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Top dogs take a bow-wow

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By Fiona Reid
Top dogs take a bow-wow

IT was double delight for pooches from Annandale last weekend as not one, but two made it into the final seven in the Crufts live final.

Waterbeck teenager Charley Donaldson and her whippet Hazel beat off competition from nearly 22,000 pooches and narrowly missed out on the Best in Show title to become the Reserve Best in Show.

Hazel, aged two, won best in group in the Hound category on Sunday, securing a place in the Crufts final.

And after a tense round, Charley and Hazel, who was bred in Dumfriesshire, scooped reserve best in show.

Thousands of dogs competed over the four days of Crufts for one the coveted seven places in the final and a chance to win the most celebrated title in the world of dogs.

Proud handler Charley, from Waterbeck, said: “I can’t believe it, I am over the moon. I never expected this to happen. Hazel is one in a million and I can’t thank enough anyone who has supported us, it really means everything to me and my family.“

It was Charley’s 12th year showing at Crufts, but the teen had never come close to the final before.

She said: “When you go to Crufts you never expect anything. There were 397 whippets alone and to win the top in that was crazy then to go on to beat over 3000 hounds, then over 22,000 – bar one – was unbelievable.

“The thing is you never mind being beaten by a good dog and that’s exactly what that westie was.” Hazel, though just two, is now in semi retirement. Charley said: “She’ll be going to some shows this year, but she has nothing to prove so won’t be going all over the country like last year.

“I’d love to handle dogs professionally, so I’m hoping that this win will open a lot of doors for me. “I can’t thank everyone enough for their support. There’s too many to name.”

But Hazel was not the only Annandale pooch to capture the eyes of the judges: Moffat pekinese Eric, pictured, who has been likened to a fluffy cloud, has captured the nation’s hearts.

The pooch, shown by Mr Easdon of Moffat, has developed a massive fan following after appearing in Sunday’s Crufts’ final live on Channel 4.


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