Wednesday, 5 October 2011
I often worry how people, who check out our page on Facebook, interpret what they see. What if people see something that worries them yet never ask. I love the people who ask or comment, even an unpleasant or heaven forbid abusive comment can be at least tackled, discussed or explained.
So I was asked a question.
' Hi i keep looking at your photos how many dogs have you got ,and where do you go to take them out do they ever fight .'
As for how many dogs we have, we have a few! Our numbers do fluctuate to a degree but generally we stick to a set number, a number we can manage under extreme circumstances. Not when things are going smoothly or well, numbers that mean even when Izzy or Veronica( our vans) need to go to the vet, when we are on one leg or one of our guys are poorly we will manage. Two vans, two nannies and a band of happy dogs. Of course we mustn't forget our knightess in shining supertrooper who comes to our aid when we need her!
Where do we take them? Here, there and everywhere! We are blessed with fabulous walks where we are, we have fields, woods and on occassions the beach. Of course we mustn't forget the important places to walk, not the photo pleasers, or customer pleasers and in fact not the dog pleasers….road walks, training walks and rehab walks. All so vital to what we do, forego one at your peril, it is all about balance isn't it. We are also blessed with a fabulous field, eight acres of meadowland, with orchids, thistles, clover and hedges. Fences that fox the wily escapee whilst we train them.
Now for the interesting part. Do they ever fight? They are dogs which mean the potential for fighting is definitely there. In 13 years there has been less than five fights, only one fight that was between our dogs, the rest have been dogs bowling in on ours( one poor poor dog had been hit by a car and in his frantic state he attacked Swift). Our guys fight? No. Any hurt badly apart from the car accident incident, no.
How?! What people don't realise is we didn't get a group of dogs and throw them altogether and stand back to see what would happen. We have Tash, Sky, Mila, Belle, Jasper, Harv…do you get what I mean. They are our guys, friends and companions, we know what they like, what they loathe. We spend a lot of time getting to know them. I have Nannied many of our dogs for years, some eleven years! Week in week out, come rain or shine, sickness and in health. Even when owners move on and the dogs stay rehomed with us to a trusted new owner.
We differ from many and aim always to be different. For example a Creche. The place is the creche, the focus, the prize, dogs come and dogs go yet the creche stays the same, the people will change and still the place stays the same. You never know who might come, who might go, regulars come and mix with new guys. Of course it works if you get it right but it is a totally different environment to Petnan ( which is a good thing I love the fact there is a dog walker, nanny, creche, kennel for every person/ dog out there). The thing that never changes is the creche. Not the family group.
And I believe we are an extended family. There is a core of familiarity in what we do, our every day dogs always there. Over time these may change but it is in stages, one may go and a new guy comes on board, the excitement like the arrival of a new baby in the family, not always initially accepted but ends up part of the family. So we have a happy band of dogs with a tiny percentage changing. This makes for a comforting environment and a fluid security. So fighting would only likely happen when one guy wants something so badly that it is willing to risk everything. Then of course it would also have to override all our training, training to share, to be patient, to deal with frustration and to understand that all good things come along with a few simple rules…dogs understand this they are social animals they know all about what it takes to be a family member as long as we show and explain to them.
Our rules are something like this:
Don't eat people
Don't eat dogs
Don't eat livestock or pets
Of course there are lots more but that isn't important right now.
So they don't fight because they are trained, they don't fight because they know each other inside and out and very rarely fight because they are dogs!