Tina - Sports & Performance


After facing some tough challenges in her life, Tina the Flat Coated Retriever X Golden Retriever is an inspiration to other dogs and people. Tina was nominated by Mantrailing UK due to her dedication to the sport, which involves owner and dog working as a team to sniff out a missing person.

Jo Powell, Tina’s owner, says: “Tina was a Guide Dog for two years and was adopted by me as a lively, friendly working breed. My intention with Tina, as with other working breeds I have owned, was to keep her interested in life by doing a breed-related job, and Tina presented with a lovely, open and friendly nature.”

“We started with obedience classes to increase our bond and her understanding of what I wanted her to do in all social situations on and off the lead. We met someone who suggested mantrailing to fulfil my desire to keep her working and her willingness to explore and find anything that maintained her keenness and single-mindedness.”

“Before Tina started mantrailing, she began to favour one leg slightly as if she had stepped on a sharp stone, but recovery was almost instant. We met Lisa at Mantrailing UK, and her enthusiasm and support made this work a pleasure for Tina and I. She took to small searches quite easily, as the rewards are high and wearing a harness for work was natural due to her previous working life.”

“Around this time, Tina’s left foreleg seemed to ‘drop’ more often – especially on hard surfaces. We visited the vets for several months, and we discussed what the cause may be but there were no improvements. Work progressed with better mantrailing results, and more difficult tests were successfully achieved. But the limp was a real worry.”

“Eventually, after visits to the Bristol University Vet Hospital, she was diagnosed with cancer in the shoulder, and the only options were removing her leg or losing her. Her left foreleg was removed; but, after only six to eight weeks of recovery and adjustment, we were back mantrailing once again. The vet agreed there was no point in her going through an amputation if she’s not allowed to lead a full life.”

“I am still adjusting but Tina has no barriers to her daily life – she still goes deaf off-lead and still really loves mantrailing. The rewards to her and me are huge. She still makes by eyes moist at times, but on we go.”

Have you been inspired by Tina’s hard work and dedication to her sport, against the odds? If you think she should be crowned the winner of the Sports & Performance Dogs category, putting her in the running for the title of Autarky Hardest Working Dog 2020, then make sure you cast your vote when voting goes live on the Autarky Facebook page on January 20th, 2020.

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