Friday, 3 May 2013

SES Rescue dog needs Perfect Pet Sitter to the Rescue!

When I got a last minute request to help with an emergency couple of nights staying with two dogs, it was great for once to be able to say that I could actually help.

The immediate nature of this meant it was not possible to include my usual three familiarisation visits this time. However, I still went to meet the dogs the day before so that they had an intro to me before I arrived to stay on Wednesday. 

I could see they came from a home where they were completely adored and where their welfare is paramount - which was why their owners did not want to leave them anywhere except in their own home.
First morning at Graham Reserve

One of the two dogs – the Boxer - is an SES trained rescue dog. His job is to find people still alive trapped under rubble. I expected to find a 'serious' dog - but not at all. He and his companion Caffeince were friendly, outgoing, well socialised, and very well trained.

Seeing how these two related to each another was really interesting. The SES dog, Wellington, is six but Caffeine is 11 with weak back legs. When we went out Wellington 'looked out' for his pal all the time and if he lost sight of Caffeine he looked worried. It put me in mind of a son being attentive to an older father. I suppose that's anthropomorphism but I make no apology.

The owners told me I needed to be aware that Caffeine could not exercise too hard. In the short time I was there we did four walks, but each time I made sure we took lots of rests. In that way we could safely stay out for an hour (the last walk a couple of hours) without Caffeine overdoing it.

It made a very pleasant change to be taking out dogs like these - mature and already well trained. Whilst I very much enjoy training dogs which is a challenge and rewarding -the dynamic with these dogs was so different.

Pups get distracted all the time and look round at the world - everything but you! They have to learn to focus on their owners. These two, by contrast, constantly looked at me and made sure they stayed by me. I hardly needed to call them but when I did they came at once - which if you think this was the first time they'd met me was pretty impressive.

Well done to the owners for doing such a great job of training their dogs.

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