Little Mae has been with me through a very difficult 18 months where my Mum passed from Alzheimers and my Dad has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Mae had a very sad start to her life where she was left chained in a barn as she wasn’t interested in working sheep. A friend heard that the farmer was going to shoot her so he went in and rescued her. He couldn’t keep her but I took her on and she has become my soulmate through some very difficult times.
We started an agility journey together and from both complete beginners, we reached G5 at KC with a couple of wins towards G6. Unfortunately, due to Covid, all shows were cancelled last year and I made the decision to retire her from competitive classes. However, despite the fun and success we had at agility, it was her ability to help others that made me nominate her.
Mae was registered with Therapy Dogs Nationwide and used to go into local schools. She was so good with the children. The most memorable comment came from one child who said ‘I’m scared of dogs but I’m not scared of Mae’. I would read stories to the children and together with Mae, we would teach them how to respect animals.
Sadly, as Mum deteriorated with dementia, she needed 24/7 nursing care. However, I would visit her nursing home 3 or 4 times a week and I would bring little Mae with me. Mum couldn’t talk by then but I know she recognised me and her face would light up when we visited. Mae would lie across her lap and Mum would just stroke her. Other residents would come over and stroke her too. Mum passed away at the start of the first lockdown. I was devastated as Mum was my best friend. Only my sisters, my Dad and I were allowed to go to my Mum’s funeral but little Mae was also allowed to attend. She was with me the whole way. Mum would have loved it that she was there.
I was privileged and honoured that little Mae was awarded Wales’s Most Loyal Pet earlier this year. Everyone thinks they have the best dog and none of us is wrong. I’m just so proud that this little dog who had such an abusive start to her life from humans turned it all around and forgave them by being a therapy dog who helped them.
The photos show Mae’s journey from the day she was rescued, through her agility days to her therapy work and the most important job of all, calming my Mum.
We would like to give a shout out to all the Border Collie rescues out there, including The Border Collie Trust, The Border Collie Spot, Valgrays and Protecting Preloved Border Collies. A collie is not necessarily the easiest breed to take on as they more often than not need a ‘job to do’, especially a farm working sheep dog. However, with love and a lot of time put in plus giving them that ‘job’ (in Mae’s case, agility) then a border collie is the most loyal companion you could hope to have by your side.
Thank you. Diolch yn Fawr. To absolutely every single one of you who voted for Mae to become a finalist in the companion category of the Naturo SuperDog Awards. She did this with all of YOUR support. I feel so lucky to have so many friends who know how special little Mae is. I am overwhelmed to say that little Mae and I will be off to London in a few weeks time to attend the Awards Ceremony so if you want to leave any messages of support ahead of the judges’ final decision, we would be so grateful. THANK YOU