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More than just pets

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By Lewis Irons
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More than just pets

HAVING two or three dogs in your home sounds like a lot to handle, but for Charley Donaldson from Waterbeck her 16 canines are more than just pets.

With a spot in the world’s biggest dog showing competition Crufts this year, Charley is looking to better her 2015 achievements by aiming for victory at the highest level.
Competing since the age of eight, 19-year-old Charley, pictured above, has an undeniable passion for dog showing.
She said: “I’ve always had a love for animals and this hobby definitely ticks all the boxes for me. I live and breathe dogs every single day.”
Owner of 12 Whippets, two Basenjis, a Dalmatian and a Dachschund, Charley puts her success down to a love of dogs which developed when she was a child.
She explained: “I got involved in dog shows through family friends Leigh Morris and George Waddell, who regularly attended.
“My family and I had been walking past her house when Leigh asked if my sister, Allison, and I wanted to help walk dogs. As an eight year old, playing with up to 12 dogs was a dream for me, therefore I agreed.
“I began going along to the odd small show. I think I was hooked from my first show as I won Best Puppy in Show with Douglas, who ended up being my first show dog.”
This year will see Jayda the Basenji, Cilla the Dalmatian and Dora the Dachshund all taking part in their first shows.
However, out of 16 dogs, one of her 12 whippets, Hazel, is ‘very special’ to Charley.
She said: “We have been a team since the day she came into the house.
“She sleeps in my bed, follows me round the house and knows exactly how to get what she wants. 2015 started really well for us, as Hazel was crowned Top Puppy 2014.”
The year brought further success for Charley and Hazel, with top spot in numerous competitions across the country.
December brought an impressive close to the year, as Hazel was crowned Top Whippet 2015, fending off competition from over 250 other dogs.
With a spot at the top competition this year, the level of success in 2015 is only a fraction of what is to come for Charley, who said: “I’ve never been more proud.”

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