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The fabulous Fandabidozi sisters...

This is the tale of two sibling sisters who took very individual journeys on their way to becoming Agility Champions in the Medium and Large height categories. Their breeder and owner Alayne Lamerton shares the story of their amazing rise to the very top of agility.

Munchy and Clippy are sisters. They are from different litters but share a mother. Naturally there are many similarities between them but there are many differences as well.

Munchy winning through against the odds
First there's Ag.Ch. Fandabidozi Munchykin Jive
(aka Munchy) who is the older but smaller sister and competes in Medium.

She was born at home on the 29th December 2015 in a litter of seven out of Linda Hutchinson's Brook (Borderpaws Dark Secret) x Alayne Lamerton's Dust (Fandabidozi Star Light.)

Munchy was born last. She was small and had complications. Six years ago, as a family, we decided to take a risk on this young puppy that we had bred even though we had been advised it would be best to let her go.

Nature did not quite put her insides together right. She had an ectopic ureter, an abnormality in the tubular tissue that connects the kidney to the urinary bladder. She only had one kidney and her bladder was in her pelvis. Subsequently, it was moved up together with her only ureter which also then had to be moved higher into her newly positioned bladder. There was more but you get the picture!

In her short life, as though this was not enough, she followed this with a closed infected pyometra at just 12 months which nearly killed her as it was not properly diagnosed for nearly two weeks.

Even after an operation to correct things, Munchy did not have a straightforward journey back to health, and things were very touch and go for the first two years of her life.

Her training was very stop/start up to the age of 15 months, and it continued to be affected by way of her debilitating repeated urine infections. Happily these were fixed by a pioneering procedure by her specialist vet. The bottom line was that up to the age of two years old, it was unsure as to whether Munchy would 'make it.'

Enter Dalt & Steph Agility
Dalton Meredith took on Munchy knowing her medical history. We all agreed that Munchy should continue a 'normal' life and enjoy herself to the full. In this respect, she has done both agility and flyball. Her training is very much based on a 'have fun, live now' approach.

The uncertainty of her life expectancy is reflected in her training programme. This, for example, has been particularly noticeable in her dogwalk contacts which started as 'stops only' but, as she continued to thrive and excel at agility, were changed to add on 'runnings' - not the easiest thing to retrain as Munchy has sometimes demonstrated by way of a leap of excitement.

Being the first to be trained, there were some mistakes and lessons to be learned. She has an emotional side and can be more sensitive than her sister, so she requires a gentler approach to training.

In general, Munchy is a very vocal dog, especially when she is doing agility. She loves to 'run with Dalt' and this does often mean she is the easier dog to run of the two.

Munchy became an Agility Champion (Ag.Ch.) on the 21st July 2019. Since then, this amazing little dog has won nine tickets with Dalt. They also qualified for the WAOs in May 2022 in The Netherlands where she did not let us down let us down with one Gold and one Silver in the 400 group. For Dalt, it was a dream come true.

There has to be special thanks to the amazing people without whom, Munchy would not have survived, including Wayne and Alison O'Rourke of Jets Flyball Team and the agility folk who set up a fund raising page and made a donation of goods to assist with Munchy's burgeoning health bills. The very real downside of breeding your own dog is that Munchy could not be insured.

Munchy is a survivor. She smiles her way through life. Despite all the difficulties she has encountered along the way, she has achieved the ultimate goal for an agility dog in the UK.

Clippy is one of a kind
Then there is Ag.Ch. Fandabidozi Eclipse of Dust (aka Clippy) who competes in Large
though she is also on the smaller side, measuring in at only 45.9cms. She was born at home on the 24th April 2018 in a litter of five out of Heidi Clelland's DJ (Gunran Too Hot to Handle) x Alayne Lamerton's Dust (Fandabidozi Star Light.)

She is very much the product of two trainers, partners Dalton Meredith and Stephanie Best. Steph did Clippy's foundations to a very high standard, thus making it easier for Dalt to build on them for all her later training.

She is a mixture of happiness, enthusiasm, brilliance and stubbornness. She's much more of a 'free spirit' than her sister but she also has a stubborn side. Although she learns quickly, she is equally capable of questioning what she is supposed to be doing. Once she understands and approves, she is onboard with you and tries very hard to get it right.

She loves to run anywhere and everywhere, and her favourite place to do this is with her brother, sisters, mum and granny in the New Forest.

Teamwork made the dream work. She has definitely benefited from the mistakes learned from training Munchy. Sadly, the lack of competitions due to Covid did hamper her progress being any quicker.

Once competitions were up and running again, Clippy progressed from G2 to G7 very quickly. She became an Agility Champion just before her fourth birthday at Scunthorpe on the 9th April 2022, and she has been given the amazing opportunity to compete on the big stages at European Open in July and then at FCI World Agility Championships in September.

Clippy is the happiest of dogs, full of enthusiasm, and we can't wait to see her in action competing against the big international guns.

Agility Champions
So, there we have it - two siblings who became Agility Champions, albeit via very different paths.

Both dogs have an affectionate side to them, but Munchy is the kind of dog that tweaks your heart strings as she has been through so much in her life. Clippy, on the other hand, is full of zest and is 'ever ready' for the next walk, bit of agility or anything that involves her running.

They have been very fortunate to have two families - one living at home with Alayne, Cliff, Carly and Kaydee and the other with Dalt and Steph.

They are both very happy and successful dogs and we are lucky to have them in our lives.

About the author...
Alayne Lamerton was introduced to agility later on in life after her family had grown up and there was more time.

She started training with Sue White at Whirlwind around 2004 with her second Border Collie Trix. It wasn't long until she got hooked on both agility and flyball as amazing past times to enjoy with her dogs.

Her Fandabidozi line began when she bred her Star (Darian Living on the Edge) with Callum (Bekwey Muchacho). From that litter, they kept Dust (Fandabidozi Star Light) and the rest is history. When looking for prefixes for her pups, Alayne wanted something positive whatever happened along the agility journey. She and her husband had happy memories of watching the Krankies on television as children.

In 2006 she and her family moved to Ringwood where she met and trained with Dalt Meredith and Stephanie Best of Dalt and Steph Agility.

She has four competing dogs - three in G7 and one in G6, but these days she would much rather watch than participate as it gives her enormous pleasure seeing all her dogs' journeys and successes.

First published 30th June 2022


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