Thursday, 2 October 2008

A Post From Helen....

Musings from the Dog Yard

As a rookie dog handler I have not had any experience with so many dogs in one place! I must say it is rather interesting to experience the dog yard all throughout the day as their energy levels and moods change. The dogs know the routine and behave accordingly and I now know what to expect from them as I approach the dog yard.

First thing in the morning we go out to the yard to get the dogs ready for a run. Of course there are only 16 that get to go so many are left behind. Walking into the dog yard requires much dodging of the dogs as they are each trying to yell the loudest, jump the highest and run back and forth in excitement. Then when we get to the dog that is going for a run it is all we can do to get them off their chains and then walked over to the ready line. They are so excited and have so much energy and power that it is the most challenging part of the day!

Of course the saddest time is when Karen and all 16 dogs leave for their run and the remaining dogs are all howling a very low mournful howl. Usually I hop on the back of the quad so I do not have to experience their sadness too often. The first time I heard them do this I was overwhelmed at how much feeling they were having about the situation.

Later in the afternoon I go out to the dog yard to clean up and give them all fresh water. By this time of day they are all relaxed and sleeping, the yard is quiet and most of them do not move as I wander around the yard. It is my favorite time of day in the yard since I am able to visit with each dog as they are gentle and mild mannered.

In the early evening it is feeding time and once again everyone is up and jubilant. The difference now is that the dogs have no interest in jumping on me and instead are focused on one thing, the dog bowl in my hand! They yell until they are fed so it is especially easy to see who has been fed and who hasn't. As soon as feeding time is over the yard is once again quiet with a game or two happening among the young ones!

It really is quite a wonderful experience spending so much time with all of these talented dogs. Everyday I learn something new about the dogs that makes me truly appreciate their amazing abilities and drive. They have fun and interesting lives and best of all have an owner that adores each and every one of them!


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