Maisie’s Story by Kelly Howarth
Hello – my name is Maisie, I am an 8 year-old Border Collie and I’ve come a long way on my journey. My Mum is very proud of me, because what was learned in understanding and training me also helped other dogs.
As a puppy I was terribly shy, and would lie down and stare at the walls when I got really scared. This was me ‘shutting down.’ The usual socialisation just made me worse – I was afraid of people and didn’t like other dogs coming near me. I loved my Mum very much and didn’t want to spend time, play or work with anyone else.
I was also afraid of bangs and very sensitive to my environment. I remembered anything bad that happened in certain places and didn’t want to go there anymore.
Later, I became known as the urban sheep dog in my home town and loved to chase anything that moved – cars, bikes, skateboards and other dogs when they went after balls.
When I was about 1 year old I met a lady called Caroline Lavelle, who was running special classes for dogs like me. She helped my Mum to accept me, understand me, and taught her how to increase my trust and confidence.
My Mum’s friend, Lauren Langman, started Devon Dogs. At first I couldn’t cope in normal Agility Classes. So Lauren did a special class for dogs like me where we could learn Agility at our own pace. After a while me and the dogs in my class improved a lot. We had our issues, but we wanted to work and have fun.
I love Agility – it helped me to became more confident. My Mum learned how to deal with my high chase drive and harness it in work. At 2 years old I began competing at Agility Shows and loved it. I am really fast and squeak with excitement. I still do Agility, and Shows are where I can be myself.
Now I’m much happier to be with other people, but my Mum knows not to push me too far. She protects me from people who want to stroke me when I don’t like it. I especially like people when they give me food and throw my ball!
These days I’m a happy and content dog. I don’t chase things like I did and I’m much more tolerant of other dogs. But my Mum knows how much space I need from other dogs. I also decided I love puppies and like to ‘Mummy’ them. Someone told my mum once about me “It’s my bubble but they know me here.”
Maisie & Kelly