Crazy Daisy Moses came into Michelle Ainsworth's life one snowy Monday evening in January 2001. A Jack Russell x Whippet, she is quite possibly the smallest Lurcher you will ever meet. Size hasn't stopped her, however, from a successful agility career. This little whirlwind is the reason that Chelle sponsors the Rescue category of the Lurcher League 2.
Daisy is a Jack Russell x Whippet – and quite possibly the smallest Lurcher you will ever meet. She was rescued at five weeks old as she was going to be drowned. This left her with a deep seated nervousness of many situations, most of which we have worked hard to overcome, but in situations when she is not happy, she still holds her ears like a Whippet. For instance, she used to be completely overawed by children. Now though she will work happily for a small person. Lots of treats and encouragement and some very nice kids helped on that one.
During her first week with me, she met Lizzie Trout. Most of you won't remember as my epileptic neurotic Border Terrier who did not cope well with the show environment. Trout was bemused by this little dot who only ever stopped still when she slept – which was always on my chest - yes, even in bed - but took her prescence in her stride. She also met all the lab gang. As they did their party piece - going over the A-frame in the garden - in formation, she would join them, stop at the apex and have a good old look round 'her' domain.
Overall, however, Daisy was a very good puppy except for the day she chewed through five layers of lino in my kitchen. I will never forget coming home from work to find I could not get into the kitchen. When I forced my way in, I discovered Moses perched on top of a pile of very odd coloured lino, looking really really pleased with herself. In fairness to Daisy, her hard work that day uncovered the most beautiful quarry floor tiles – so much easier to keep clean (until the council covered them over during renovation work! She was introduced to a crate that evening!
Socialisation was easy with Daisy – after all she regularly consorted with seven other dogs. She attended class in a pink cat carrier. She used to pitch a fit because being in prison meant she could not round everybody up – even knocking the carrier on the floor on numerous occasions.
with Mum and The Dragon
I won her out of Elementary in July 2003 at Wirral. For once, she let me steer! The judge Denny McMahon still remembers the run. Actually I won't let her forget it, I was so chuffed. That was my agility pinnacle.
Daisy used to nip me very often in her frustration so my mum, Eileen (aka The Dragon) stepped in to 'tame the bitch.' I gave up then and transferred Daisy out of my ownership. Mum won her out of Midi Starters in May 2004 and the same day won Midi Novice Jumping.
Their partnership does not always work, however. Daisy still has a very definite idea of how things should be done which does not always tally with what my mum wants her to do - and should it all go pear-shaped, Daisy has the gall to bark at mum when she does things her way!
Daisy turned nine in November, and they still compete successfully together even now. Mum has run Daisy in competition for six years now and it is that partnership that gets the points. Their last competition was NAWS in January 2010 when she managed 1st in Agility and 2nd in Jumping. She still has very definite ideas of how to get the job done which don't always tally with how my mum wants the job done!
Typical Daisyness kicked in for the next 13 months. She never even got a place anywhere but in June 2006 at Wyre she won enough classes to go Senior. She only needed two more wins to take her to Advanced. This happened in August 2006 at West Lakes when it was at Bootle. The final win into Advanced came under Karen Miakowski.
I gave up counting her points for her warrant when the book ran out at 1500 points - never sent it in. She has competed at Crufts twice, the first time ending up 2nd in the YKC Midi ABC with Hazel Kitching in charge (second only to a blue merle collie (I know, it was an ABC, still have the bench tickets at home).
The second time she and mum competed in the only ever International Pentathalon (on Dragon’s birthday), coming 1st in the first class. I have a photo at home somewhere of Daisy sitting on the table, looking at mum who was watching the time as if to say 'er, hang on here, why have we stopped? There are still some more jumps and a tyre.' Mum timed it right and sent her on though. The judges had set a time of 35 seconds and they came in at 34.86 seconds.They came 3rd in the third class and 3rd overall against dogs from all over Europe.
In addition, Daisy works on shoots and will either flush or retrieve game. She loves to do scurries and in 2007 won sections of the Multi Scurry, held by Living Heritage Shows. This qualified her for the final and won me £55 of M & S vouchers in the process. October 2007 saw us at Belvoir Castle with me at the helm, competing against over 80 other dogs. She ended up 4th, just missing out on the money and the trophies, but guess what... it matters not a jot. She worked her cottons off and had a really really good time doing it as she does everything in her life.
She will never be forgiving enough to be my 'stooge' dog when training agility but enjoys being farmed out to be the 'stooge' dog on Monday evenings during obedience class. The building I use for my training is very cold so everyone wraps up well and Daisy wears her beautiful purple coat which is festooned with lovehearts – lovehearts for my love bug.
Daisy is very very definitely a Mummy's girl.' She looks for me when I am judging before she will run. If mum does not bring her to 'my' ring, chances are Moses won't work – or will work her way.
During the weekends for our shows, Daisy is with me in the office. She trots off to run for my mum then dashes back to the office to tell me all about how good she was... even if she was not. On the one weekend when I went away without her - the only time in her life - she sat outside my bedroom door waiting for me to come back.
She loves her long walks still and will play with Teal, Mum's Fox Red Labrador and love to lay with Pip, the Black Lab to have her ears cleaned.
She also likes to boss the other dogs around. Occassionally, when she is particularly full of devilment she will, temporarily, let Zak, the Jack Russell think he is 'Top Dog,' Then she will reassert her authority after a few minutes, much to his consternation. It has to be said 'The Kelpie' has an equal dislike of Daisy – and 'The Kelplette' is not too keen on her either.
Showing her age... or not
We (Delinquent Dogz) then became the training venue for South Riding Spitfires and Merlins Flyball team. On the weekend of 6 February, we attended our first ever competition. Daisy, Rupert (Cocker Spaniel), Ghillie (WSD) and Teal (the aforementioned Fox Red Lab) became the Spitfires and ended up joint 2nd in our division. So, for the foreseeable, Miss Moses is going to continue raising cain.
Long may you continue, Daisy. You are a fantastic girl and a privilege to live with.
About the author...
She has five dogs - Daisy, Wilbur, Zak, EV and Rupert. None of her dogs are registered to her for competition so they can run for other people on days when she is judging. In addition to Daisy, they are:-
On Mondays Michelle trains two obedience classes and on Sundays it's one obedience session, followed by four hours of agility training with Eileen and whomever else turns up.
She also runs a pet shop at her own shows and has taken the shop to different KC and Independent shows when asked.
First published 5 March 2010