Linda and Coco took Mummy and I to the Dogs Trust in Harefield near London.We got there a bit early, so the hoomans stopped at the Tea Room for a cappuccino – and look!Who put a paw print on the froth!?!?!
Some of the volunteers took the dogs out for walks and stopped for a cuppa at the tea room as well.
This big guy was sniffing George. But when George turned around to sniff him, he got scared and went to hide! LOL! But it was time to go on the tourWe could go into the reception area but Coco and I were not allowed to go near the kennels – as it might disturb the dogs inside. Instead Linda took us for a walk around their grounds.So we will leave you here and let Mummy tell you what she saw …
May’s comment: It was a privilege to be able to walk around the Dogs Trust Harefield Center with Jo and Matt.
Just before we entered the area where the public could visit the dogs ready for re-homing, we came across this board. It shows the number of dogs that have been re-homed from the Harefield centre just this year.The red and blue coloured paws indicated if they were boys or girls and then the green paws indicated dogs that needed “a little bit of extra help.” Happy to see that quite a few of them have made it to a “forever home.”
I learnt about their Shared Adoption Scheme. Dogs Trust will share the costs of any ongoing medical needs for dogs who require ongoing treatment. This way, the dogs who require extra attention do not get passed over because of medical care expenses. And I think Ernie on the board had been adopted!
We went along to look at the kennels and the first dog through the door was LilyThe position of her kennel was ideal as Lily doesn’t really like other dogs, so while she is in her kennel, she can’t see other dogs. But she has some outside space too – see that opening in the back – she has a second room!
There were quiet ones who really needed some down timeWe were told she gets quite worried when people hang around too long. All throughout the kennels were signs that indicated the needs and preferences of the dogs.
But there were those who were only too excited to see humans And these two little guys, Brandi and Rossihave been at the centre while their owner had been unwell. They have now been re-homed together! Hooray!
And did you know that Dogs Trust would love it if you have a sofa or an armchair you no longer needed?
That way the doggies could feel a little more at home in their allocated kennels. What a good idea! But of course their new owners might not want them on the sofa at their new home, but till then, they should at least have some comforts of home.These were some of the dogs in an area where the public were allowed to look at them. There were other dogs that were not yet ready to meet humans and other canines. But importantly, the charity’s “no kill” policy ensures that all dogs that come through the doors of a Dogs Trust centre are given the best chance to find a forever home. George: This is our wish too.
After Mummy’s tour, we went to look at the outside space where the dogs could exercise. Gosh, Darcy and I would have lots of fun running in the fields.
But there’s also a very special place that’s fenced in for certain dogs to run without running away (like me!)Thereweare obstacles for us to explore Coco and I chased each other around.And then we were shown the Sensory Garden Where there’s grass and sand There’s a small pond which I will definitely avoid!Interesting plants to sniff at that I have never seen beforeProjects like this Sensory Garden is one of the legacy projects – made possible by funds bequeathed to Dogs Trust.As we walked back to the main buildings, we caught sight of the dogs undergoing behavioural and medical assessments.We did not go near them so not to tease them in any way.
Once upon a time, I too was in a cage when the people caught me and threw me in it. I wasn’t sure what was happening nor what it meant but one day someone opened that door and took me away. From that day onwards, more doors kept opening – doors to a vet, doors to a foster home, doors to a van and when it finally opened after a long journey, the doors opened and I was in another country. I then walked through the doors of my forever home.
I hope for those very doggies who are currently confused about the world will one day be able walk through those doors and onto the other kennels – where they will meet hoomans who would like a chance to love them and to give them a home to live a life where they will be forever loved.
Mummy said she was really pleased to finally make it to see one of the Dogs Trust centres. She was so impressed, so touched, so appreciative of all the work that they do that she went on to help them celebrate their 125th anniversary. At their fund-raising auction, she was bidding for the internship at Dogs Trust but was outbidded. Never mind, she said she will speak to Matt or Hannah or all the other wonderful people she had met to find out more about the work they do.
May’s final comment: Over the years since Darcy came into my life, I entered the world of dog shelters, charities, rescues … and there are ever so many. Also through our blogging, charities also reach out to us to help publicise their causes. I’ve never heard of the Dogs Trust until one day I received an invitation to the launch of dog treats at Biscuiteers. I was invited to visit their centre and last week, Linda offered to drive us to the Harefield centre, just outside of central London.
Dogs Trust is UK’s largest dog welfare charity. Founded 125 years ago, they are completely reliant on the generosity of the public. Last year alone, among their 20 centres around the country they cared for nearly 17,000 dogs. Most of the dogs that come through the centre find loving new homes within about six weeks but those who cannot be re-homed for one reason or other are always safe because they never destroy a healthy dog. Their mission – So besides generous donations of cash, there are other things you can also give away. They could use books – there’s a shop of donated used books that you can exchange or buy to give to the charity. And if you have an arm-chair or a sofa that you wanted to get rid of, maybe you would consider giving it to a Dogs Trust centre. Plus any toys, dogs beds, blankets, all those comfort things that doggies could use in their kennels while waiting to go home.