Source:  Comaro Chronicle (Extract)
Posted:  22 January 2021

Green said when she bought her first dog she decided to do shows to showcase the special talent it has.

There is a new addition to the Joy Dogs and she joined the family when she was only nine weeks old.

The owner of the Joy Dogs Sue Green explained the pup was named Jade because “We needed a name with a J to go with Orion and Yola to spell Joy.”

And now, with Orion and Yola getting used to little Jade, they are ready to start working soon.

But how and where did the story of the Joy Dogs start?

Green told the RECORD she has always had a special interest in Old English sheepdogs.

“Forty years ago my boyfriend owned an Old English sheepdog. I fell in love with the breed and wanted one for myself.

“I got my first Old English sheepdog in 1983. Her name was Mack and she lived till she was 10. I then got Max in 1993 and he became my first dog to work for Dulux. The animal casting agency sourced me through dog breed shows.

“It was a requirement of buying the dog that we would do breed shows. Max lived till he was 13, by which time I had also acquired Yogi from East London. After Yogi I was fortunate to get Jazmine from Port Elizabeth and then Oscar who was imported from Belgium as no one was breeding Old English sheepdogs in South Africa.

“I spend a lot of time with them and they know I will look after them and love them. We have a special connection and they love learning new tricks.”

All in a day’s work

Her daily job with the dogs is quite something.

“Brushing the dogs’ hair takes hours, and it gives me time to bond with them. I also collect all the hair from grooming and spin it on a spinning wheel and make scarves, beanies and cardigans.

They also go for daily walks and love going out in the car to a nearby park. She said three of the dogs were imported from different countries. There are only about 30 of the breed in South Africa.

Importing is expensive and difficult. Orion was imported from Russia and Yola from Hungary. Jade is from Bronkhorstspruit. Jade’s mom is from Hungary and dad from the UK.”

Learning and lockdown

Green takes her dogs to a training school and also trains them at home.

“While we were in lockdown, I also taught them to ride on a skateboard and pull a wagon. At the training school they are taught basic obedience, how to walk on a lead, listen to commands and how to behave with other dogs.”

During the initial lockdown, Green said it was tough knowing there was no income because we could not risk going out to do shows. Joy Dogs primarily go to schools and aged homes and attend community functions.

While the country is in level three lockdown, Green said she has permission to go to the Mall of the South with the dogs.

“I wanted to do shows online with the dogs, but it is difficult as the main attraction is seeing the dogs and being able to touch them. We will just have to wait until regulations are eased.”

She has had incredible times with the dogs, travelling the country in their customised Suzuki Ertiga.