Currently, I have three dogs, two cats and two chickens. I love all of their quirks and do my best to give them all individual attention. As an accredited dog trainer, I cannot emphasis enough the importance of one on one time when you have multiple animals. It really does help in so many ways.
So, in chronological order - let's meet my first three furkids! We shall meet the others in good time.
Nine years ago, we started looking for our first puppy. I had been bugging Jason for some time to get a dog and finally he relented, along with permission from our landlord. I knew I wanted a rescue dog and I had been scouring the local shelters for a staffordshire pup. There we found Blake, (apparently) a Bull Terrier x Labrador. This was one high octane white and black devil!
He bounced out of his pen, biting and grabbing at the lead, flying this way and that. We were allowed to take him for a rather zig zaggy walk around the grounds and there was no doubt in my mind we had found our first dog. I can only imagine the frustration and grief he had caused his surrendering owner. The holes we filled in, the washing that was torn off and the dog toys we went through - I don't regret one bit. I love his enthusiasm, his intelligence and his devotion. And yes, he is still a high octane devil!
I started him in tracking training at the end of the 2010 season, he has already passed his first test (TD1) and we are going for our TD2 on Wednesday, wish us luck!
Shortly after adopting Blake, I started working as a Veterinary Nurse. I loved the people and the animals, but it could be hard, dirty work at times. Then one day, a client brings in a cardboard box she had found at a local park. In this box was one of my next furkids. The lady opened up the box and four pairs of eyes look back at me, two tabbies and two black and white kittens. I always hoped that the remaining three were as lucky as my little black and white girl.
So, I pick up some kitten supplies and took the little female black and white kitten home. When Jason comes home, "When is it going back?". To which I reply "She has no where to go back to!" So, Hammerford is added to our little family. Blake was besotted by her on sight, his most favourite thing to do is to get a face groom from his little feline buddy. She is a great little cat, sweet and tolerant.
After a couple of years I was feeling clucky again and set about convincing Jason we needed another dog. We did a little bit of fostering for the RSPCA, which worked out quite well but I never found I developed a strong bond to the foster dogs. I liked them and helped them where I could, but they weren't my dogs.
Then, into my life walks in a little tricolour Border Collie. We had a locum vet work with us for a week who had found this collie on the streets six weeks prior to her contract with us. This compassionate Vet speyed her and homed this dog with one of her neighbours. The dog wasn't coping well, sprinting in circles in the backyard, along with a myriad of other issues. So, I took her home for a trial over the weekend, needless to say Swan became a part of our family. She was very sweet, but oh did she have problems!