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Competition success down to puppy love
Buy this photo » Lucy Maguire with Scooby and his owner Michael Siggery. Picture: OX62089 Antony Moore
TWO girls from Oxfordshire are showing that a dog is in fact a girl’s best friend.
When teenager Lucy Maguire offered to look after family friend Michael Siggery’s dog Scooby, little did he know she would turn him into a champion and, tonight, a TV star.
The 14-year-old took on the Jack Russell terrier when the Cowley 78-year-old Mr Siggery went on holiday two years ago with his wife.
When he returned a week later, the teen had his dog jumping over fences and running through tunnels in her Marston back garden.
And in another heart-warming shaggy dog story, Gio-Gio Botto, 10, from Didcot and her dog Bambi will represent Great Britain at the European Dog Agility Cup.
Lucy, of Dents Close, said of Scooby: “He picked it up so quickly.”
The pair have competed in agility competitions across the country and picked up more than 20 first place prizes. Last year, Scooby came fifth in the UK Agility Finals in Somerset.
Scooby, who Lucy trains once a week, is now set to appear on television tonight.
The six-year-old is among the dogs to be filmed running an obstacle course for The Wonder of Dogs on BBC2 at 8pm tonight. Lucy said: “It will hopefully get more people into agility. It is a lovely sport.
“It is great fun for the dog and the handler and Scooby loves it.”
Retired St John’s College bar manager Mr Siggery, who has lived in Lytton Road for 50 years, said he and his wife Maureen took Scooby in when he was 10-weeks-old.
But he said he was not surprised his dog took so quickly to agility, adding: “He is just one of those dogs. He would have been good in a circus.
“He just loves it.”
Lucy’s mum Sarah Maguire said the family had owned a dog but her daughter had always offered to care for the pets of family friends.
She said the family were surprised to see Scooby take to agility so fast.
She said: “It was quite a surprise.
“They seem to have a language between them. It is magical to see them flowing round as though they are connected with a bit of cotton.”
Meanwhile, Gio-Gio Botto, 10, from Didcot and her dog Bambi are getting ready for their European adventure.
They will be competing in the under-12 section of Team GB in Holland on September 28 and 29.
Bambi, a seven-year-old Pyrenean Sheepdog, is seen by the dog experts as very special as she suffered from dislocated kneecaps as a puppy.
Gio-Gio said: “I am so proud of Bambi, and excited to see how we do.
“Even if we are eliminated, it will be the greatest experience of both our lives.
“I would like to thank Larkmead Vets, all my trainers (Lee Harfield, Lorna Peachey, Jill Lowe, Tania Kelly and my mum) and my dad for paying for all my training, plus nanny and granddad.”
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