About Us

 

Duke’s Academy for Dogs was always a dream of mine!  Well not the name…but the idea.  The idea of helping other people experience what I have experienced with my dogs (furkids)

From the time I was a small girl I had a great love and respect for all animals (not just dogs) even rats, mice, hamsters and even tiny little fish! J  

When I was younger I watched my older sister, Christine train her first dog (Tara) a Staffie cross who was brilliant in her obedience and attack work.  Christine took Tara for training every Saturday morning at a dog school just up the road from us named Dogs On Duty…these dogs were really only duty! J I would tag along every Saturday morning and sit on the side lines and watch Christine and everyone else go through their paces.  I was so interested!!  I would BEG my parents to get me a dog too, but they believed I wasn’t old enough to handle the responsibility of a dog!  So I carried on tagging along with my big sister and her Staffie cross to training until I was old enough.  Watching and listening to the instructors and the dogs really taught me A LOT about dogs and the way dogs work!  BODY LANGUAGE, HOW TO TREAT A DOG..all that jazz (even though I knew how to treat animals) at home, it’s a totally different environment.  Your dogs are calm and in their own space.  At training…there are 6 -10 other over excited dogs there all wanting to attack that toy in the attack work!  Watching the advanced and Beginner handlers was truly an amazing sight…seeing the bond the advanced handlers had and the bond that was forming with the beginner handlers and their dogs!   

When my mom and dad realized I was being serious about owning my own dog they considered getting me a dog.  At first I wanted a Rottweiler! 

My First Dog and a Life Journey I will Never Forget: In December 1997 my family and I went to Ramsgate on holiday for 2 weeks.  We stayed at a lovely house (which belonged to a cousin of my mom’s) I was in heaven, there were Monkeys in our garden in our house and eventually they become a bit of a pain for my mom and dad as they were stealing all the food in the kitchen…but I loved it J  Across the road from the house we were staying in was a park (small park).  Every day at 4pm an elderly gentleman and his Beautiful BORDER COLLE, Shelly came and played ball in that particular park.  For the first day I just sat on the wall of the house and watched while my folks got settled in.  I watched how they played and the bond and love these two shared was beyond me!!!!  I had never seen such a happier pair! J  Eventually my dad pushed me to go and ask the gentleman if I could please play a game of fetch with Shelly the Border Collie J  So…I did.  The gentleman was only too happy to allow me to throw Shelly’s favorite ball.   Shelly and I become very close.  I begged my parents to please be home before 4pm every day so I could play fetch with Shelly.  I eventually would go to their house (Peter and his wife) and go pick up Shelly on my own and take her to the park and play fetch J  EVERY DAY!! J  It was WONDERFUL!! J  Unfortunately our holiday had come to an end L  and I had to say good bye to Shelly and her family!  I was so upset!! L  I remember crying all the way home!!  When we got home I had told my mom I no longer wanted a Rottweiler, but now wanted a Border Collie (I did my research and learnt a lot about the breed).

My mom and I were walking into the spar when a sign up on the wall caught my eye….BORDER COLLIE RESCUE, adult dogs and puppies looking for good homes!  I begged my mom to phone them (at that stage all I knew was I wanted a male Border Collie) My mom phoned the number of Border Collie Rescue and spoke to a lovely lady by the name of Irene.  Irene told my mom at that stage they had no young males available.  So…we had to wait!  I begged my mom and dad to please bug them.  My mom was so sick of hearing the word BORDER COLLIE. J  But it didn’t stop me J  

My mom fetched me from school and had her camera with her, as I got home I saw my oldest sister running outside…I thought she was bunking and I ran out to bust her…only to see she was trying to surprise me J Christine walked in with a Black and White (VERY SCARED) Border Collie DUKE! J  This was MY NEW DOG…MY BORDER COLLIE…my mom and dad had received the call a week earlier from BCR saying they had two dogs available at the Pretoria Police and would we like to go and see if we wanted to adopt any of them.  So my mom and dad decided to keep it a surprise for me and my sister and my mom went through to Pretoria and out of Two Border Collies, they chose Duke J  Duke was a very scared 1 year old Border Collie who was rejected from the Pretoria Police.  He was too scared to pass there tests.  BCR gave the name and contact details of Fanie Vermeulen and I started training with him.  SOUTHERN DOG TRAINING SCHOOL….this is where it all began!!! J

We competed in Obedience shows and our highest mark for Obedience was 99%.  But I stopped competing in Obedience as Duke found it very boring – he preferred the FAST SPORT!
Duke and I started our agility training with Wes Parsons who taught Duke and I SO MUCH about Agility!  Without him, I am not sure where I would be today!!
J

Duke and I went on to compete in the South African Championships for Agility and we were chosen to represent Gauteng 5 times.

Today Duke is a South African Champion in Contact Agility, Kusa National Champion in AGILITY and a DOUBLE Champion in both Dog Jumping and Agility.  He is 14.5 years old and today is a retired, happy old man!! J

Duke is the inspiration for my dog school and he was my first dog (my very own)!  Duke’s Academy for Dogs is dedicated to Duke, my way of thanking him for EVERYTHING he has shown me in 14 years!!!  14 years is a long time to share with someone!!!

Duke, I still wonder my boy….who rescued who???  THANK YOU DUKE FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE GIVEN ME…THE LOVE….THE FUN….THE SUPPORT!!!  You are my soul mate and you have helped me become the person I am today!!!! 

Today I have 3 Border Collies, a Jack Russell (who im convinced thinks she is a Border Collie) and a Wire Haired Fox Terrier. 

My note to each person who reads this: your dog is not just a dog….you don’t choose your dog…your dog chooses you!  Take care of your animals, because the love they give you, is unlike any love that any human being can EVEN imagine to give!!!!!!!  

HUGE THANK YOU TO NATALIE MCMANUS FOR CREATING THE WEBISTE AND TAKING THE PHOTO’S AND HELPING ME WITH THIS ALL!!!! J  YOU ROCK!!! J 

REMEMBER, A HAPPY DOG IS A LOVED DOG!

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