A timid collie and her owner have proved that patience is a virtue, after the rescue dog has won a prestigious prize.
Bridie Bennett, of Longhoughton, has overseen a huge achievement by her little rescue bitch, Jill.
The prized pooch has won the Northumberland British Denkavit Open Novice Cup for the most novice open wins in the Northumberland League 2014.
Delighted Jill said: “We started trialling by default and by perseverance we achieved the win against the odds, because of Jill’s timidness, plus the fact that I have no sheep of my own to practice with - just seagulls.”
Jill was bred in Wales and lived her first three years in a remote barn and was never socialized. Her aged owner was then hospitalised and Jill was moved on, but due to her timidness she went through three homes before ending up in Alnwick on a large farm where she ran away for days at a time.
She once survived by living feral for a week in deep snow and sub-zero temperatures.
But Jill has thrived since meeting Bridie.
Bridie said: “She knew basic commands and was safe among sheep, so after a few lessons, we entered a sheepdog trial.
“It was a daunting experience. Jill panicked and ran away when she saw people on the course, but we persevered and turned up every week, learning and gaining courage.
“By this, Jill shone through and ended up with 12 novice wins to her name and we were eventually presented with the coveted Novice Overall Cup Open for 2014.”
“It is an unexpected chapter, but shows what love and patience can do with a timid dog.”