Passed away on Sunday 16th May 2010 aged 17 years.
A loving pet first and foremost, Chelsea will also be remembered by many people around the world for winning the inaugural Heelwork to Music/Freestyle competition held at Coventry in 1996 and for being a top obedience dog.
They will not go quietly, the dogs who've shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know their spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think we hear a barking at the door.
Or step back when we drop a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place where she used to be,
And, sometime, coming home at night, we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts belongs to them... and always will.
Wait for my paw's soft touch at Rainbow Bridge, I will meet you there, and we shall dance again, together.
Donelda remembers the inaugural competition for HWTM which was held in Coventry in April 1996. Competitors were asked to put together a routine that lasted no longer than four minutes. The basis of the routine was Heelwork but the competitors could include any other movements of their choice not normally carried out during obedience competitions. Right from the beginning Donelda felt that costume was a major part of the presentation. The music choice for Donelda’s and Chelsea’s first routine was "A Dancing Fool" from the musical "Copacabana". Donelda chose a sequined top for this first performance. Comments from the spectators, generally made up of obedience trainers, ranged from, "Who does she think she is", to "Wow, they look good!”. Donelda's daughter who was not known to many people was in the audience at the time listening to the various comments.
Donelda really worked on the timing and Chelsea didn't let her down on the day taking home the winning trophy. Chelsea now goes down in history as being the first ever winner at the main HWTM event of the year which is normally held in Coventry hosted very ably by the Rugby Dog Training Club. The following year Chelsea maintained her title.
2002 saw Coventry separating the classes into HWTM and Freestyle. Today, some fourteen years later the costumes are full-
Chelsea was picked out from a litter of eight working sheepdog puppies. Chelsea always had a very hyper personality and was a quick learner. She did beautiful Heelwork and was always extremely keen. Chelsea attained her obedience warrant when she was three years old.
Iatka Zee Zee Zianna
Zee Zee is twelve years old and was the first of Donelda's working sheep dogs bought from breeder, Anne Northfield. Donelda spent a lot of play time with Zee Zee when she was a puppy and she is just like a person. She understands absolutely everything. Zee Zee is a very keen dog who tries hard, is always wanting to please and is very good at throwing in her own moves. This is not really what you want when you have timed your choreography to perfection in order to suit the music. Zee Zee is also a very good obedience dog, she's really friendly, outgoing and strong. Although Zee Zee is a super dog, she was a bit too keen and Donelda did not want to keep correcting her. Zee Zee retired from competitions for this reason.
Zee Zee won her first novice HWTM competition when she was only ten months old in Coventry to the music "Let It Rip Let It Fly" by the "Dixie Chicks".At eighteen months old, Zee Zee won her intermediate competition to "All That Jazz" from the musical "Chicago". Zee Zee’s other routines include, “Pink Panther” and “Saint Louis Blues” etc.
A bit of trivia…
Zee Zee loves Barbara, Donelda’s neighbour who lives across the garden. Zee Zee still practices her moves without any prompting, going through her extensive repertoire until Barbara gives in and throws her ball. Zee Zee often pops over and taps on Barbara’s door as if to say, "where are you Barbara, are you coming up to the garden to play?" Unbelievable but true.
Iatka One Step Ahead Biba
Biba is half sister to Zee Zee and is now eight years old. Biba is a very fast dog and a very quick learner, she doesn’t like her routine being changed at the last minute (something you should never really do, but which most people are guilty of doing at some time). Biba has been very successful in her own right including 2nd place at Crufts 2007 with the ‘Geisha’ routine. Past successes have included winning the advanced class at the Euro Dog Show in Kortrijk, Belgium 13th November 2004. Biba was the first British dog to have won this competition at the advanced level. Biba has also appeared in many Television shows/series and theatre productions, see the media section of this web site.
Obedience World Cup
Biba is also a top obedience dog and has been a member of Jersey’s Obedience Team for the World Cup for the last 6 years. The best achievement for the team was coming 2nd in the Obedience World Cup 2007, and Biba obtaining an individual fourth place. Donelda has now retired from being Team Manager for the Obedience World Cup Team.
One off Millie
Millie is a little Terrier cross who has got a big personality and a great sense of humour. Millie is a rescue dog from Animal Aid in Guernsey but sadly, Animal Aid has recently closed. Millie has learnt all the tricks needed for a routine but has yet to compete in Freestyle. She has previously won a novice class in obedience, Donelda says her favourite pastime is watching TV! If the TV is off she knows the remote switches it on and looks for the remote.
One day Donelda was competing in Guernsey, Millie was in her travelling box and whilst Donelda was unpacking she heard groans and moans (obviously someone was bored). Donelda looked in Millie’s cage and Millie was staring straight past Donelda at the TV as if to say “put the TV on”. The TV went on and all went quiet. Millie is such a character. See her TV debut in ‘Under the Greenwood Tree’ by Thomas Hardy in the Media section.
Gracie is a fabulous Red Merle Border Collie and has a very loving, gentle personality. She hasn’t taken to the obedience scene as quickly as Donelda’s other dogs. However she is now, at four years old coming into her own and had a natural ability to reverse back on her own initiative. Gracie prefers her freestyle to obedience but even her obedience is now improving greatly. Donelda is looking forward to putting a routine together with Gracie this year and Gracie is also working in a pairs routine with Biba. Gracie’s claim to fame was being invited to perform with Biba at the Odeon Cinema, London, for the premier of the children’s film, ‘Santa’s Buddies’.
Sox is a Lurcher (about four years old) and used to belong to Donelda’s brother who lived in Perth, Australia. Unfortunately Donelda’s brother was very ill and sadly passed away at the young age of 46 years. Donelda had Sox flown to Jersey. Sox had to spend 6 months in quarantine in Perth before arriving in Jersey to live with Donelda. Sox is very clever and has fitted in extremely well with the family. Sox loves her training sessions.
Iatka Mega Star
Mega was also bred by Anne Northfield, so like all Anne’s dogs, is extremely willing to please and has a lovely nature. She is a star in the making. Mega was a member of the Jersey Team for the World Cup Obedience Competition 2010 and Donelda was very pleased with her performance.