joanna jeeves

Image credit: Joanna Jeeves

My Holiday Feedback by Joanna Jeeves

On a cold and miserable Sunday in March I packed my car with mountains of dog blankets, dog beds, leads, harnesses, dog food, bags of dried sausage, poo bags, feeding bowls, water bowls, boots, hats, gloves and waterproofs, a small bag of my clothes, two large and rather surprised boxers and headed off for my first ever holiday with my dogs.

Naughty But Nice Training Package

I booked a holiday at Devon Dogs tempted by the Naughty But Nice package and the promise of a dog proof garden and a warm and comfy apartment. Nine hours later I arrived in Devon having battled my way down the country from Cumbria. I stayed overnight at the Fox and Hounds hotel, which was great although I was concerned at the idea of taking my boxers into breakfast. I tied them to the cast iron table, which nearly led to disaster when they tried to rush and meet the landlord.

Before arriving at Bowerland the next day, I explored the Okehampton area, peering at the scenery through the snow and fog. I found the shops, a pet store and, more importantly, a great coffee and cake place. I checked into the lovely, warm and well appointed Annexe at Bowerland at 4pm, grabbed dogs, leads and harnesses and rushed round the corner to the training area for my first 4.30 class with Michelle.

My Dogs loved Food Rewards!

It was freezing but fun. At first my dogs were unenthusiastic, but they got into the swing of it once they realised ‘doing stuff’ involved food rewards. Over the following week I had 10 hours of classes with the dogs individually and together, learning new games and brushing up on techniques. It was great fun and I learned so much. Michelle arranged a programme around my priorities, but also adding in elements to reflect her observations of my two very individual dogs! I left with a good plan of work for the future months and renewed confidence in my ability to help my dogs and have fun with them.

And I loved the Annexe!

annexe studioThe Annexe was cosy and there was everything that I needed especially as the weather wasn’t great and the dogs were flat out after classes. The garden was secure so I could relax knowing that they couldn’t get out and annoy anyone. On my day off training, the sun shone; I took the dogs for a drive to the north of Devon and admired the amazing scenery and the stunning beaches. We went for a short amble through the sand dunes which they loved.

All in all, it was a great holiday though quite hard work. I would have loved to get out and about a bit more but my dogs can be a challenge in polite society. Since March, I have kept going with the training and have, of course, booked another holiday in October.

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joanna jeevesAbout the Author: I live on the Solway Coast in Cumbria in an old Railway Station with my two mad boxers, Bailey (8) and Bess (7). My dogs love running on the marsh, chasing deer, herons and anything else unwise enough to come within sight. After 5 years of mayhem, various trainers, agility etc we finally found Absolute Dogs, Tom and Lauren and things are looking up. I have been inspired to start a canine first aid course and have completed the Absolute Dogs Pro Dog Trainer course

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