Many of you may have read about Lucky Luke aka The Fox in previous articles and here is his progress.
Luke arrived in his forever home in late December 2018, Poppy’s Christmas present, she missed a doggy friend. He was a hunting reject at 2 years old and been kept in awful conditions outside. Initially, in his new home he was very worried and had no confidence. It was felt that he needed to be left alone and given time to assess his surroundings. Sadly, Luke didn’t know about being stroked and touched, here Poppy worked her magic on him, one very laid back Labrador! With his human companion and with Poppy for company he started basic agility in the spring of 2019 to boost his confidence and doggy skills. Very slow progress was achieved; he would lie down flat out in the school and not move if he got confused or worried about the situation. A leftover from his past meant that verbal encouragement or praise didn’t work, it just worried him all the more. Anita came to the rescue with the clicker training. For every correct or nearly correct movement a click was given, then a sweetie (treat), he soon picked it up. He loved two obstacles in particular, dog walk and A frame but his bête noir was the seesaw and weaving poles. Gentle training going one step forward then three back required patience until he was ready for his first competition in the U.K. At UKA Cheltenham he did the steeplechase courses and loved them, coming home with two clear round rosettes, a huge achievement for him.
In France a dog needs to pass an exam before being able to compete. Luke’s first pass agility was cancelled due to Covid-19. Another try in August 2020 but his human friend was having a bad day. Luke’s trust in his companion means that he picks up on how she is feeling. However, much to her surprise he got his good dog obedience pass, with very good marks. Such a result was a complete shock as it was far more complicated than the pair had trained for. Luke was a star!
More gentle training and the introduction of Lana in August 2020, in fact, the evening after the exam. Then Roo the Poo, the poodle puppy joined the happy family. In this happy family Luke was recovering faster and faster and now copes better with things he doesn’t like such as the noise of the seesaw as it hits the ground or missing a weave pole. So, when another of the Agility Team saw that there was an agility pass on the 23 October near Rennes, with a very sympathetic judge who works terriers, he was signed up. Several stressful months passed, when human emotions were to the fore which caused worrying too much about the day, it eventually arrived! The weather was lovely, the judge sympathetic and there was a good atmosphere. Luke, Mr. Fox, did his stuff brilliantly! There was one moment of cowering caused by a bit of misinterpretation between human and dog but then with a cheery voice (which took 2 yrs of work to achieve) he was off to the next obstacle. After two runs had been completed and two different courses, there was a debrief with the judge and her 2 adjudicators.
The judge and adjudicators wanted to know why the cowering happened; they were amazed and touched by Luke’s story and the dedication shown by his human friend and Grande Daze. He was mentioned without being named in the Judges summing up of the day and everyone received congratulations for passing. The day after the agility competitions the Judge again spoke respectfully about Luke. Now, Covid -19 permitting, the pair can compete in France and fly the flag for Grande Daze and rescue dogs.
We are very proud of Lucky Luke, The Fox. He is testament to the value of our animals and especially the ones who are rejected and then rescued. The rapport and companionship shared by this human and dog and their friends is special. We hope for this for all our rescues and rescuers.