Often our clients and friends ask about our travels and our house and pet sitting experiences and we thought that a blog would be a good way to share our stories both past and present.

We have met and made friends with some lovely humans, canines and felines over the past 5 years and we hope that you enjoy reading about our pet sitting and house sitting experiences as much as we enjoy regaling our "tails"!

Monday, 22 February 2010

SPCA - Class of 2010

We had the last session with the puppies today. They are old enough to be spayed or neutered and be put up for adoption.

They are all proficient in sitting, lying down and coming towards us. They have all had walkies training on the lead, and are fully socialised with humans.

They have grown and learnt so much in their short time with us.

We have all got our favorites. Here is Della with Bernard, he is a favorite of many. He is very placid, and serves as a lovely pillow for the other puppies.

Tracy's favorite is Buffy. She is the most intellegent of the litter, she picks up everything she is taught very quickly.

It was a bitter sweet day, knowing that we will see them all go soon, but knowing they are going to have a family to love them.

We feel we have all played a part in giving them the best start in life. Puppies learn the so much, right or wrong, from when they are very young, and what they learn, makes them the dogs they become.

We have been very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a dog trainer and these puppies, the opportunity doesn't present itself very often. We have learnt a great deal, and will continue to seek out further reading in the future.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Sidewalking at ETRA

I have completed a couple of sessions now at the riding centre.

The same clients come each week. The first session was taken up with getting every one's stirrups to the correct level, the right person on the right horse, and so on.

We did manage to go on a trek outside, along the bridle path, which was very pleasant, out in the fresh air. It was necessary to stop a few times, to get some riders comfortable, and used to their horses, but in the main it went very well.

The clients on the Tuesday session that I help at don't need to be held whilst they are riding along, so this makes it easier for the side walkers, who are able to avoid the puddles and obstacles on the ground. We just have to hold them when going in and out of the barn, (going from light to dark environments can sometimes spook the horses), we have to be prepared for this eventuality.

I have had a different client each week, and each one has thoroughly enjoyed their time, in their own unique way. One client is blind, and sings a tune to themselves, and smiles the whole way round, There are children and adults and each get something from their experience.

The ponies/horses are very placid and take all the noises and sudden movements in their stride.

Our little troop of 4 horses being led by a pony handler, with one rider and two side walkers either side, and the instructor behind with a megaphone, is a merry little parade, chatting and squealing and laughing and singing.

The hour session is over very quickly, after we have finished the trek, we come back into the arena and have a little trot, depending on ability. All too quickly the clients are led up to the dismounting block where they reluctantly bid farewell to their pony/horse, until next week.

The helpers have a 15 minute break before the next clients arrive. Someone has usually made cakes or cookies, and there is tea or coffee to drink.

I leave each week, feeling that I have helped to put a smile on some one's face, and that thought puts a smile on mine !

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Puppy Training

Our weekly training sessions have proved very effective with the puppies at the shelter.
Align Centre
The group has progressed steadily, they all sit when given the hand signal, they will then lie down and then stand up when they are given the signal.

We are varying the task slightly and have begun to increase the time between when the dog sits to when he gets his reward for sitting. Also we have let him sit, them moved one step to the side and then back in front of the dog before giving him the treat if he is still sitting.

They have been getting used to wearing a collar. The collar has been put on when they first come into the training room and are chasing about, not paying attention to the collar. Another good time to try the collar is when they are very sleepy, and about to go to sleep.

We have been getting them used to being picked up, being grabbed by their tails, from behind, by their ears etc, making it a fun thing to be handled by humans.

They are very quick learners, and when they are old enough, they will be very adoptable.