I first met Betty on 3rd April 2010 at the Easter Celebration agility show, Ardingly. I was competing with my other three dogs and was in no way looking for another dog at the time – and definitely not a wild streetwise stray terrier! However …… when Val showed her to me something inside me just clicked. She was terribly under-weight which made her head look too big for her skinny body, her coat was coarse and dull – and she had absolutely no manners whatsoever! But …. I could see she just desperately wanted to belong and be loved. I am definitely not usually such a push over, but I am a great believer that rescue dogs often choose their new owners – and Betty chose me. My husband was not so immediately convinced, but when he called her “Ugly Betty” I knew she would be able to stay!
Betty had been picked up as an unwanted stray from the streets of Croydon by the police and taken into their pound. With the Easter Bank holiday looming and a kennels full of strays on their last 48 hours, the police contacted Val to ask if she could take any of these unwanted mutts before they were put to sleep. I will be eternally grateful to Val and Valgrays for responding to this request and consequently bringing Betty into my life.
I will not pretend that she has been easy, far from it – we had housetraining issues, food stealing issues, chewing furniture issues and socialising issues! She was not a lost cause though, far from it – she immediately bonded with my other dogs and responded well to some basic training and she has always been the most loving snuggly character. So with plenty of TLC and a fair amount of patience Betty absolutely blossomed into the delightful little dog she is today – and my husband no longer refers to her as ‘ugly’ – we think she is just beautiful!
In the six years since she changed our family’s life, Betty has gained her Gold Good Citizen’s award and has just won up into Grade 5 in agility – achievements we are very proud of. However, you cannot put a value on the love, fun, occasional frustration, laughter, licks, affection, companionship and entertainment she has brought us. Betty Bouncer of Valgrays is a very very special little dog who fills my heart with love.
We thank Valgrays Rescue for giving her and so many others a second chance in life and for helping them to find their forever homes.
Betty now lives with Nicky Deakin.