It was a total pleasure doing this Photoshoot with Barney – a gorgeous cockapoo cutie who was such a star to work with. The photoshoot was a Christmas Gift for his owners. Here are a couple of the pics…
DOGGIE NEWS AND VIEWS
A huge congratulations to Jasper and Dodge’s Mum and Dad who have very recently married at the base of the Old Man of Coniston in the Lakes and are looking fabulous on their special day. As you can see from the photo, our much loved ring bearing cockapoo duo really dressed to impress, giving a whole new meaning to the word ‘dapper’. Eat your heart out 007!
Prior to the wedding their groomer gave them a much lighter trim than normal to showcase their good locks. Thank you so much for letting us share this beautiful photograph!
Wedding Photography by Kirk Elliott at Twilight Weddings.
Superhero Cyclists Save the Day
Also this month we owe a very big thank you to the cycling father and son duo – Kevin and Colin from South Shields – who saved the day when we got into difficulties during a walk at the Derwent.
They are our superheroes and I’m just so grateful that a pair of total strangers were willing to stop and help and it’s so nice to know there are such kind and nice people in the world. Thank you so much for everything – you were superstars and Oscar and Murphy say a very big thank you, even if they didn’t show it at the time!
When we stocked up with toys for the new term it is without question Frisbees that have proved to be the biggest hit of the season so far, followed by a close second… safe sticks. Frisbee hoops are a hit for me because they are washable, and the hoop type can be carried by the doggies around their necks if they get bored of playing with them. For the doggies – well because they are just fun, fun, fun.
We have been working on the controlled fetch of Frisbees with a few of our guys and gals which works well as they tend to land flat and not roll on like balls do. Even better they make for a very fun game of tug of war, so everyone can get in on the action. Watch a video of two of our lovelies Oscar and Paws having a good old game of tug of war…
Cockapoo Birthday Celebrations
Sam the classroom cockapoo, who we told you all about in the last news update has just turned one and as part of his birthday celebrations has met up with all his cockapoo brothers and sisters and Mum and Dad! Unfortunately they didn’t get shots of everyone together but you might be as surprised as I was when you see the variety of colours from this cockapoo litter…
Sam’s Mum Caroline explains:
The black one on the left is Rofl, the mam, and there’s Sam next to his sister Lola with Pip at the front (when he was born he was smaller than a hamster and they thought he wouldn’t make it – now he’s one of the biggest and bounciest!). There’s also Elmo, a three month old pup who came for socialisation. All the dogs in the picture except Pip ‘work’, or will work in the future, at school with disadvantaged kids!
Missing from the photo are: Barney (the dad) and Bobby (a brother) who were off scampering about somewhere and Bonnie (sister) who couldn’t make it. It was fabulous and of course Sam found the muddiest puddle to jump in (none of the others did!!)
Happy Birthday to muddy pup Sam and thanks Caroline for the update and the photo.
More Birthday Celebrations
Also a very happy Birthday to Paws who will also be celebrating his first birthday in a couple of days…
Whickham Walkies is also very happy to be another year older and would like to thank primarily all of our doggies for just being so them; and of course to our loyal customers. I’m really proud to be celebrating another birthday and although we’ve no grand plans to lay on a soiree, put up the bunting or hire a brass band, I would just like to thank each and every one of my customers for choosing Whickham Walkies, it’s really appreciated. Thank you xx
While we were out and about this month two ten month old bouncing boxers bolted off from their owner and decided to join our walk. Unfortunately I was left totally baffled about what to do with the energetic pair with no owners in sight, as the two very energetic pups weren’t wearing identification tags. I had no idea who they belonged to, as I hadn’t met them out and about before and don’t carry a microchip scanner so had no way of knowing who their owners were or where they were.
Thankfully the owner eventually appeared and they were happily reunited but that could have been a lot less stressful for everyone if they were wearing a collar and tag as I could have just called her on her mobile to tell her I had her dogs. It’s such a simple thing but please remember your dog needs to be wearing basic identification (and of course it’s a legal requirement).
Without question it has to have been one of the nicest summers that we’ve had a in a long time and we have lots of photies from the summer months…
There’s a variety of summer snaps that are currently getting uploaded to the website so check them out if you get the chance and check back soon for more news and views…
DOGGIE NEWS AND VIEWS
Sam the charming and calming Cockapoo proves to be a hit in the classroom…
I’m so pleased to get our first update about Sam the cockapoo who is currently training to become a Pets As Therapy (PAT) dog. Sam’s owner explains:
This means he will go into school and help children who have trouble expressing themselves or enjoying childhood to the fullest for whatever reason that may be.
He is currently “in training” at school so the children know that they are part of the process too; when they stay calm, Sam stays calm. Mostly, he spends time with a boy who is seven years old who has home worries and needs some extra support at times. Every week, he takes Sam for a walk around the field and they have a fun game of fetch (all supervised of course). He’s learnt to be calm around Sam (actually learning to feel calm for himself) and he knows that it’s a special responsibility to look after him so he feels very proud of himself. While he’s with Sam, he can forget his worries and be a seven year old boy; the changes in his face and body language are amazing.
When Sam is fully trained and accepted as a PAT dog the plan is that he will spend more time with children like this, simply helping them to be children, teaching them about responsibility and listening to them reading too!
He’s been meeting lots of different children he’s never met before and spent time with children reading as well as a group who’d never had any experiences with dogs before. He’s been great and one of the children actually remarked on how “smart” he was because he listened to everything she was saying.
Sam is still going through a little more training but his mum and dad hope that soon he’ll be ready for his official assessment. By the sounds of it he’s already doing an amazing job and we wish Sam and his owners the very best of luck!
For more information about the PAT charity visit: www.petsastherapy.org
On the home page you will find details about how to text to donate. The website also includes details of how you can donate online or volunteer and get involved.
Thanks so much to Caroline for providing this information and for the photos. We look forward to hearing more about Sam’s therapy adventures in the coming months…
Before Whickham Walkies I’d never experienced working with beagles before and it’s been a total joy working with two lovely ladies over the last couple of years. They’ve both stolen my heart. It’s been challenging, frustrating at times and sometimes stressful working with these beauties whose spirited, playful, friendly nature can be balanced with stubbornness, determination and an amazing nose than can pick up a scent at the drop of a hat! We have worked so hard on recall and it makes me incredibly proud that we’ve had so many successes (and balanced with that comes the occasional stresses, where the occasional deaf ears and the scent of a bunny proves far too tempting).
For a lot of dog breeds a really good recall is a lifelong effort but with beagles they take it to a whole new level, they’ve taught me you can’t ever be complacent, you have to be even more prepared. As part of this job you always have to be thinking ahead, looking for potential dangers or distractions but with beagles you need to really be on your top game and practice, practice, practice recall in the most fun and creative ways possible and sometimes we have to take things right back to basics too. Here’s to our beagleicious lovely ladies, who love to keep me on my toes…
This month we’ve had some heart-breaking news that one of our regular dogs is suffering from severe hip dysplasia at aged just two years old. The condition involves the failure of the hip joints to develop normally which leads to deterioration over time. His condition can be managed and he has already shown signs of improvement since receiving the anti-inflammatory drugs he needs. His vets and owners are hopeful that with careful management he will continue to have many happy years of walks left to enjoy.
Some breeds such a Labrador Retriever and German Shepherd are more likely to suffer from it and it can be genetic, in this case he believed to be born with the condition. There are precautionary measures that can be taken to prevent the onset of the condition in the early years. If your dog shows any symptoms of hip-dysplasia which can include a sway when walking, difficulty getting up or showing any signs of pain in the back legs, bunny hoping, avoidance of climbing up stairs etc. then don’t put off seeking advice from your vet.
Don’t throw sticks!
Last week we met a beautiful three year old Spaniel while out and about in Whickham who is recovering from an operation after catching a stick awkwardly resulted in a four cm hole in the back of his throat. He now has to wear a harness and can’t wear anything around his neck. The injury resulted in a vets bill of £700.
Let this be a reminder to us all that it really happens and chatting to people while we’ve been out and about this week it’s amazing how many people have injured their dogs whilst throwing sticks for them. If they love sticks let them carry them but don’t throw them, buy them a safe stick toy to throw instead.
On a happier note it’s great to see that our regular doggie that is treated for severe anxiety has been making some really significant progress and has really come out of her shell lately, to the point that she’s been scouting out and venturing ahead of the pack on some parts of our walks which would have been unthinkable when I first started out walking her, many of the sounds that would have sent her into a shaking mess are no longer of concern to her and it’s just so nice to see the progress. It’s also such fantastic news to hear that her anti-anxiety medication has been significantly reduced with no ill-effects, in fact she seems better than ever and will only be taking medication when needed rather than every day.
This spring/summer we’ve provided TLC puppy visits to a new Miniature Schnauzer puppy. He’s a temporary client and I’ve had a lovely time watching him grow up so fast. It’s been a total pleasure getting to know him, playing with him, taking him on some of his first walks and introducing him to other doggies. We’ve also enjoyed practicing recall and some basic commands too.
He’s such a cuttie and a real character, make sure you say hello when you see him out and about in Whickham!
First time face time
We’re also saying hello to a new chocolate Labrador this summer. After a short trial period it was clear that he’s proved himself to be a real hit with all of our doggies. He’s a real softie and has been doing a very good job setting a good example with recall for many of our youngies (of course he has, he’s a lab).
They love playing tug of war with him – he has such a gentle nature that he lets the little ones win, after giving them a bit of a work out first…
New Face Update
Also just an update on the gorgeous rescue junior that I told you about in the Spring Blogathon. He has found his feet and has started settling down into the Whickham Walkies gang really well. He is currently attending puppy foundation classes with his Mum. He is starting to do well with recall and basic commands during walks, I know his mummy is very proud of his progress… We’re also interested to hear that after a tiny bit of speculation, his sister (who was found at the same time in the shed with him in Ireland) was DNA tested and was found to be a setter/border collie cross.
We have introduced TLC cat visits as part of the Whickham Walkies service. £6.50 per pop-in visit during the week and £7.50 per pop-in visit on weekends and bank holidays. As part of this service litter trays will be emptied, food replenished and of course lots of TLC.
For those who want it cats will have a kitty-cat diary sent and not to be outdone by the dogs, they will also have their own personal photo gallery. So if you have small children they can enjoy reading about their adventures and seeing what they’ve been up to while you’ve been away or at work. This is Lizzy, our first kitty client, what a beauty of a pussy cat….
More with four?
We only recently introduced walking dogs in groups of four which after a trial period has gone really well. It’s made it possible to have a couple more beach excursions during the warm weather. It’s also been great to see how the dynamics of the groups change when there are four buddies out together (obviously they all know each other before we move to a group of four). Of course we’re still continuing with trios, duos and solo walks, especially with the younger dogs, but this option is great for a bit more variety, and for a bit more mischief and mayhem (but they’re mostly good…. honest!)
There’s lots more to update but this is getting really long, so check back soon for more photies and news…
This month one of our doggies, this beautiful cockapoo, was sent off by her owners for a much needed radical new haircut, after her coat got into a little bit of a mess. Paws N Play on Front Street in Whickham gave her a shiny new haircut. Whickham Walkies picked her up and delivered her home afterwards. For the moment she’s looking like a little lost lamb after losing her long locks – but not to worry – she has a smashing new red coat to preserve her modesty!
Sporting the red coat look