“As well as being a Puppy Socialiser, I am also a Temporary Boarder for the charity, which means that I offer a temporary home to a dog in training for those times when one of the other Socialisers goes away for a night or two.
Usually we look after a dog that I may have seen once or twice at the Training Centre, but last weekend I had the absolute pleasure of providing temporary boarding for Winnie, the first dog I had ever socialised.
Ruby and Winnie had not met before, and they got on like a house on fire! My own two Labradors barely got a look-in as the two females ran around in the garden - Winnie picking-up the old toys she always used to play with, and Ruby desperately trying to share other, newer toys with her.
Needless to say, all the dogs slept very well that weekend!
After returning Winnie to the Centre on the Monday, I carried on into town and walked around the precinct with Ruby. There is a large-scale pedestrianisation project taking place, so I thought it was a good opportunity for Ruby to experience the noises from diggers, drills and machinery.
I was really pleased that nothing surprised or bothered her, and the only guidance that was needed was to ensure that she walked to heel alongside me. Every now and again she started to come around the front of me, so I gently and positively enticed her back to heel and then carried on walking. By the end of the walk she had stopped ‘wandering’ and was stepping along beautifully.
Later in the week, Ruby clocked up another new experience – her first bath!
Whilst out walking in a field near home, Ruby discovered something not so fragrant left by a fox and instinct immediately took over! She rolled to and fro, only stopping when she’d covered herself! So, home-time meant bath-time, and she was not overly impressed with my determination to remove her new-found essence!
Duly cleaned and smelling of Labrador puppy again, Ruby attended the monthly Puppy Class at the Training Centre. The other attendees included two of her siblings, Raffles and Reuben, and they all performed admirably in demonstrating their recall and down-stays. In addition, simple retrieve and pull games were introduced as a fun way to start to develop the skills needed for their future partnerships, such as retrieving dropped keys or books, opening doors or pulling off socks.”