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!
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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.