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Little Orphan Adora...

Adora with Annie - Helen Guthrie aged 14 years

Our dogs readers may remember the lyrics of the nursery song ‘Teddy Bears Picnic’, the lyrics of which go: "If you go down in the woods today you'll sure have a big surprise..."

Well, if you'd have gone to the Pleasance Theatre in north London in December you’d have been guaranteed that you'd have had an even bigger one. Starring as Sandy in the musical "Annie" was Adora, a four year-old red and white rescue Akita.

Belonging to trainer Robert Stuhldreer (Widowmaker Akitas) she was rescued from RSPCA kennels after Robert fell in love with her when doing a temperament test on behalf of the Japanese Akita Welfare Trust 2002.

Since then Adora has had quite and interesting time. She has been filmed, along with Robert's other two dogs Max (Akita) and Eve (Border Collie) for a Channel Four pilot (yet to be aired) called "Sort It Out Mate!". She has represented the breed twice at "Discover Dogs" and both Akitas received high praise from the organisers and Jan Fennell for their excellent behaviour.

She has also successfully passed the Kennel Club Good Citizen Silver Test and is studying hard for "Gold". Love of her life ‘Max’ was the first Akita in the UK to pass Gold (confirmed by the KC although they do not keep breed records).

Adora and Max, along with JAWT mascot ‘Emily’ also represented the Trust twice at Harrods in 2003 for a fund-raising and educational event. All three dogs received high praise from Harrods staff and JAWT trustees for their remarkable behaviour as well as delighting the crowds.

But without exception Adora's greatest moment of glory was starring as Sandy in the musical "Annie". She beat many other dogs at the auditions and went on to share the role with Irish Terrier Ruby. She had to do an offstage sendaway, walk to centre stage and sit by Annie, played by 14 year-old Helen Guthrie (whom Adora loved) and have the song "Tomorrow"

(The sun'll come out tomorrow) sung to her. It was clear to the audience that Adora lived up to her name by absolutely adoring the limelight. When the centre spot hit her, it was reminiscent of Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard"..." I'm ready for my close up now Mr DeMille".

Not bad for a dog that only just over a year ago had all but been written off!