so very different.

Anne, of Anmore Road, Denmead, said: ‘When Lulu first came out of the kennels at Blue Cross she greeted me like a long-lost friend.

‘She had been put up for rehoming because she had begun herding the children in the family, which is natural collie behaviour, but can be worrying if not properly controlled.

‘When we got home, I started some basic obedience training with Lulu before moving on to agility and it became clear she was a clever dog with a big talent.’

Anne, who has seven rescue dogs, has been doing agility training with German shepherds for 13 years but it was the first time she had worked with a collie.

After two years of training, Lulu, who is now six, began competing at agility, gradually working her way up through the grades, before qualifying for the Kennel Club International Show last August.

Her outstanding performance won her the place at Crufts.

Anne continued: ‘I was so proud to watch her qualify for Crufts – it’s more than I could have hoped for.

‘But the best thing about it is how much Lulu enjoys it.

‘Whatever happens on the day – even if she goes completely wrong – I don’t care.

‘It is enough for me that she is taking part.

‘I thank the day Blue Cross let me adopt her. She is such a wonderful dog and I am so proud of her.’

Anne is unable to run with Lulu due to a bad back so she will compete with 18-year-old family friend Neil Ellis from Dorset instead.

Southampton Blue Cross rehoming manager Lara Alford said: ‘Her previous owners reluctantly gave her up but it goes to show that in the right home and with the right stimulation, any pet can thrive.’

To make a donation or to find out more about rehoming a pet visit bluecross.org.uk or call 0300 777 1897.