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!!*

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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.