07 Nov The World’s Greatest Festival for Dog Lovers
This week at Smart Pups ……
This week has been hectic! There has been a lot of heat in the office and not all because of the record temperatures. The Smart Pups calendar was not just double booked it was triple booked, with the volunteer breakfast at The Surf Club Mooloolaba, the outside broadcast with Hot91.1 at the Maroochydore Homemaker Centre, and the Brisbane Dog Lovers Show all falling on the same weekend. How I hear you ask does an organisation with only 16 staff manage to be in so many places? The story is truly about team work and willingness to give.
So here is a huge shout out thank you firstly to our wonderful fosters who gave their time so willingly especially those who travelled to Brisbane to help represent Smart Pups at the Dog Lovers Show, with some attending both days. And a second shout out to our dedicated staff. It literally was all hands-on deck (or hands on leads), whether you were the CEO, a trainer, a kennel hand, one of the administration team or just about everyone in Kylie’s family!
And you know what, we pulled it off! Our stand looked amazing and drew lots of interest and our volunteer team looked impressive in their red shirts. Of course, there are a few others to thank. Namely our dogs in training who stole the show with their cuteness and ability. So, a big thanks to Opal, Otto, Bella, Luna, Kruz, Peggy, Presley, Olive and Murphy. Our little pups worked hard at being adorable and getting cuddles until they fell asleep on the job, while our advanced dogs showed off their skills to audiences at set demonstration times.
If you didn’t get to the show to see Smart Pups in action you can watch what happened at here. As trainers we classify the places we take our dogs to work based on the level of distraction. So our newest pups start learning in quiet areas of low distraction, gradually learning to obey commands in more and more challenging environments.
Well the Brisbane Dog Lovers Show was what I would call Super High distraction. There were crowds, noise, big fans blowing the smells from the hot food vans, children in strollers, dogs in strollers, and dogs representing forty different breeds. You never knew if you were going to encounter a Great Dane, a Old English Sheep Dog, or a Chihuahua. Talk about distraction! Sometimes as trainers we get a little nervous that our canine students will let us down, that they will be overwhelmed by what we ask of them. We needn’t have worried. The reports cards were all A+. I will admit to feeling a tiny bit proud to be representing such a wonderful organisation. To have my dog watching me so attentively and weave through the crowd on a loose lead. It really is a magical feeling.
It’s these times I reflect that I have the best job ever, not just because of the bond I develop with the dogs but also because of the friendship and sense of shared purpose that comes from working with volunteers and staff who share a common goal – making a difference to the lives of children with special needs, – one A+ dog at a time. Take a bow everyone – we made it happen!