Ipswich: Teen prepares for finals of national competition with her loyal pooch

AN IPSWICH teenager who helped to transform the fortunes of a crossbreed pooch is today preparing for the finals of a national dog competition.

Annabelle Shenning, 14, of Ashcroft Road, will be at the final of Crufts, in Birmingham, in March along with her loyal pal Barley – a Pyrenean mountain dog crossed with a retriever.

The duo will be a part of the Scruffts section of the competition – which is specifically for crossbreeds – after winning heats earlier this year.

“It was a bit of a shock, because I couldn’t believe that it had happened,” said the Northgate High School pupil.

“We entered the competition because it was a great experience.

“I was just so proud of him and he was so well behaved.”

Annabelle and Barley competed in the Child’s Best Friend category of Scruffts, which is for dog handlers between the ages of six and 16.

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She revealed that Barley was bought from a farm where there were around 30 other dogs who were all fighting for food – which affected his early life. Annabelle said: “He used to be terrified and he wouldn’t walk out of the door, but he has definitely grown in confidence.

“We never took him to dog training; we just kind of taught him ourselves.

“We have entered him in quite a few dog shows and he has won several prizes.”