Our Story – By Vicki
I’ve spent my whole life surrounded by animals; dogs, cats, horses, donkey’s, pigs, poultry, waterfowl, goats plus others – as an only child it meant they were all family or friends to me, I loved them all and I’ve always been actively involved in their care. Dogs always have been a huge part of my life, and we have various breeds growing up.
As an adult the first dog that I owned myself was a Beagle called Rudy – he was a wonderful dog who we loved so much and was incredibly fit as we did a lot of running and cycling with him. One day we watched a TV programme with Chris Packham where there was a feature on Canicross – it seemed like the perfect sport for us and I could not wait to try it with Rudy. Sadly, Rudy got very poorly, I promised him that if he got better, I would finally start doing Canicross with him, but after 2 weeks of him being unwell we were forced to say ‘Goodbye’ to him. We were devastated – he was not even 3 years old and up until he became poorly, he was so fit, strong, and full of life, we were left entirely heartbroken. Not only was I incredibly upset but also there were feelings of failure – maybe if we had done some something differently or better, he would still be with us?! It hurt so much that I knew I could not go through anything like that again, so said the words “No more dogs”
Life without a dog was incredibly strange and empty, weekends and evenings were spent sitting on the sofa watching TV, we missed the walks and adventures that we used to go on, but walking was never the same without a dog by our sides. So, five months after losing Rudy we welcomed a German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy called Otis into our lives. He has brought such joy and happiness into our lives again and helped us to heal our hearts a little.
After losing Rudy I have been determined that I will do everything possible to be the best possible dog mum I could and ensure Otis has a happy, healthy, and long life. Ever since Otis was old enough, I have taken him to puppy classes, then to weekly dog training classes where we have both learnt so much together and had so much fun. My determination to be the best owner I can has also seen me travel all around the country attending various dog training and behaviour courses, seminars, and conferences on a multitude of topics. I also take a keen interest in nutrition and other subjects of dog health and have attended many courses on these subjects also, and love putting my knowledge into practice and seeing my dogs flourish.
When Otis was three a new pet food shop was opening locally that would be running Canicross classes – this was finally my chance to try Canicross, so straight away I signed Otis and myself up, and we soon fell in love with the sport. It’s funny, because the lovely people who were running the classes were also the same people that featured in the Chris Packham TV show that I had seen all those years ago, and they have since become very good friends and I am incredibly lucky to have them in my life.
Although my main work is currently within the IT industry I’ve always been drawn to working with animals as well as people and have continued to improve my education on all things Dog related and in September 2019 myself and my Partner Dan travelled up to Scotland for a weekend to take part in Canicross instructor course ran by Canifit. It was a great course and gave us plenty of confidence and knowledge to be able to run our own classes. The next few months were spent planning and then after Christmas we finally unleashed ‘One and All Dog Fitness into the world. We chose the name because it is the motto of Cornwall and because we feel that Canicross is suitable for One and All.
In October 2019 we welcomed Briar into our homes, he was a rescue dog from Cyprus. Hes fitted in to our lives well, but he can be incredibly nervous of other people. We think he has been abused by humans in his previous life which is why he is so nervous. We are working on growing is confidence with people and places, we have a lot of work ahead of us but we’re doing everything possible to ensure he has a wonderful, happy and safe life.
We hope in future to be able to continue to share our passions with you and introduce more Canicross classes and services to help dog and owner lead a happy, healthy, and fun filled life together.
If you’ve managed to kept reading this far – Thank you – hopefully you’ll feel like you know me a little better now 😊