A retired nurse who faces a daily battle against a debilitating condition has been raising awareness of her illness with the help of her four-legged companion.
Julie Thomson has been living with multiple sclerosis for 15 years. The disease has many symptoms and affects all sufferers differently, although it regularly causes tiredness, sight problems and difficultly walking.
For these reasons, the 53-year-old uses a mobility scooter to get around, but this has not prevented her from leading an active life and she is often seen competing on dog agility courses with her terrier Dodger.
On Easter Sunday, Julie, from Stanstead, was taking part in an event at Braggons Farm in Glemsford and helped raise £1,200 for the MS Society.
“I would like to thank everyone who attended, donated and sponsored this special event – it was a great day all round,” said Julie.
More than 40 dogs and their owners competed on the agility course, including Freddy Adams, 10, from Great Cornard, and his border collie JJ.
Although Freddy is due to appear in the CBBC programme Who Let The Dogs Out? this month, Julie, who used to work at West Suffolk Hospital, reserved special praise for four-year-old Dodger.
“He was an absolute star, only losing his stride once when I accidentally dropped his container of reward sausages,” she said.
“He especially showed off his speed through the weaves and over the dog walk.”
Julie added that apart from Dodger, her dog agility prowess was due in large part to her scooter, which is made by TGA in Sudbury.
Donations can still be made at www.justgiving.com/aceagility.