A dog lover from Tidworth who will compete in an upcoming dog show has shared her story.

Amber Henshaw will participate with her four-year-old pointer, George, who is making his debut at Crufts on March 9, 2023.

The event will take place at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham and Amber's dog will compete in the Show Working Gundog class.

The 34-year-old civil servant's love for dog shows stemmed from watching her grandparents take part and she first started attending Crufts when she was two years old.

She made her dog show debut at just six years of age and said it has 'given her a purpose'.

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Amber said: "I had a challenging time at school so being around the dogs and shows, it became my second family.

"I was born at 24 weeks, and I think it's just because I was different and I saw things differently, I got labelled as the disruptive kid.

"People just saw me as different and I wasn't having a very nice time with my mum being ill as well.

"The dogs and dog shows were just a nice escape, and they gave me a purpose. I could be myself, forgot about everything else and have fun."

Salisbury Journal: Amber with George.Amber with George. (Image: Beat Media)

Growing up around dogs, Amber always decided that she wanted her own when she bought a house and quickly decided on English Pointers.

Along came Freddie, 8, and a few years later, George, 4.

Both dogs have grown up within a social and friendly show dog environment, with George also maturing into his natural gundog roots and thriving on the Wiltshire plains hunting birds and grouse.

Amber added: "George is very special because his mum and his dad are breed record holders and when I got George, I decided to try something different.

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"So, we went on the Wiltshire plains one cold morning, and he started to find birds and he found his first grouse at eight months and now has his Show Gundog Working Certificate.

"You can't teach it, it's natural and it's what he was bred to do."

Amber is thrilled to return to Crufts and said she would be happy to get a placing, adding: "You can't wish for much more than that."

Crufts, run by The Kennel Club, is a unique celebration of happy, healthy dogs and of the loving relationship that they enjoy with their owners. For more, visit crufts.org.uk.