The women who run our centre are fantastic with dogs. They have their own dogs, who go to work with them every day - something I can only dream of for my two. In fact, most people will have seen one of their dogs on TV (the Frank's Factory Flooring advert), or perhaps in advertising campaigns for different things such as this recent Dog's Trust blog. The training classes they run teach reward based methods, and I have to admit, they do work incredibly well.
Anyway, back to the daycare part. Last Thursday, Ellie went for her assessment day. They take each dog separately for an assessment, to see how they cope with the daycare centre itself, and all the new dogs that they'll meet. Ellie absolutely loved it, by all accounts. She had the freedom to potter around all day, played with lots of cardboard tubes and boxes and ate some yummy treats that were scattered for the dogs to find. She came home completely knackered and slept practically all night! She wasn't even interested in eating her tea at first, though she did go back to her Kongs about an hour after I gave her them. All in all it was a success, and when I think about how much fun she must have had that day compared to the days where she's left in her crate until someone comes home, there's no contest. I guess the only downside is the expense.
Today, Pepper went for her assessment. From what we were told, she enjoyed it but was fairly quiet compared to some of the other dogs. I don't know what she got up to, but she was more subdued when she came home - possibly because she was in a huff over us taking her somewhere and leaving her with strangers! She was soon back to normal though. Another thing I noticed was that she drank a lot of water when she came home, possibly because she doesn't like to drink out of the water bowls in the centre due to the smells of all the other dogs.
Next time they go, it will be together and I think that Pepper will enjoy it a bit more. I hope so anyway. It's not going to be a terrible regular occurrence, as even though all four of us work, the shift patterns we work mean that they're not usually left alone for too long at a time.
The website for our daycare centre is here, should anyone want to have a look. They also have a Facebook page here, which has more pictures of the daycare dogs and also the various training groups. There's even a picture of me and Pepper on there somewhere if you look carefully!
I'll leave you with this picture of Ellie with a giraffe on her head: