A Methil man, who has helped train around 1700 dogs in the area, has celebrated his 30th anniversary with his local dog club.
Sam Perkins joined the Leven and District Dog Training Obedience Club in 1989 to train up his second dog, Kaya – 30 years later, he is now the vice-president, treasurer and chief instructor.
He helps train dogs for obedience competitions and runs the Good Citizen scheme at the club, during which dog owners get ten weeks of training and then a final test.
Sam currently has a rescue dog, Lucy – the fifth he has owned.
But he actually got his first after his then three-year-old daughter, Victoria, was bitten twice by dogs.
“I thought ‘I’m going to get a dog so she grows up with them’,” said Sam. “I didn’t want her to be frightened by animals.”
It worked – Victoria later spent time as a vet.
Later, when the family moved from Kirkcaldy to Levenmouth, Sam got a second a dog, Kaya – a purebred Samoyed. It was then that he joined the club.
Not long after joining, one member of the club left, leaving just one trainer. Sam took a four-day course at Elmwood College. After that he started running classes.
Sam marked his 30th anniversary with the club at the end of June.
He was about to finish one classes when more dogs and owners started coming in the room.
But it was only when he saw the balloons, and daughter Victoria, that he realised there would be a celebration.
Sam said: “The celebration was a total surprise. I knew the anniversary was coming, but I don’t like to advertise things like that. I don’t want people think I’m asking for it.
“It was a very pleasant surprise.”
Sam was given a bottle of wine and an award. He was then taken out for two meals with some of the members.
As well as training dogs, Sam spends a lot of time learning about them.
He has more than 100 books about dog obedience, care and training. He has also received Kennel Club accreditation.
But what is it about dogs that he loves?
“They’re affectionate, they don’t argue with you, they’ll listen,” explained Sam.
“They are family to me. She’s like a daughter. It takes me time to believe a wild animal could be so loyal.”
For more information about the club, search for Leven Dog Club on Facebook.