Flying Fin Goes from Wags to Riches

Blue Cross stray shows off his skills at Crufts

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Fin, a Staffordshire bull terrier cross, has made his mark at Crufts with his owner Marion Joliffe, head nurse at the Blue Cross' Hammersmith animal hospital.

When Marion adopted him from the Blue Cross three years ago, he didn’t even understand basic commands like sit or stay.

But at this year's Crufts, the annual show for Britain's poshest pooches, Fin had the crowds cheering as he raced around the agility course alongside other four legged - and in one case three legged - members of the Blue Cross rescue dogs' team.

A year's training in agility paid off, as Fin's efforts were rewarded with a rosette. And this is just his latest in a line of awards, which also include the Kennel Club’s bronze, silver and gold Good Citizen Awards, given to dogs and owners who have achieved the highest levels of training skills.

The Blue Cross says: " The team of rescue dogs prove you don't need a pedigree to be top dog."

Proud owner Marion says she is very proud of Fin's achievement, but admits things don't always go so smoothly.

" He’s been doing really well with his training," she says. " You never can tell how he’ll do on the day though – he went into a tunnel and came back out of the same end at a show last year.

" At least he got a laugh from the crowd!"

Hammersmith Blue Cross Animal Hospital carries out around 6,000 consultations a year, providing veterinary services to pets whose owners are on certain means-tested benefits or low incomes.

The hospital is Argyle Place off King Street and is open Monday to Friday (except Wednesday): 9am – 12pm and 2pm – 5pm. Wednesday: 9.30am – 12pm. Contact the hospital on 020 8748 5150.

March 16, 2011