Local lady and dog are part of Team Scotland

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A Bearsden businesswoman is excited about getting the chance to represent Scotland at a major international sports event later this month.

Janis McArthur (28) and her five-year-old ‘Parsons’ breed of Jack Russell dog called Titch are going to be part of the Scotland Team at the Canix World Championships in the beautiful Pembrey Country Park, Llanelli, South Wales over the weekend of October 12 to 13.

She took up Canicross, a rapidly growing sport where you run fast cross country races with the aid of your dog on a bungee line, a year ago when Titch became badly behaved.

Janis, who runs a pet ambulance and sitting service called Dr Doolittle Pet Care, said: “Titch was developing behavioural problems as Jack Russells are bred as working dogs so they get bored.

“He was beginning to be stubborn and I realised he needed something to challenge him and use up his energy. These events offer Titch a great mental challenge as well as physical he absolutely loves it and after we’ve done a 5k together he’s exhausted and wants to sleep as soon as we get home!”

Janis will be part of a team of 44 Scots - 25 female, 10 male and nine junior athletes with over 49 dogs between them. They will run a total of 394 kilometers on sandy trails at breakneck speeds in the following classes - Canicross 1 dog, Canicross 2 dog, bikejor (riding a bike being pulled by dogs) and scooter.

The majority of miles will be covered on foot by the Scots who only have one entry in the bikejor and one in the scooter class and they will wear their custom designed Scotland shirts, sponsored by local Scottish companies.

The team has been training hard and have also had three group training sessions in Strathclyde Park, Callander Park and Vogrie Country Park.

They’ve also raced at Mugdock and took part in a two day race at Duncarron medieval village near Denny recently in preparation for the event in Wales.

The season usually runs from about September until April when it’s cooler for the dogs.

Janis added: “This is the first time we’ve entered a recognised race as it’s not a recognised sport in Scotland, it’s primarily a European thing.

“It’s great to get the chance to represent Scotland and to wear the Scotland shirt. Going to Wales will be the biggest thing we have done but win or lose I still take the best dog home with me.”

Team manager Karen Connal, from Lenzie, said: “I have great hope of bringing medals home to Scotland from this event.

“A lot of us are going for the pleasure of running with our dogs and for the atmosphere of the big event, but we also have really good chances of medals in most age groups especially from the oldest and the youngest team members.”

For more information about Canicross visit www.canisportsscotland.com or www.canix.co.uk

Team Scotland is sponsored by Reids Garage, Kirkintilloch, Just Dog Shop, Edinburgh, Maccass & Co Accounting Services, Cumbernauld and Glenbrae Vets Clinics, Bearsden.