My name is Rachael Wise and I am the leader of the pack here at Chirnside Canines dog boarding and agility club, located in a beautiful, quiet farmland setting, between two villages, Allanton and Chirnside, near Duns in the Scottish Borders.
Before moving to Scotland, I ran my own dog walking and grooming business in Hampshire and wanted to continue working with dogs when we bought our house in the Borders to continue to be able to be around my own dogs as much as possible.
I have always believed that if you choose to have dogs you owe it to them to include them in all possible aspects of your life. That is why I choose to do the sort of activities that my dogs can participate in too eg kayaking, sledging, swimming, hiking, agility, etc.
My love for dogs started when I met a Golden Retriever named Holly when I was on holiday aged 7, I was amazed to discover that you could do allsorts of things with dogs besides walk them! I wasn’t able to have my own dog when I was young because I was brought up in a flat so instead I began to walk my neighbour’s dog when I was ten. I developed a beautiful, strong bond with Jason and continued to walk him for many years. It wasn’t until I grew up and bought my own house with a garden that I then got my very own dog, a rescue Border Terrier called Poppy.
Before I was at the point where I was able to commit myself to a dog of my own, I was involved in various organisations to help dogs including the International Rescue Organisation during time spent in India. Once back in the U.K I started to help with the fundraising for the RSPCA and sponsored a dog through Dogs Trust. It was through Dogs Trust that I later adopted my beautiful little Sasha, a Collie x Staffie who turns eleven this year.
It was because of Sasha’s wonderful nature that I fell in love with the Staffie breed and when Battersea Dogs Home asked me to foster Bertie, I agreed. I ended up adopting him, as you do, and we went on to join in the campaign ‘Staffies are softer than you think’ at the Houses of Parliament.
We now have a variety of breeds and ages that make up our very own ‘Mutley Crew’ and love them more than anything else in the world. I feel very privileged to be able to run a dog orientated business from home which gives me the much needed time during the day to make sure I spend quality time with each of them.
In August 2013 I took Bertie for a trial agility session at a local club in Hampshire, he enjoyed it so much we enrolled there and then! When Bertie’s little brother Ralph came along we also enrolled him to join in the fun…and he too was a natural! So when my partner and I gained a 1.2 acre field we knew exactly what to do with it – and Chirnside Canines was born!
There is now nothing I enjoy more than seeing my boys racing through the tunnel, effortlessly clearing the hurdles and confidently tackling the A Frame! Knowing how much my pack benefits from such exercise I very much look forward to giving other owners and their dogs the opportunity to do the same in our weekly classes.