Sky’s story as told by Jenny Knight
Hello my name is Sky I’m a 5 year-old Naughty But Nice red border collie.
Just over a year ago we found an amazing place called Devon Dogs, with some incredible people who seemed to just understand me like no one ever had before! With no explanation from my Mum and no real misbehaviour from me, this amazing lady knew just how to help me along a new path.
Up until this point Mum had been told that taking me out was too much for me and that I would never enjoy being out training in new places. I was easily spooked by strange dogs and noises… sadly at this point my noise sensitively was ruling my life 🙁
Finally we had some help; turns out I was just a pessimist and just needed some help to bring out the optimist hiding deep down inside me! This was far from easy, but I’ve learnt so many skills along the journey that have helped me deal with difficult situations.
Every day I get my dinner while we are out and about playing new games. Walks are so much more fun these days, there are trees to wrap things to stand on food to eat and toys to race to! Mum has also learnt how to protect me when we are out in new situations. I can hide in my crate or on my hik9 bed and if neither are available all I have to do is look up at her and food falls down on me! How easy is that? 🙂
Best of all was we finally learnt how to empty my stress bucket! Everyone at Devon dogs asked her what makes me happy? What do I really love? I was screaming “SWIMMING/ WATER,” but because it’s not the most ‘normal’ of rewards Mum just didn’t put the two together. Now every week I get to let my hair down at hydro therapy and I have my own water pistol to play with when we are training – I LOVE catching water!
So this year heading into November – our least favourite month of the year – we are not dreading quite as much. Mum and I are very optimistic and planning many things to help deal with my firework stress. Although it might be difficult, it doesn’t have to stop us.
Mum and I can’t express how much this has changed our world. We’re eternally gratefully that we ended up on a totally random training day with Lauren. I now hold my head up, wag my tail and occasionally argue back, which everyone seems to love! Such a change from the quiet, shy mouse I once was. If I can achieve all of this in a year, we believe anything is possible! Can’t wait to see what next year brings. We still have a long way to go but we’re positive as a team we can make it.The message we’d like to share is “never give up – just find an approach that works for you and give it 100% – the reward will be priceless.”
Sky & Jenny
About the Author: Lauren Langman is responsible for the design and development of all Devon Dogs classes, events and workshops. She competes in Agility at Grade 7, the highest rank of competition in the British agility arena. She regularly competes and wins at top agility events in the UK including Crufts and Olympia, and has represented the UK at World Agility Championship level on many occasions.