Q&A with Scruffts 2015 winner Helen Lewis

2015 Scruffts winner Helen Lewis with her Lurcher Cross Bella

Helen Lewis from Stoughton, Guildford, tells us about her experience of winning the nation’s favourite crossbreed competition Scruffts in 2015 with her beautiful Lurcher cross, Bella.

What made you enter the Scruffts heats last year?

I entered Scruffts last year as I want to do something fun with Bella and having entered the year before at Newbury All About Dogs, we thought “what the hell let’s give it a go again!” Shows were a great way to help Bella be comfortable around other dogs and of a way of me pushing myself to do more things and to make new friends so it was perfect for us to tackle together!

What was the heat like?

The heat was great fun and we got to see old friends and made some new ones too. I think Scruffts is amazing as it brings people and dogs from all over the country and all walks of life together. You make some great friends, and if your dogs are anything like Bella you end up having a real giggle!

At Crufts, what was the atmosphere like on the day?

The atmosphere was incredible, it’s was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. Crufts is fantastic anyway because it’s full of dog lovers but being a competition finalist at Crufts made it all the more special for us.  

How did it feel to win the final of Scruffts?

I was absolutely speechless when Jilly choose Bella and I as the winners. Crufts is really something special, it's not just a dog show and it meant the world to us winning this competition. I couldn’t believe it for days afterwards; I had to pinch myself to check it was all real.

What did you win?

We won a year’s supply of James Wellbeloved food, which Bella loves! We’d like to thank James Wellbeloved for giving us the food; it’s really helpful and a great reminder throughout the year of our win.

What are you and Bella going to do next?

Bella and I train in Flyball and agility for fun, and we do competition obedience too – not very well but we have a lot of fun doing it! I'm currently training to be a dog trainer with Steve Mann and the Institute of Modern Dog Trainers (IMDT), as well as dog walking for ScallyWags dogs in Guildford, so we’re excited to carry on with these. We’ve also just started a blog called The Laughing Lurcher about our training. I run a puppy class for Surrey Dog Training Society, and train there every week with Bella in the competition class. We’ve settled back into our everyday routine and couldn’t be happier thinking back about our fantastic Scruffts journey.