Last week we were lucky enough to be invited along for a bit of a VIP tour of our local Dogs Trust centre in Darlington. Miss Frugal was ridiculously excited about the day as she loves the Dogs Trust and regularly sends me emails of dogs that she’s found on their site that she thinks will make a good friend for Buddy, our little Bichon Frise.
The Dogs Trust centre was very different to what I was expecting and I wanted to share a little of our experience with you today but to more than that, I want to inspire you to pop along to your own local Dogs Trust centre or even better, to sponsor a dog of your own.
We met some puppies first of all and it was love at first sight between the kids and the two little pups….
At 11 weeks old, these two gorgeous puppies were already the size of our Buddy and judging by the size of their paws, they’re going to be big when they’re older! Not a good match for Buddy unfortunately.
We then moved on to a tour of the rest of the centre and it blew me away how much space they have for the dogs – the cages are a great size and the dogs have beds and toys to play with (donations for toys are gratefully accepted). Each kennel has a little poster outside it with the dogs name and breed along with some information about what sort of dog it was and what sort of home it would suit and every now and again there was a picture of a suitcase stuck to the information sheet. This meant that the dog had been lucky enough to find a new home and was just waiting until it’s new family came to collect it.
As you’d expect some of the dogs had a bark at us as we walked past to let us know they were there, some came to play and some completely ignored us. We loved them all and would have taken them all home with us if we could.
One thing that stood out to me was how much love the dogs were getting – there were people taking them out for walks, playing in the kennels with them and even just chatting to them as they walked past. It was lovely and all of the dogs seemed quite content to be there.
They even have areas where the grumpy dogs who don’t like other dogs very much can live so they don’t get distressed or upset the other dogs.
Honestly, it was so not what I expected!
We were shown the form that all prospective owners have to complete and again, I was surprised by how obvious it was that the Dogs Trust want to match people with the right dog although I should have known that from Miss Frugal’s emails from their website as they say clearly what sort of house each dog would be happy in, whether they were good with children and even if they could be left alone while people are at work. Miss Frugal sneaked one of the forms home with her ready for when she finds the perfect dog for us.
We then met the education officer Alison and her dog Molly learned how a microchip helps reunite owners with their missing dogs and had a go at using the special machine to locate Molly’s microchip….
Molly was a rescue dog herself and was in a state when she was found wandering the streets, looking at her now you wouldn’t believe what she looked like when she was first brought in to the Dogs Trust. We saw the photo and she looked like a different dog….
Master Frugal especially loved Molly and would have happily stayed with her all day….
We learned about the education program that the Dogs Trust operate in our local community and I was surprised to hear that they go into schools to help children learn about the right way to approach animals – it always surprises me how many parents let their children walk up to Buddy when we’re out and about – he might look fluffy but they have no idea if he’s friendly or not (he is but that’s not the point). The Dogs Trust education program helps children to understand not to approach dogs they don’t know among other things and they’ve spoken to over 100,000 children so far!
Molly was such a lovely dog with a bit of a treat obsession which goes back to her being a stray and having to scavenge for her food. This is what happened when we were talking….
Not all dogs there were strays, a lot of them were brought in because of a change in their owner’s circumstances which must be heart breaking. I can’t imagine having to give up Buddy but I really admire people who have the dogs best interests at heart no matter how painful it must be.
After spending some time with Alison and Molly we rounded off our day with a lovely walk with a lab called Archie who Miss Frugal fell in love with….
It’s amazing that the lovely people at the Dogs Trust do all this with no formal funding – they rely 100% on donations from people like us. They never put a healthy dog down which makes me happy after seeing all of the gorgeous dogs there and I honestly can’t urge you enough to help them if you can.
Thank you so much for inviting us along and to Becky, Julia and Alison who were so welcoming. Both children have been inspired to do something to help you all out now so we’ll no doubt be back in the near future.
Don’t miss out on future posts like this – receive updates directly to your inbox by email by adding your email address to the box on the top right of this page and hitting subscribe. You can also follow me on BlogLovin or Networked Blogs and I’d love to see you over on my Facebook page and on Instagram.