I have been a dog owner since I turned 13. My poor nagged parents finally gave in, afraid that one day one of the off-leash dogs I brought home would be truly homeless, rather than temporarily unattached to its owner!
In the past, dogs I have had living with me as my pets,have come from the utility group, working group, toy group and gundog group. I currently have a chihuahua, a lemon roan working cocker and a scruffy Labradoodle called Scrumpyfox red golden retriever who is my Canine Partner, aged 7,4 and 2 respectively.We are just about to be joined by Benji, a labrador puppy that I will be training for Medical Detection Dogs Charity.
As a dog owner I have taken part in Companion Obedience, Agility, Flyball, Heelwork to Music, and Rally-O. I have also taken the Kennel Club Good Citizenship Awards-Puppy, Bronze, Silver and Gold.
I have worked for PetPals, Darlington-where I walked and home-boarded the various dogs that comprised their clientele. This gave me experience with many different breeds, and I observed the subtleties of their behavior, communications and needs.
I have fostered dogs for individuals and Woodgreen Animal Charity.An irish bitch (Dora), who proceeded to have 7 puppies, is a particularly vivid memory, along with a terrified old terrier completely shut down from being unexpectedly in kennels, who became a happy, cheeky little girl in her new home.
My recent experiences have been as puppy parent/socializer/troubleshooter for 3 assistance dog charities-Canine Partners, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Medical Detection Dogs, and training my own Assistance Dog, Scrumpy.