A YOUNG dog handler from Strabane is making a name for herself as an expert dog-handler at shows – and she’s only four-years-old.
Emily-Jane McCabe, who only turned four this week, has already won scores of prizes for her exploits at dog shows up and down the country.
Taught by her mum, Danielle, Emily-Jane has scooped rosettes, medals, trophies and is even punching above her weight with much older competitors.
“She’s developed a wee competitive streak,” mum, Danielle laughed. “She’s been doing this now for almost two years and whenever the dog shows are on, we bring her along and she’s picking up a lot of prizes.”
Danielle, who takes part in dog shows herself and shows dogs for other people, passed on her enthusiasm for the pastime to her willing protégé.
“She’s very bright and she picks up a lot of stuff by watching,” Danielle continued.
“She won at Scruffts at Rathmullan, which was a big one, she picked up the junior under 12 dog handling. But it’s every show we go to she’s winning or picking up a prize. It’s becoming a bit of a laugh. I don’t know how many things she has won at this stage, it’s so many.”
Danielle also explained that Emily-Jane is competing against much older children in the dog-handling categories, sometimes against children eight years her senior in the under-12s.
“She just loves dogs so much,” Danielle added. “And she really enjoys the shows.”