Crufts 2023: Adorable Sheffield dog in top show final a year after escaping abuse
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She had been taken to the safety of the RSPCA South Yorkshire rescue centre in Bawtry, after animal welfare officials had taken her away from her previous home where she had been abused and neglected. Her previous owner was said to have killed one of their other dogs.
Flea ridden and nervous, the cross-breed was seized by police and the RSPCA, and taken to safety, put initially into canine foster care.
She has been selected for the semi-final of the show’s Scrufts section, for non pedigree animals, after she was spotted at a show at Chatsworth, where the couple had entered him for a Scrufts show on the spur of the moment, during a visit to the stately home and tourist attraction.
Charly, a medical photographer for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, said Bonnie was the couple’s first dog. She added: “My partner and I had always wanted a rescue dog. We already had a cat, and found that she was rehomed with cats, so we thought ‘ooh’!
“We were told she was an anxious dog, and she was nervous when she first arrived with us, so coming to a new house was quite a lot for her. She took a while to totally relax, but her playful side soon came out, and we discovered she had a love for tennis balls. She would take a tennis ball to play with ahead of food. She’s definitely feeling at home now.
Chatsworth country fair
“Then we took her to Chatsworth Country Fair. It was the first year we’d had a dog, and we entered her for a bit of fun into a family fun dog show. We didn’t realise it was Scrufts. We were so happy when we won, because we got a dog walking umbrella and a bag of treats for her as a prize. Then some people from the Kennel Club came and said we’d qualified for the semi finals at Crufts in March – I was speechless! We’d only had her for two months. Apparently they were looking at things like how they are with other dogs and their owners.”
Three year old Bonnie, who is mainly a cross-breed spaniel, will compete in the semi-final at the NEC in Birmingham in the prettiest cross breed bitch section.
Charly, from Norton Lees, said: “Bonnie will absolutely love it – and she can have as many tennis balls as she wants. We’re all looking forward to it and I think it will be a really different fun day out.”
If she gets through the semi-final, Bonnie will take part in the final later on the same day. Experts say she is 46 per cent springer spaniel, 32 per cent cocker spaniel, 17 per cent border terrier, six per cent border collie and two per cent each of Yorkshire terrier, Staffordshire bull terrier, russell terrier and parson russell terrier.