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Shani Patty Paws

Who's counting?

Margaret Goulden and her nine year old crossbreed Shani Patty Paws did 18 shows in 2009 with a total of 78 runs. Out of this there were 66 clears (+ 1 out of time) which means a success rate of 85%. Not bad for a dog who has never been impressed with full height! Having competed for the last 7˝ years, Margaret has decided to run Shani in Anysize / Veterans from now on so Shani can really enjoy herself without the worry about the height. This is Shani's story.

Shani was 14 weeks old when I adopted her from Dogs Trust, then NCDL. She was an unwanted dog from a farm and had had no socialisation at all. Poor puppy. She was frightened of the world! Everything was scary.

One day you could happily walk past a bench on the Downs. Then next time around she would charge at it, barking. Walks were an uphill battle! You had to anticipate her every move. Eventually with love and training, she has become a super dog.

She rules the rest of the 'pack' at home - us included sometimes! She is definitely top dog over three year old Teddy, two year old Peggy and eight year old Coz.

We started obedience training with Sue Stevens at Whitstone Village Hall on Wednesday evenings. Shani was very quick to learn, especially as we did reward training. Food wins most times! We had a great time and learned a lot.

A group of us then decided that Agility sounded fun
Oh, how naive we were!

Shani's Impressive Year

This is how she finished 2009

  • 1 x 1st

  • 1 x 3rd

  • 2 x 4th

  • 2 x 5th

  • 4 x 6th

  • 3 x 7th

  • 2 x 9th

  • 2 x 10th

  • 3 x 11th

  • 1 x 12th

  • 2 x 13th

  • 1 x 16th

  • 42 Clear Rounds

From just doing agility to help Shani gain confidence to being well 'n truly hooked on it did not take long. Shani thought it was good fun and really showed off with the contact equipment. Usually when learning these items two people were involved to help guide the dog safely over for the first few time but not with Shani. As no-one could get near her, I just gave it a go and she did it all as though she was born to it!

We then started competing. The biggest battle was to get Shani passed the Judge and pole pickers in the ring. She eventually decided that they were safe and that agility was good fu. She went on to get her first clear round. What a superb feeling! That rosette was worth a fortune – not in money but pride.

Shani has wall hangings full of rosettes
She is so steady and responsive - although not fast - that there have been very few times that she has not got a clear, a lot of times with a place.

One example of her success was at Dashin' Dogs, Tattenhall in August 2009. In six days of competing, she had a total of 19 runs with an impressive result of a 6th, a 7th, a 9th, a 10th, an 11th place rosettes plus 13 clear rounds. On the last day of the show she knocked a pole down. She was so surprised that she stopped and stared at it. It was not her fault it fell off! On the Tuesday in an Agility round, Shani had 6th place and Teddy, my ‘new’ dog had 1st place, putting us into Grade 2 (at last!)

Shani has been in the Supadog Agility Rescue League (DARL) for two years and  was placed 7th in 2008 and 11th in Large Grade 1 in 2009. She has also managed to get her Kennel Club Agility Warrant Bronze and Silver Awards.

Although we could have gone up to Grade 2 on points, I had always hoped she would win out. In the end, she had to go up as Teddy won out but at her last competition of 2009 - her last full height ever. She came away with a 1st in Agility, a 4th in Jumping and a clear in Steeplechase. Not a bad way to finish a superb career. Just watch out for her in Anysize!

We even found her older sister through agility
We were at a show when Margaret Sochon came rushing over, asking why we had her dog. Only when she saw Shani did she realise it was not hers! Brynie is two years older and another rescue dog from the same area. When you see the two of them together they are like mirror images. Even their mannerisms and attitudes are the same. Brynie, now 11 is retired, but was another steady, clever dog.

I now have Teddy Mavros Koda as my 'competing' dog. With Shani’s help he will go far.

Shani has taught me such a lot in her nine years including patience, fun and above all the love of a faithful companion!

About the author...
Margaret Goulden,
Shani's owner - she thinks that’s the right way round - is 55 and lives in Bude, North Cornwall with her husband Bob. Just over 24 years ago they moved from Birmingham to Cornwall  where they run a small passenger transport company. She has done the same school run for over 22 years.

Margaret started doing agility shortly after she got Shani and now trains with Ginny Foley, nr. Holsworthy. Margaret thoroughly enjoy their training sessions, especially if they have done well at a competition as cakes are compulsory! She is also a member of Carn Brea, an agility club which was set up to put on shows but does not offer training as a club.

Marhave four dogs. Shani and Teddy (collie X) are her two while Coz (Border collie x) and Peggy (Collie X) are Bob’s dogs although their loyalty usually lies with the person with the food.

Her other passion - other than food - is her camera. She is so glad digital cameras were developed as she can click away.