It’s facelift time.

Okay, so I started this blog a while back, and now I have realised I actually want something different to what it has turned into. I am going to spend the next few weeks trying to completely change the site and making it better suited to what I want from this blog. In the meantime, I will still be working and I have my dog at home, so by the time the layout has been fixed, I will have lots of stories.

For example yesterday I was walking a spaniel cross at the kennels yesterday and while he was lovely in the kennel – he was happy and just wanted stroked. When we were outside he nearly caused me to fall and land face first in the wet muddy ground several times. No matter how much I talked to him and tried to be strong/ forceful with him he kept over powering me. Luckily I got back without falling, but I now know that I will never match up to the strength of a dog who has their mind set to do something. Does anyone else experience this?

IT’S PUPPY SEASON!!!!!!

Okay, so I’ve been MIA for absolutely ages and for that I apologise. I shall keep up to date, and let you know how it all goes.

So, In August I will have been working there for a year! Unbelievably huh! This week I hardly did any walking – in actual fact I did none. As the weather was horrible, it was pouring (I don’t mind the rain, but my boss didn’t want to make me walk in it, I got to look after the dogs in day-care.) Whoop whoop!

The first kennel I opened was a 6 month old Springer puppy! She was gorgeous! Then I opened the other kennels and there were a range of other dogs – Labradors to a dulux dog as well as Chihuahuas. On the other side there was a poodle and spaniel cross puppy who was 6 months old, and a Cavalier King Charles Puppy who was 5 months. She was beautiful and looked like a tiny teddy!

As per, I had to clean the kennels. I have definitely gotten into a regular routine: hoover, mop, hoover again if it needs it. However this week I had two left hands and knocked over the bucket twice so there was a massive wet patch on the floor. Oops :D.

Once, I FINALLY had my butter fingers under control and I managed to finish cleaning I had to go to day-care. I was supposed to watch the big dogs, but I found if the puppies were left alone they barked. Thankfully all the “big dogs” were behaving so I could just sit with the puppies and play with them.

My boss had to g for half an hour and she put me in charge of “the front of house”. I had to watch for any customers, and either give them back their dog, or take in their dog. Only one owner came, and I gave them their dogs back. I am loving working there, and even though I have been working there for a while, I still love it as much as I did the first day!

Not too ruff a day!!

Today was very awkward, and almost disastrous at one stage. I slipped more than a few times and I actually fell at one stage. I also nearly lost a dog…

I’ll start from the beginning…

First of all, I went in, and locked the doors I  their runs for two main reasons:

1. To let us clean their sleeping, ”main” rooms.

2. To wake them up, and give them a change of scenery.

As per usual, I was to ”pick a side” before the other girl arrived. After an incident with one of the dogs (she seemed ready to bite; but only now I realise she was just scared) I decided to take the dogs on the other side despite there being more dogs.

Firstly, I walked a little Westie. I originally thought she was a girl, but then when she went for a wee, she lifted her leg; so now I’m not too sure… She was absolutely no hassle and especially since she was such a small dog – very easy to walk. Saying that, I managed to slip and nearly fall on some mud heading back…

After her, I walked the mongrel and the collie who came in together, they’ve been in before and I have probably mentioned them. The collie is quite small for her breed, but she has to take tablets so I wonder if that has something to do with it. They were actually relatively tricky to walk. Not because of their behaviour, but because they tangled their leads and the two poo-bags I had to carry.

After them I had to walk my second collie of the day. She was actually HORRIFIC to walk! I was slightly arrogant, and I didn’t think I’d need the weird lead that you step into and it goes around your waist. [I was also worried that if she did pull, I’d face plant and be dragged around by this dog.] I’d had enough by the point where she was dragging me down the hill at a running pace. I got so fed up with her that after a few minutes, I just yelled at her to sit. And much to my surprise she actually sat. She seemed quite nervous – as she’d lifted her paw, but I was just glad that I had asserted my authority. But it didn’t last long. Unfortunately, when we started walking again she continued to pull me back to the kennels. I guess I didn’t do such a good job of asserting my authority!

I was next going to walk the German shorthaired pointer, but instead I put him into the stone play-area so he could ”let off some steam” before I took him for his walk.

Then, me an the other girl took the two collie ”brothers” for a walk. Luckily for me, my dog didn’t pull, and for both of us – nether dog was any hassle until we reached  steep slippery hill we had to descend. My dog was brilliant until I tried to get him to keep moving. Then he managed to get himself out of is harness. Luckily, the other girl grabbed him and I clipped him back on before I had to chase him for hours!

Lastly, I had to walk the pointer. As he was such a big dog, he decided where we were going, and at what speed. I took him down to the run, and when I was about two steps away from the gate, I slipped on some mud and fell. So I was cold and had a wet bum for the rest of my shift! So the motto is: WEAR APPROPRIATE SHOES!!

Once all the dogs had been walked, I tidied and cleaned my kennels. I then went into day-care and sat with the staffie who is always there! Unfortunately, he had conjunctivitis, so he couldn’t ”socialise” with the other dogs.

There were two other dogs in the other section of day-care. A young westie and my baby. The spaniel puppy!!! The spaniel puppy would cry if he was left alone and I honestly wouldn’t hesitate to take him home if need be!! After sitting with them for a bit, that was my shift over.

*PLEASE COMMENT IF YOU KNOW ANYTHING THAT COULD HELP ME OR EVEN IF YOU HAVE A FUNNY STORY AS I LOVE HEARING OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCES!!*

One Month In…

Exactly one month ago, I started working at the kennels for the first time. Since then, I have already learnt so much about how a first job works, and also how different dogs are! This week, I got there, and the dogs were already in the day-care. I had to feed the two pugs, and a the golden retriever (who looks regal). Once  fed them; I had to put them all in the same bit, and open the door to the outside. I MANAGED IT!! THE DOOR OPENED AFTER TWO WEEKS AGO WHEN I COULDN’T MANAGE IT! I’m going to take it as a sign of me becoming more used to being there, and I know what I’m doing. Once I’d fed those three dogs, I had to walk two Labradors. I was going to walk them both at the same time, but I decided against that when one nearly escaped and the other nearly pushed me over. I us3d my common sense and walked them one at a time. They were both good, and actually quite easy to walk by themselves. Then I had to walk the two lovely ”twins” from last week. The staffie (who sounded like a pig) and the scottie. Once again; the staffie was as adorable as ever and stayed as close to me as possible; and the scottie tried to always stay in front. I took them the woodland way by myself which I was proud of because I didn’t get lost. Then I had to take a big bichon fries to the day care. He, unfortunately got out of his room and literally ran around the complex with me chasing him. It was very funny :D. I finally got him into the day care and he got to ”mingle” with the other dogs. Then I moved the lovely, but scared Lhasa Apse to the day care. Last week, she was very nervous around the other dogs. To solve this, we had to separate the big dogs and the small dogs. Next I had to clean out the kennels. This wasn’t too difficult as I feel like I mastered the techniques last week; or the week before. I had to make sure the last kennel was especially clean as a new dog was going to go in it. Once I had done that, I sat and played with all the dogs in day-care. I love this part, as it allows me to play with the dogs without doing too much hands on work – unless the dogs are in playful mood :).

New Faces, Same Routine

This week, started as last week, I got dropped off, and it was pretty daunting as no-one was in eye view. I then saw another lady, but it wasn’t the usual ”boss”. It was weird then I learnt that she was the lady in charge for the day. First thing I did, was bring a border collie puppy in from the play bit, after he had eaten. He was barking and his ears were flying everywhere. he was so lovely! Unfortunately, he was too overexcited to eat. Then I had to let out a big dulux-like dog into the grass area. After that, I had to start walking the dogs. First off, I walked an absolutely lovely Lhasa Apso. She looked really scared of the kennels and she was shivering in her room. I took her to the day-care first to see how she’d get on with the other dogs, and for five minutes she cowered in the corner. I took her for a walk, to try and make her feel better, and she was perfect on the walk. Then, I got her back to the building, and tried to get her to go back into day-care and nuh-uh. Not happening. I had to put her back in her kennel instead. Then I walked the Dulux-dog. That was very interesting. He was good and well-behaved, until we got to the pen. I decided that because he was quite a big dog. I would take him to the pen to run around and play. Little did I know what I was getting myself into. I let him off the lead, and threw around the tennis ball for a bit, and everything was fine. UNTIL, I wanted to clip him back onto the lead. He growled and bared his teethe at me. I t was quite terrifying to be honest and I’m not scared of dogs! I finally had to suck it all in, and tell myself that he was just playing with me. And just like that, he let me clip on the lead. It was weird.  Finally, my last dog to walk for the day, was with the other girl. I walked a staffie/bulldog and she walked a Scottie. To be 100% honest, the staffe made a sound like a pig, it was cute and funny to hear him snuffling on the ground. I learnt that there was a woodland walk behind the complex, and I look forward to trying that route next weekend!! After we had walked them, we were in the day-care. The staffie came again (the sheep, dolphin, monster noised one) and I was so happy to have him sit on my lap. Then the border collie and another shaggy brown dog (who was so light, she had so much fur)  were getting ”very close” if you know what I mean. I spent my last hour trying to keep these dogs from…  you know… I got paid again and I cannot wait till next week!!

The longer I stay, the more I learn…

Okay, so last week, Wednesday I think it was, ”the boss” phoned me and basically offered me a part time job. Now that was mentioned last week when I was there, but no she’s phoned me, and bam. That kind of means it’s official am I right? So now, I’ve gone from only working (volunteering) at Oxfam, to also working part-time at the Kennels. Not that I am complaining because I have totally wanted this for a long time, and now it’s finally here. So, a bit of persistence and being slightly annoying, you an really go places.

It’s only my second day working at the kennels, but I already feel like I know what I am doing. I completely cleaned out four kennels. As there were two puppies, and a dog on medication, these dogs cannot yet control their bladder. In itself is a shame, but it gets less cute (as in awww that’s a shame) when you have to clean it up. So, to start with I took the row on the right hand side. There were 3 dogs in their ”rooms”. This was a little cocker spaniel puppy. He was tiny, and absolutely beautiful. He was barking when I first got into the back bit he was barking away to everyone. Almost as if he was like: ”Notice me, I’m lonely and scared. And I want to have some FUN!!!!”. I took him on a walk first, in order to try and calm him down. As he was so young, he didn’t have a collar. Just a harness. It was unbelievably difficult as he was wriggling around, and crying. He was jumping up, and eventually I managed to grab his front paws and strap on his harness. That should have been the hard part done, but alas, it was not to be so easy. I tried to clip the lead onto his harness, but it was not so easy, as he grabbed the lead in his mouth, and wouldn’t let go. So, I had to walk him whilst he walked himself. We honestly walked like that for most of the walk. Finally then, he got interested in something other than his lead and all of a sudden he let go. It felt like I’d gone from carrying rocks to a pillow. Although he still pulled I didn’t mind that, as he was a puppy, and it was about a billion times easier than his walking himself.

Once we returned to the building, I got his food, and took him to the outside run to keep him clean, whilst I walked the other dogs, and then cleaned his kennel. The next dogs on my list were a collie and a mongrel. I walked these last week, and they were here for another few days. I walked them, and they were easy.. The only thing was as there was two of them, the leads tangled around each other, but other than that it was easy. They went back into the outside room and I locked the door into the inside compartment, so I could clean later.

The next dog I walked was a cocker spaniel. Now, before I opened the kennel, I was told she was a ”puller” Now, I don’t have a thing against dogs that pull (my own dog pulls my arm right out of the socket sometimes), but the minute I opened her kennel I didn’t believe it. She was cowering and seemed generally scared. It was such a shame. Until I got her outside. It was like the minute she smelt fresh air, she completely changed. She pulled like CRAZY!!! We started walking down the hill (which is quite step), and then a rabbit hopped out about 5 metres in front. Luckily she ignored it. Then about a minute later, she ran straight down the hill, and somehow the lead came straight back to me. And it wasn’t attached to her collar!! I ran straight down the hill, my heart beating like an over excited rock song, and after a few minutes of chasing her I got her clipped back on. Thankfully. I then realised that I must have clipped the lead onto the name tag, which isn’t as stable as the actual collar hook.

Once I’d walked her, and my heart had started working normally, I started to clean the kennels out. But first, I had to bring the puppy back in, and into his outside compartment, whilst I clean the inside bit, because he and the other dogs were being too noisy. I first had to mop the floor in order to get rid of all the wee on the floor. Then I had to hoover, but first I decided to mop the other kennels first as I’d keep the mop out, then the hoover, then the windows. It just made more sense to me than anything else.

After a while, I’d done all the kennels, all my dogs were fed, and they had clean water. I then helped the other girl by taking a black Labrador puppy on his walk. He was very boisterous and I took him up to the pen. He fell in love with the tennis ball, and once we were done, he wouldn’t let me leave it down there.

 

After walking the first puppy again, that was me done, and I had ten minutes left of my shift. I went and got my wages!!! I honestly was not expecting them, as I would be happy doing it for free, and I absolutely love doing it. I got £12 which is absolutely HUGE!!!!

 

I am looking forward to next weekend again, I think my life from now on is going to be me looking forward to Saturday mornings. I only hope that some day-care dogs are in so I can sit with them.

My First Day!!!

Okay, so I FINALLY started working at the kennels today, and it was AWESOME!!!! I met the boss and two other girls who work there. They were both lovely, totally down to earth and so helpful. First, they explained how to clean out the kennels. And to be honest, it’s not as hard as one would think. I personally thought it would be much… worse… than it is. Then one of the girls and I walked some dogs :D. Together we walked ten dogs and I got to meet each one! First we walked a labradoodle and a boxer. They were both lovely, and full of energy. The labradoodle likes to dictate where to walk. Then we walked four little dogs. Bcause Penny (my dog) is such a big dog (a golden retriever), I am used to just clipping on the lead and, hey presto, being ready to go for a walk. t was particularly difficult to strap each dog into it’s harness, but we eventually managed. I walked a Jack Russell and a Bichon Frise. While the other girl walked a Chihuahua who was absolutely gorgeous, and another Bichon Frise. I found, funnily enough that dogs that are hyped up inside are really calm outside on walks. I can relate this to Penny and the Jack Russell. After these four, we walked a pretty white husky. And a small black collie. Well! She was ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!! I honestly fell in love with her when I saw her. Her eyes were literally beautiful. (May seem a bit weird that I fell in love with this dogs appearance, but she was soooooooo pretty!!) Then lastly we walked a mongrel and a collie. They were lovely. Before I could go and play with the day-care dogs (which I couldn’t wait to do), I had to walk the Golden Retriever by myself. She is a very regal looking version of Penny (Golden Retriever). She sits still and her long hair makes her look royal.

Finally, I could go into the day-care! There were a lot of dogs, and I didn’t get all of their names. My favourite (which I shouldn’t have, but I can’t help myself) was a little Labrador puppy. He nibbled my fingers and later had to go for a nap because he was so young! i was honestly so tempted to bring him home, I had to resist the urge to just steal him! Later, I got to sit myself with an utterly lovely staffie. He whines and talks to you and he hates to be left alone. He sounds like a dolphin cross bred with a sheep mixed with a monster. No joke. The sound comes from his stomach . Then, in order to get close to you, he sits right on your lap. It’s honesty heart warming. There was also a ‘whippet’ but she looks like a whippet and a staffie cross bred to have her. She is very demanding, and barks when you leave the room. Her and the staffie are also escape artists, if you open the gate to get to the door a fraction, they will be able to get through and look at you like: ”Where to now?” Then a ridgeback something. She is a young dog. When her owner left, she ran around the room, jumped on the barriers, barked and whined. It was so sad to watch because I couldn’t distract her. (Except for a few seconds when I gave her treats).

This has really inspired me, and made me realise that the old saying is true:

”If at first you don’t succeed. Try and Try again.”

I phoned this kennel so much over 8 months, and emailed quite a lot, that way, I made them realise that I am deadly serious, and I am not messing around. I want to work with animals, I always have, and if it takes a bit of effort, I’m willing to put it in if it will hep me to go where I want to in life.

I HONESTLY CANNOT WAIT UNTIL NEXT SATURDAY!!!!!