Crufts 2019: Rescue dog steals the show two years after becoming online star

Olly the Jack Russell has become a crowd-pleaser thanks to his unrelenting enthusiasm

Sabrina Barr
Saturday 09 March 2019 11:43
Olly the rescue dog returns to the Crufts stage

A rescue dog has stolen the show at Crufts, two years after becoming an online sensation for his antics on the agility course.

In 2017, Olly the Jack Russell terrier won widespread adulation when he and his owner Karen Parker participated in the annual canine extravaganza.

The performance saw the five-year-old dog collide face-first with the floor while attempting to jump over a hurdle, before speeding around the ring eratically, much to the amusement of the audience.

Olly has now returned for this year's competition, and remains as enthusiastic and energetic as ever.

As the Jack Russell was led into the ring by his owner on Friday 8 March, the commentator stated: "Oh dear, it's Olly."

The commentator then pondered whether Olly had improved since taking part in Crufts in 2017, where he demonstrated "how not to do agility".

It quickly became apparent that the dog was marching to the beat of his own drum yet again, as he sprinted to a side of the ring seconds after commencing his performance.

"Aw no, he's not learned anything. He's off again, here we go," the commentator remarked.

Olly did begin to show signs of improvement as the performance continued, successfully making his way through pipe tunnels, jumping over hurdles and speeding up a steep frame.

"From a rescue dog to a little superstar," the Crufts compère stated as the Jack Russell's act came to an end.

Olly was abandoned as a six-week-old puppy outside the gates of the Blue Cross Hertfordshire rehoming centre.

The dog was originally named Loki, aptly named after the Norse god of mischief, before being re-named Olly when he found a home.

Ms Parker recalled her first meeting with Olly at the Blue Cross centre, revealing that he "humped my foot".

"I thought, 'This is my naughty dog'! I love him so much," she said.

Terrier takes massive nose dive at Crufts

Several Crufts viewers expressed their delight at Olly's return to the show.

"Who else here [is] watching silly Olly with a smile? Oh my god Olly you are still the same little man!!!" one person commented on YouTube.

"What a superstar!! You did it once again, you won everyone's hearts," another added.

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While Crufts remains a popular canine event, the show has received some criticism in the past for arguably placing greater importance on the appearances of dogs than their welfare.

Lisa Hens, dog welfare expert and RSPCA, told The Independent that while the events at Crufts showcased the "heartwarming bond between dogs and their handlers", the organisation has "long-held concerns" over participating dogs that exhibit "visibly exaggerated features".

“The Kennel Club and some breed clubs have now, thankfully, committed to taking some steps to help improve the welfare of these dogs and we hope these will be acted upon and the necessary actions taken to ensure this is a priority for Crufts in the future," she said.

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