I came across these drawings today. They are drawings made by my daughter Fenja – drawn probably about 3-4 years ago. I would guess she was about 6 or 7 when she made them.
I remember when she drew them and gave them to me.
Before she got so very busy with after school activities, she used to love coming along to puppy class. Sometimes we have had many puppies living in families and several kids accompany their puppies and come along to the same class – other times there have not been that many kids or none. Being a mom, and also someone who believes very strongly our puppies benefit from having people of all ages take part in the class – I love it when kids come along. So, my own kids were a staple at puppy classes for quite a while. They were great helpers in setting up for class, and sometimes there were bonus puppies that needed a Junior Handler!
Sometimes we would get `bonus puppies` show up from a rescue or shelter.
I have always encouraged the local shelter to get in touch if they have Puppies waiting to be adopted and drop in to Wags` puppy foundation skills class, at no charge. I think it benefits everyone! The puppies get a little outing with some good learning, a volunteer is likely to accompany them – and it gives that volunteer a chance to perhaps learn something new as well as get out and mingle and let the puppy meet some additional people and dogs.
Fenja`s drawings all focus beautifully on the exercises we did with the puppies. (and we still do these types of things, among many others).
The top drawing shows an owner working with a puppy to introduce the puppy to go through a chute. It`s just a confidence builder and something simple and fun – yet is very helpful for some more advanced exercises later on. So, dogs who have been introduced to chutes and many strange objects as puppies have a clear advantage.
The middle drawing is equally descriptive 🙂 It`s extremely beneficial to introduce puppies to as many different kinds of surfaces as possible and get them comfortable stepping on and confidently walking on anything and everything they might later encounter. In the illustration the puppy is practicing sits and downs on a slippery surface (can you guess what the surface is? well clearly: a snow slider toboggan!)
And the final drawing below here shows all the prep work necessary to get ready to teach puppy class. It`s a big job to get ready for the little bundles!
Yup. That`s me with the purple shirt and the mop. Floors always get carefully cleaned before any puppy enters the training room. Carefully selected props and items are brought out. Here we`re obviously setting up the chutes as well as a tunnel. (I believe that to be one of Fenja`s brothers helping with the tunnel).
Before Wags` had a home base and a permanent indoor location, classes moved around quite a bit: I have taught in many different locations in Banff and Canmore. For some of that time I even lugged around my own flooring which was assembled before each class, and again disassembled after…(see the blue rubber tile in the top right: yeah, that`s what that is. This is an extremely accurate drawing!)
What treasures these drawings are. There were a few more…Maybe another day I can share the rest.