A schoolgirl with dyslexia has found a new self confidence after embarking on a dog training course with her canine companion.
The 12-year-old and her six-month-old female Staffordshire bull terrier blue pup, Whitby, successfully completed the Waggtails School of Dog Training course earlier this summer.
They have now signed up to the Pets on the Hill show, organised by the independently-owned Willows Veterinary Group, on September 25.
It will be a proud moment for Eleanor-Clare’s mum, Claire, who admitted her daughter had struggled with low self-esteem and a lack of confidence since being diagnosed with dyslexia two years ago and usually shuns the limelight.
“I’m a family support worker professionally and help children to grow in self-confidence so when we signed up to the puppy training, Ellie took the reins and it was all focused on Ellie,” said the 43-year-old mum of two.
“It was important for her to have that connection with Whitby and do something on her own. The dogs and their owners all receive a rosette at the end and it’s something that Ellie has achieved by herself.”
Eleanor, who attends Sandbach High School, was diagnosed with dyslexia while still at primary school after a teaching assistant noticed she was struggling with her work.
A one-to-one support system was put in place which helped her to cope with the demands of the curriculum while her parents also arranged private tuition.
Eleanor’s sister, Sophie, 10, who attends Wheelock Primary School, is a taekwondo champion and is part of the British squad, travelling all over the country competing.
“It was another reason I wanted Ellie to take this on and achieve something independently and she has. We’re all very proud of her,” said mum Claire.
Waggtails is run by dedicated dog expert Denise Hubbard of Middlewich, who will be leading a series of displays at Pets on the Hill including gun dog demonstrations and obedience training.
Denise, who holds a range of pooch training classes at Lach Dennis Village Hall in Northwich and Allostock Village Hall in Allostock near Knutsford, said: “Ellie has really grown in confidence. We all clap when someone has done something well which really helps build confidence. When you’re told you’ve done something well, you grow 10 feet tall. Achievement helps boost confidence.
“We were really proud to watch Ellie blossom.”