Ray of sunshine for dog owners
A BIG pack of dogs and their owners at Camp Goodenough, Carool, showed they knew how to behave at the weekend. It was pretty easy, really - they were with the world's best dog obedience trainer, Mary Ray from Rugby in England. Mary, who has won England's famous Cruft's dog obedience championship three times, put more than 80 dogs and owners from as far afield as Alice Springs, Tasmania and Sydney through a series of exercises guaranteed to improve dog/human relationships. The weekend seminar included a "heel work to music" session, in which the dog owners were taught how to put their pets through a fun and educational musically choreographed routine. Mary's Tweed visit was sponsored by Ann and Tony Bulke's Coolangatta Pet Motel, described by Mary's husband Ray, a dog commentator, as one of the world's very best dog facilities. Mary said the key to developing a well-trained dog was a good relationship between animal and human. She said it was important for every dog owner to make sure they enrolled in a professional training course with their pet, based on kindness and fun. Ray revealed that cheese cut into cubes and diced pieces of sausage were the best reward food when training dogs. Mary, who likes border collies because their nature makes them work at being obedient, has taught dog obedience on every continent. She was in Melbourne before coming to the Tweed and will next fly to New Zealand, then South Korea for more dog obedience sessions. Tony Bulke said: "To have someone like Mary Ray here is fabulous. People are learning so much in just two days."