National stardom is beckoning for a Golden Oldie who recently flew through the regional heats of a crossbreed competition.

Cindy, and her owner, Jackie Hart, of High Street, Newhall, wowed the judges at Scruffts, a crossbreed dog competition, which highlights responsible ownership, and is set to appear in the national finals in London in October.

It is not the first time Mrs Hart, 59, has had her prized pets in the news. Her former crossbreed, Jasper, who died five years ago, became a Pets as Therapy dog and would often bring a bit of joy to residents of care homes in South Derbyshire.

Bark in the Park in Swadlincote hailed a sweet success as pooches battled it out in popular dog show

She said: "He became a Pets as Therapy dog because I fancied doing something different and I went to a show run by the RSPCA and they had a Pets as Therapy stall.

"I thought it would be a good idea as Jasper was quite a gentle dog. We went to Pets at Home in Loughborough for the temperament assessment.

"We would then go to Newlands House, in Netherseal, and we set up a dog show at its annual fete which, seven years later, is still going, and this year we raised £500.

Jackie Hart pictured with her Pets as Therapy dog Jasper

"Pets as Therapy dogs are great because they brought joy to the residents. Everyone knew Jasper. We also went to Castle Court Care Home, in Castle Gresley, and met with young adults who have cerebral palsy."

Jackie was later invited to the prestigious Crufts event with Jasper as a guest dog to represent cross breeds.

Mrs Hart's second dog, Cindy, was unable to follow Jasper as a Pets as Therapy dog, due to her temperament as a terrier, but that hasn't stopped the now 10-year-old from showing off.

Her owner said: "I got Cindy in September 2008 when she was about a year old. She came from Rough Luck rescue centre. She was a nightmare. The only way to get her to sit still was to put her in fancy dress.

"I put her in for the golden oldies category at Scruffts and she won. I think she won because she liked the judge. Her feet were like concrete but her body was moving everywhere."

Cindy, as a winner of her category, will be competing at the finals, which take place at ExCeL, London, on October 21 and 22.

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