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Jack Be Nimble of Valgray

Valgrays Dog of the Year 2012

Jack Be Nimble of Valgray came into rescue as a puppy and was only there for a few days before he was snapped up by Ann Young. Sometimes she admits it was hard work, but she has done well with him. He ended up with 1844 point in the Valgray Rescue Dog of the Year league, so we asked her to write something about her clever little boy who was the 2012 winner, without much help from her... or so she says.

I have been doing agility for about 11 years. Jack came to me via Valgrays Border Collie Rescue in October 2006 as an adorable 12 week old puppy. He was surplus to requirements on a farm in Wales along with his two brothers. The puppies were called Small, Medium and Large. All were black & white and all quite bold. I chose the largest puppy, but all were small framed and beautiful, ideal for agility.

Jack settled in with us very easily and joined our family of dogs with no problems.

I started training Jack with Sarah MacNeil along with our other dogs Kelpie Ben of Valgray and my husband's GSD Merlin. Jack picked things up very quickly and we were soon competing . Jack's first show at age 20 months was Easter Celebration 2008. He managed to get three places in Grade 2. We had a really good year and at Stour Valley show 2008 Jack won into Grade 3.

Jack & Merlin2009 was not a great year for us, however, as I was involved in a RTA and suffered a fractured sternum.

2010 was a fairly good year with moderate success. 2011 was a non-starter as I was admitted to Hospital in January, then again in March and ended up in Guys in July for major surgery. While I was in hospital, friends and family helped out by taking all my dogs for a while except Jack who isn't always good with dogs he doesn't live with. He stayed with my husband Derrick and went to work with him. Jack stayed in the dog van while Derrick was working, being exercised tea breaks and lunch time. Typically Jack found out where the canteen was very quickly and was thoroughly spoilt by Derrick's work colleagues. During this time, Derrick took over Jack's training for me to keep him fit and even competed with him on occasion with some success.

By this time, we had moved to Kent and started training at Chart Agility Club as well as Saramak AC.

I was full of hope for 2012 as both Jack and I were fit and well, and my clever little boy didn't let me down. He'd been ready for ages... just waiting for Mum to get her act together. Jack is very fast and, as I sometimes loose my way on courses, he barks at me to ask me which way am I supposed to be going.

Easter Celebration 2012 Jack won out of Grade 3. He also managed a 5th place in the Olympia qualifier. On July 22nd at Adams Agility Show, Jack won out of Grade 4 and also qualified for Olympia Semi finals. 0n August 24th at Summer Agility Jack won out of Grade 5.

We qualified for the Olympia final at the Derbyshire show and waited for the great day to arrive. Jack was very excited at Olympia and managed to miss two touch points, but we had a really lovely day and I was very proud of him.

Derrick and I have made some really good friends through agility and enjoy the social side as well as competing. I would also like to say a huge thanks to all who have helped me with Jack.

I am looking forward to this year and hope to continue competing for many years to come.

About the author...
Ann Young has been married to Derrick for 40 years next year. They have three sons and two adorable grandsons.

She worked for the NHS for the last 36 years but retired this year due to ongoing health problems.

First published 24 June 2013