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Interview with Crufts Sensation, Olly the Jack Russell

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017

We caught up with internet sensation, Olly the Jack Russell and his owner Karen to find out how life has been since that epic Crufts performance last weekend.

So, it’s been a week since Crufts ended. You must be completely overwhelmed.

It's been exhausting, but SO MUCH FUN. It’s been an amazing adventure. It’s been as bonkers and crazy as he is. We took him up to Crufts on the Sunday and people were saying "It's Olly! Can I have my photo taken with him?" it was very surreal but he loves all the attention.

It's crazy how much you've been in the press. Have you been approached for lots of follow up activity?

We're going on The One Show tomorrow which is really exciting. The production crew are setting up an agility course and John Bishop is going to run him round. I just want to make sure it's safe as he is a bit of a speed demon!

Yes, he really is. John was actually wondering if he had hurt himself because at Crufts he really bolted through that hurdle!

They changed the carpet this year at Crufts so there was a sponge material underneath- last year he kept sliding and missing jumps because he had no grip whatsoever but this year he had that sponge base layer. We took him to our vet in Milton Keynes for a health check up and he even had a massage to check his leg and ligaments were ok, but yes he's completely fine. A very spoilt dog!

Is Olly taking it all in his stride? Has he become a diva dog?

He doesn't have a clue what's going on. Karen Brady from The Apprentice wrote a lovely write-up about him which was in press and a neighbour of mine approached me and said "oh my goodness, it's famous Olly!" I've set him up his own Facebook page and I've had messages from Costa Rica, Argentina, America... Even a newspaper article in New Zealand. It's just incredible, this mad little dog. It's great. He hasn't made any demands for his rider yet... But you never know.

How did you come to meet Olly?

My lurcher died so I wanted a new friend. I came across the Blue Cross website and there was an adorable picture of a puppy and I knew right away I wanted him. I had said initially I wanted a girl, not a boy, but that faded away once I saw him. While he was at Blue Cross his name was Dinky and it was all very lucky as a family had come to get him and decided not to take him, so I called up on the Monday and they said Olly had been reserved for me. I jumped in the car and raced down to Blue Cross Kimpton and he was the naughtiest dog I've ever met. He was biting my trousers, humping my leg... Jackie who runs the puppy section said, "Karen, you're going to have your hands full" and I said "No, I'm not" she was absolutely right. I brought him home and he's been totally bonkers since and we love him.

He was actually left outside the Blue Cross in a cat basket and whoever owned him didn't even bring him in although the centre was open. It's awful but I'm so glad because if they didn't I never would have met him.

Where does Olly get that famous energy from?

He eats Burns Alert food, it should be Burns calm down food really, haha. Olly has always been a fussy eater and I've got 4 other dogs who Olly uses as a benchmark with food. He will watch to see the other dogs eat something first before he tries it, but with Burns, not a problem. It's immense food. Even with treats he is usually fussy and can turn his nose up but he wolfs the Burns Training Treats down and when I call him he comes back straight away so he can have the yummy food. 

My dad's dog is also on Burns Alert and has been eating it for the past 3 months and on Saturday he won 3 of the classes at a show which just shows the difference. It's incredible and I'm so glad you sponsored him before he hit fame. I really appreciate everything you've done.

Does he get home and crash from events or is he still a bundle of energy?

He slept in the car journey home from Crufts which was about an hour but once he got home he was running around the garden with the other dogs. He's very cuddly and often curls up with my 14 year old after a walk, but he's full of life most of the time.

Do you have any advice for potential dog owners?

Terriers are the world's naughtiest breed but so much fun. A lot of people have said they're going to get a Jack Russell, they just need to make sure they can constantly stimulate them with games and training as they are real characters. They have to have that work ethic. 

On the subject of training, does Olly particularly enjoy one aspect of it?

I prefer the jumping classes to agility and I think he does too because the contact in agility slows him down. Anything he can do where he is running flat out keeps him content. I just wish I could keep up with him, perhaps I'll try Burns Weight Control!..

And what's next for the scamp? Hollywood?

Olly would love the attention of a film as you know he's a bit of a showman. Last summer I wrote some children's books based on Olly's adventures when he's been a bit of a rogue and a bit naughty and I would love to get those published. I think it would be really good fun. He's such an adventurous dog and so full of character. I'd love to know what goes on inside that little brain of his..

Thanks, Karen and Olly! 

To see more of Olly, tune into BBC's The One Show tomorrow at 7pm. 

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