A SHIRLEY pup is the proud new owner of a Crufts ribbon after beating more than 160 other dogs to the podium.
Bing Bong Bella, known at home as Bella, came runner-up in the novice cup agility competition at Crufts over the weekend.
The three-year-old Border Terrier Poodle cross started her training 18 months ago when Helen Roberts thought to put the spring in Bella’s step to good use.
Originally bought for Helen’s mother, Brenda, as a companion, Bella’s boundless energy and love of running round the garden has proved to be an award-winning passtime.
Having initially qualified for Crufts at the Kennel Club International Festival in August last year, trainer Helen Roberts said it was a long and nervewracking wait before they took to the arena floor at the Birmingham NEC.
Helen said: “Stepping out into that huge space was at first really intimidating, but when I saw how much Bella wanted to get out there and show the audience what she could do, a sort of calmness came over me.
“She did really well and we’re all so proud of her – the aim was to place in the top five, so to come second was a real acheivement.
“Bella is totally loopy and loves playing ball and running round the garden, but she is also really cuddly and loves settling down with mum and keeping her company.”
The energetic pup is now gearing up for championship competitions starting at the end of this month and qualifying rounds for Crufts 2016 beginning in April.