What a year 2016 was for Marie Burns and her West Highland White Terrier Devon (Ch Burneze Geordie Girl). Devon was awarded Best In Show at Crufts from over 22,000 dogs – what a dream come true for any show dog owner! As well as a very successful breeder and handler Marie is also a talented dog groomer, we catch up with Marie to find out a little more about her and the famous girl Devon
What do you most look forward to at Crufts?
Meeting up with friends. We have some wonderful friends from all over the world and Crufts is a great place to meet up with them being the biggest dog show on earth. Also, seeing all the wonderful dogs and of course shopping! Crufts is where the worlds best dogs compete, the quality is fantastic, and the shopping, you can spend four days just shopping, there is so much there!
What have you & Devon been up to since you won Best in Show at Crufts last year?
We have had a busy year. Myself and Devon have made many guest appearances at a variety of events. Devon has had the time of her life as she just loves people and all the attention. We have also helped to raise money for the Peek-a-Boo trust and seven charities.
We understand you love to groom dogs too. How did you get in to that?
Through grooming my own show dogs; friends and neighbours started asking if I would groom their dogs. After a few years of grooming from home I decided to enrol for the City & Guild exams & opened my shop. After completing the Level 3 qualification I continued onto the British dog groomers higher diploma and completed that in 2014. I now run my own City & Guilds dog grooming school in Co Durham. www.toptrimz.co.uk
If you could recommend one Dorwest product what would it be and why?
I use a number of Dorwest products but my two favourite are Omega Star & Kelp Seaweed. These products help keep my show dogs coats in tip-top condition. Dorwest products are always top quality and having used them for years I know I can always go to them for help.
What is your favourite Crufts memory?
It has to be when Mr Derek Smith came walking towards me for Best In Show, I will never forget the huge small on his face. There isn’t a day that’s gone by this last year I smile whenever I think back to that moment.
What top tips would you give to someone who wants to learn how to groom?
If it was to become a pet dog groomer then find a school that offers the City & Guild qualification. The qualification helps you to learn the skills necessary and certainly helped me. For show dogs contact other exhibitors, most will be more than happy to help new starters. Their knowledge and experience is priceless.
We are delighted that Marie & Devon will be on the Dorwest Stand from 1pm – 2pm on Saturday 11th March 2017. Marie will be happy to answer your questions and share her experiences with you. Dorwest are located in Hall 4, Stand 72 – see you there!