I grew up with dogs; labradors to be precise and I don’t remember a time without dogs in my life. My current collie, Bryn, is my 2nd collie and he is now 15 and slowing down considerably. I had sort of decided that I would wait until he had passed before I considered getting another dog. As my work has changed considerably since I had Bryn, I wanted my next dog to be very much part of the work I do, both at school and in the wildlife consultancy work. My Head teacher had already approved the idea of me bringing my next dog to school with me. We already have a lovely labrador, Pebbles, who comes in and is our ‘reading dog’. Reluctant readers come to a quiet area with bean bags and read their books to Pebbles! Pebbles is an excellent listener and always wags her tail in support of the reader!
Many children have little or no contact with animals. Our hens and rabbits give many children their first opportunity to interact with, and learn about animals. I wanted my next dog to be exactly the same. Start her young and get her used to the school environment and then she would be able to accompany me on my work outside and give children the chance to learn more about the care and responsibility of keeping a dog.
This week, whilst, I was working at Yew View, the Wiccaweys Collie Rescue came for a meeting with the owners. On the way over, they had picked up a collie pup looking for a new home. She was just 11 weeks old.
Somehow, it felt like fate. Increasingly, I had been thinking about a new puppy. Here, now, was an 11 week old border collie x welsh collie looking for a home. She was exactly what I would have chosen; brown and white, a gorgeous face and a friendly, outgoing and confident nature.
One should never, however, take on a dog without serious thought. You are taking on a commitment for another 15 years or so. The first year, in particular, will be hard work with training and caring for the new arrival. I had already thought about all these things and I fully understood the commitment.
After much thought and interaction with this little lady, I decided I would take her. I had a good feeling about her. With only 3 weeks left at school, I could introduce her to school and then have the summer with her. She could accompany me on my days at Yew View.
That was Thursday… and after filling in all the paperwork and having my home and other pets approved, today we picked up our new little girl.
I have called her ‘Wren’. She is small, brown but with a feisty nature and a loud voice! I think it will suit her well. She has taken everything in her stride and is bold and lively. Jasmine, my siamese, made it very clear who was boss and Wren is giving her a wide berth. Bryn has been amazing… friendly and interested in her, even when she is leaping around him barking… just as well he is a little hard of hearing!
The next year will be an exciting journey. I am ready… I think! I am sure you will be seeing and hearing a lot more about her as the year progresses and you follow her progress…it’s going to be fun!