Bit behind with telling you about it (I know I said I was going to blog more often than this, but I’m catching up now!!), but thought I’d tell you all about getting Yaris. We’ve been together a few weeks now and it’s going well, but at one point I didn’t think I would even make it home with him!!
Anyway, after a bad start to the first week (won’t go into details about that!!), actually made really good progress through the fortnight, and Yaris and I got on really well. Canine Partners house you together with your dog 24/7 for the entire fortnight, in chalets on site at the HQ, though there is always help on hand in case of problems. What’s great is that they don’t just teach you how to do the command work with the dogs, they teach you right from the very basics of having a dog – how to look after it, care for it, clean it, feed it, exercise it etc. That way you are prepared for every aspect of owning the dog, not just working the dog.
Once we got familiar with our dogs and they were working well for us, and responding well to us, we got to exercise them, playing in enclosed paddocks with different toys and games – though with Yaris there’s really only one thing he’s interested in – a tennis ball. And believe me, he can sniff out if you have one in a pocket or bag, and he’s not interested in anything else!! And then we went off-site and took them to shops etc – a very funny sight, especially when you see us smearing little bits of cheese onto lift buttons to encourage the dog to find it for the first time, or when you ask the dog to pass you tissues and they bring you a whole shelf of tampons instead!!
And at the end of the two weeks? If we’ve been good and learnt our lessons well, we get to go home together! That is, after our official photos – smile for the camera Yaris!!
And the Happy 30th? Well, it was my birthday in the middle of the 2 weeks, and everyone was so lovely – I got 2 birthday cakes, and more cards and presents than I ever have before!! This has been the first ever birthday I think I’ve ever really celebrated properly with a group of people so lovely.
So just a quick thank you now to everyone at Canine Partners, especially all the ladies in the kitchen, and to Claire our trainer. Thanks to Lisa who was employed as my carer for the two weeks, and to the other girls who were so lovely and friendly (and of course for the great presents and cards!). Thanks to my dad and friend Karen who were there as support when I needed it, and to Karen too for coming down in the middle weekend, just to be there with me for my birthday. But most of all thanks to the lovely Yaris, for being such a lovely Canine Partner and companion – I couldn’t have done it without you mate!!