A SOUTH Tyneside animal lover is prepared to jump through hoops for a good cause – or rather her fleet of four-legged friends will.
Karen White, 57, answered the call when Great North Dog Walk organiser Tony Carlisle appealed in the Gazette for a new dog agility act to appear at the annual show.
Mrs White is chairman of the Pugility Club, which showcases the tricks and agility possessed by pugs in the North East.
The mum-of-two, from Leighton Street, South Shields, puts 25 pugs through their paces at regular classes in Seaham every Tuesday.
The pugs have been featured on Sky TV and CBBC in the past, so being in the spotlight will be no trouble for them at the Great North Dog Walk, held at The Leas, on Sunday, June 9.
Mrs White said: “We have taken part in the Great North Dog Walk for the past three years, but this will be the first time as a dog agility act.
“When I read the appeal in the Gazette, I thought ‘let’s have a go at it’.
“Pugs are very popular now, they’re in the top 10 of dogs being bought.”
Mrs White is keen to show off a more athletic side of the cute and cuddly pug – with plans to qualify the team of dogs for elite competition at Crufts.
The Pugility Club will give three agility demonstrations on the day, with owners and fleet-footed pets working on new routines to wow the crowds.
The club will also put on an extra show – called Have a Go Agility – where the public can also take their dogs over the jumps and through tunnels.
The agility course will be securely fenced off, while Mrs White and club members will provide supervision.
The Great North Dog Walk made its latest entry into the Guinness Book of Records last year, with a best-ever 23,301 dogs taking part in the extravaganza.
The walk, launched by former Harton Technology College teacher Mr Carlisle in 1990, has raised £4.5m for a range of good causes.
Mr Carlisle is delighted his appeal was successful, but is still calling for entertainment such as bands and dancers to come forward and lend a hand on the day.
They can get in touch with Mr Carlisle by calling 07599 518 673 or by visiting www.greatnorthdogwalk.co.uk.
For more details on the Pugility Club, visit www.pugility.co.uk.