Benji’s Dog Blog

I snooze, eat and play all day long…

PicMonkey Benji in and out

I dig in the garden and jump up to catch a pretty pink flower in my mouth.  I give it a good shake and throw it in the air.  Oh dear, now I’ve lost it.  Better go and practice football to play with Antony when he visits.

PicMonkey Collage Football 12 weeksNow I’m big enough to go for walks, grown a lot and having loadsa fun.  Not frightened of anything.  Well, not much.

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Not sure about larger dogs who poke their huge black noses round me.  The Bernese mountain dog was giant size with huge wet nose, but he snuffled gently.  Better than the golden labradoodle and black standard poodle I noticed chasing across the park, playing tag.  What a game!  I raced across to join in.  They stopped playing to give me a good sniffing.  They were sniffy too, roughly knocking me with their paws before racing off together, noses in the air.  I jumped up and gave chase, but Diane called me.

‘Benji, Come!’  Back I ran to lots of praise and my favourite treat.  ‘Good boy,’ she said.  ‘You’re too small to play tag with their long legs.’  She turned and ran, pointing towards our favourite log.  Will I get a treat for jumping up and running along?  Yes, yum, yum.  It’s easy.  I like climbing on branches and tree stumps, but I never say no to a treat or two.

PicMonkey Collage climbing on logs

I meet children in Oatlands Park, but when I try to dig my way into their play area, I’m told ‘No!’  I’m only being friendly.  Never mind, I see dogs in the distance and race off to say hello.  When I reach them they’re bigger than they looked from across the park.  I wag my tail but a golden labrador is chasing a ball with his owner, not interested in playing with me.  Shame.  Another dog, brown bitsa I think, walks past.  Why would he stick his nose up?   I run back to Diane and another treat as she clips the lead onto my collar.  More treats as I sit in the crate for the journey home where I jump onto my comfortable bed for a snooze.

I'm getting a big boy and like travelling in my crate
I’m getting a big boy and like travelling in my crate

I dream about my first car ride with Diane and Paul.  I didn’t like the crate they put me in, tried but couldn’t dig my way out, so I did a poo.  They stopped the car and cleaned up.  We walked round a field before joining other puppies.  Paul and Diane sat on chairs and I stood on a mat in front.  I wasn’t sure about the golden retriever puppy nearby, it seemed very large, much bigger than my brothers and sisters.  We were let free and he moved across to play, other puppies joined in.  ‘Help!’ I yelped and ran off towards the legs of a lady in charge.  When the puppies found the treats she threw she stroked and talked to me. Feeling better, I stood up, wagging my tail. Next time I met a pretty miniature schnauzer puppy called Blodwen.  She was older and taller than me, with lovely long eye lashes, pink collar and lead.  We looked and sniffed around each other, happy to be friends.

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Puppy Pre-School – 3-weeks social skills course at

The Animal Behaviour Centre of Dr Roger Mugford

The Company of Animals, Chertsey, Surrey

01932 566696.  office@companyofanimals.co.uk

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Diane and Paul take me for walks in the park and by the river.  I get treats for sitting quietly in the car.  It’s good fun and I don’t poo in the crate.  It would be more fun if older dogs played with me but they only sniff around, then ignore me.  At least their ladies give me lots of fuss.  Once I followed a lady with a friendly dog to the other side of the park.  I couldn’t see Diane and was glad to hear her call.  I raced back for a treat and lots of praise.  Another time I followed a lady with a little boy.  I don’t know why Diane clipped my lead on.  I enjoy racing across the park to new people with children and dogs.

I’ve grown a lot and having loadsa fun.  Bigger now.  Not frightened of anything.  Well, not much.

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BENJI’S BLOG

Benji joins us at nine weeks
Benji joins us at nine weeks

When Paul and I first thought about a dog joining our home, I remembered the cheeky character I had met at a friend’s house.  The miniature schnauzer was staying while his owners were on holiday and Pat kindly found the breeder’s details.  Barry Day has bred many champion dogs and is a well-known judge, so we were delighted to hear that a litter had been born on Sunday, 16 August comprising four bitches and three boys.  On Saturday 17 October 2015, Paul and I drove to Solihull.  Our life with Benji began.

Benji at five weeks
Benji at five weeks

I was sad to leave my brothers and sisters when Diane and Paul collected and drove me to their home.  I was nervous on the journey, in a crate on the back seat, but Diane stroked me to sleep.  When I awoke they showed me a comfortable blanket on a new bed in a different house.  No smells of other puppies, where were my playmates?    It was fun playing in their garden and being fussed.  I do enjoy attention and for a while forgot about my other home.  But later – when they left me in a bed in the kitchen – I was so lonely, I cried and howled, howled and cried.  I couldn’t stop.  Even when they picked me up, it didn’t help.

At least breakfast was familiar, Royal Canin puppy food, the same as my other home.  I was hungry and gobbled it up.  Later I explored a clump of yellow bushy grass.  It looked inviting so I jumped in the middle.  What a shock!  I was covered in cold water;  some I swallowed.

Benji playing tug
Benji playing tug

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‘Paul, Benji’s in the pond!’  Not waiting for rescue, quickly I clambered out over the edge. I had a good shake, water droplets all around, before Diane picked me up in a fluffy yellow towel.  Rubbing my tummy made me wriggle, so she put me down to race around in the sunshine, playing tug with Paul.  It was such fun but then I had to lie down for a power nap.

I won the game of tug
I won the game of tug
My friends - Mr Fox and Fat Sally - keep me company
My friends – Mr Fox and Fat Sally – keep me company

Next day a boy called Dominic brought me some presents and threw a ball down the garden for me to chase.  It made me happy, just like playing with the children in my other home.  He said I could meet his black labrador called Guinness when I’m allowed out for walks.

Dominic went home
Dominic went home

Lots more cuddles and another bedtime.  They found me a different, more comfortable bed, very snug in my special sectioned off area in the kitchen.  Sweet dreams, I’m getting used to it here.

Copper Copy Cat has joined my gang
Copper Copy Cat has joined my gang

It’s fun on the garden table where I pick up the edges of the cloth I’m standing on with my teeth, trying to give it a good shake.  I’m given lots of treats, one a new chicken flavour, and suddenly my fur feels clean and smooth.  When they try to put a soft red collar round my neck, I catch it in my mouth:  if I play it right a few more treats come my way.  Then I sit on my bottom, I’m good at that, just like my Mum.  They try to make me walk but I don’t like the feel of something pulling my neck.  ‘Benji, walk, walk Benji.’  I don’t know what they want but treats are being offered, I guess they want me to eat them.  So I get up and gobble all the pieces held out in a hand.  Before I know it we’ve moved down the garden path to another flower bed with interesting plants to smell.  I taste some leaves ‘No Benji, hydrangea leaves aren’t good for you.’  I let them take the leaf from my mouth.  I prefer the treats.

I like the scent of roses
I like the scent of roses

They put me in the crate in the back of a car.  It reminds me of leaving my brothers and sisters so I struggle to get out and cry.  I ignore the treats and cannot help doing a poo.  My mum would push us puppies out of the bed we all shared to poo – and I want to be good – but I’m frightened and don’t know where I’m off to now, maybe another new home?  No, the movement stops.  I’m lifted from the car and wiped clean before Paul carries me through a door.  I remember the friendly lady’s scent from our last visit and wag my tail.  I sniff the air but don’t recognise any puppy smells.

Looking down is fun
Looking down is fun
In good hands with Simon
In good hands with Simon

Simon Felger BVetMed MRCVS, Weybridge Veterinary Centre KT13 9DT – 01932 855856

Then it’s onto a table, a good vantage point to look around.  Last time I was here someone called Simon the Vet gave me lots of his Coachie treats, that I like a lot.  I wag my tail more vigorously, hoping for more.  Simon feels me all over, inspecting my ears, eyes, paws, back and bottom.  I don’t mind, Simon says how healthy and well-adjusted I am and gives me more Coachies.  As Diane and Paul produce my inoculation and microchip forms, Simon says he thinks I’m champion and likes the way Barry trimmed my fur when he gave me a last bath at his place, before I came here.  Well, everyone says I’m like a fluffy ball and I enjoy all their cuddles so it was worth being bathed, even though I prefer exploring and getting dirty.

Exploring in the garden
Exploring in the garden
Standing on the Agapanthus, moi?
Standing on the Agapanthus, moi?

Today I have a new friend, Caitlin, a friendly girl who gives me lots of cuddles, fuss and attention.  She makes me feel special, we play all the time, well, unless she strokes me on her lap until I fall into one of my power naps.  When I wake I’m ready for more fun in the garden.  My favourite game is chewing flower petals.

One day I somersaulted out of this door!
One day I somersaulted out of this door!
I like the taste of these pink flowers
I like the taste of these pink flowers

‘You’re like King of the Castle playing on the rockery,’  Caitlin said.

‘You’re a lovable scallywag,’ said Diane.  I’m not sure what that is but I get lots of treats so it must be good.  Caitlin’s Mummy arrived and made a fuss of me.  She kept mentioning another puppy called Dougal.  I hope to meet him soon.  I like it here but I miss my puppy friends.  The dogs I’ve met in the park don’t want to play, I think perhaps I’m too small. Still, I’m eating all my meals as I’d like to grow as big as my Dad, then other dogs will play with me.

The first puppy I meet is called Ziggy.  He’s a few months older than me and wants to play, but he’s gigantic and I wasn’t sure where I could hide in this huge garden.  I explored all the flower beds while Ziggy stayed on  his lead and I was able to run around and play with Ziggy’s boys.

Ziggy and Benji phhotos courtesy of Debbie Sasso
Ziggy and Benji photos courtesy of Debbie Sasso
Benji meets Ziggy
Benji meets Ziggy

I liked finding new scents in a different garden.  Before we left I was allowed in their kitchen.  I wore my red collar and lead and drank water from Ziggy’s bowl as he lay in another room.  When it was time to leave I didn’t object to going in the crate in the car and fell asleep on the way home.

That’s all for now, next time I’ll tell you about my visits to the local park and meeting other puppies on Saturday mornings.  I feel another power nap coming on.

Zzzzz-zzzzz-zzzz

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DOGS GALORE AT RSPCA GALA DAY

RSPCA MILLBROOK ANIMAL RESCUE CENTRE

Guildford Road, Chobham, Surrey  GU24 8EH

GALA DAY – SUNDAY 6 SEPTEMBER 2015

xMG_2402Do you enjoy a family day out with super attractions?

RSPCA Millbrook’s main fund-raising event takes place each year on the first Sunday of September.  Last Sunday did not disappoint.

PicMonkey Stalls
RSPCA Gala Day stalls

The day starts at 11 a.m. when stalls and tents open, displaying a variety of reasonably-priced plants, home-made cakes, jewellery, cards, bric-a-brac and essential animal paraphernalia, as well as tombola, face painting, Inspectors and Campaign displays. In one corner the Fairground slide and roundabout keep children amused.

PicMonkey RSPCA Dog Show
RSPCA Gala Day Dog Show

Dogs of all shapes, sizes and colours come with their owners to enjoy the day.   The Fun Dog Show this year was sponsored by Personnel Selection, who have offices in Surrey, Sussex and Hants.  A pretty husky/pom cross puppy was awarded a best puppy red rosette at the Dog Show.  Not all dog visitors are rescues, but the wagging tails and smiling doggie faces of some showed their delight at reuniting with dog walkers and carers met during their sojourn at the Millbrook Animal Centre.PicMonkey Collage RSPCA Gala Day 2015

Straw bales positioned around the main arena add atmosphere to events. The Dog Agility Display demonstrated the close understanding required between dog and owner.  The skilful demonstration encouraged other owners afterwards to ‘have a go’ in the Fun Dog Agility area nearby.

Fun Dog Agility Arena
Fun Dog Agility Arena
Keen to try Fun Agility Course
I want to try this Fun Agility course

Richard Curtis demonstrated how to teach Heelwork to Music with his talented harlequin dog, and children were invited into the arena at the conclusion of the Mighty Smith Show, to participate in a tug o war.

Richard Curtis with Heelwork to Music
Richard Curtis with Heelwork to Music

The sound of bells and flicking white scarves of the traditionally dressed group of Morris Dancers was entertaining.  Events repeated through the day.  The Shire Horse unfortunately was lame that morning but hopefully will soon be better.

PicMonkey RSPCA Spectators and Morris Dancers

We lunched at our favourite Burger Tent with a welcome  cup of tea from the refreshment hut.  Veggie burgers, hot dogs with a glass or two from the Beer Tent are excellent alternatives.

Away from the Main Arena, small animals and donkeys were on show in the stable block where equine information and lots of tack plus horse rugs were for sale. The Cattery and Kennels give an insight into the work carried out at Millbrook on a daily basis. Dogs and cats arrive in different degrees of distress, for a variety of reasons, and some backgrounds are heart-rending.

RSPCA Cattery
RSPCA Cattery
RSPCA Millbrook Rescue Cat
RSPCA Millbrook Rescue Cat

The Tillingbourne Accordion Band’s unique sound drew us in, to stand and listen to their repertoire, that sent me day-dreaming down memory lane.  I first heard an accordion played outside a cinema queue in Leicester Square: the busker had a string attached to the heel of his shoe that beat a drum on his back.  Very clever, I thought.  A few years later, a smartly dressed accordionist was part of a group entertaining diners in the restaurant up the Eiffel Tower during my first trip to Paris.  Now I associate the accordion with musicians in black berets, singing in French to celebrate Nouveau Beaujolais day.

TheTillingbourne Accordian Band
The Tillingbourne Accordian Band
The Tillingbourne Accordian Band
The Tillingbourne Accordian Band

Following this enjoyable interlude we continued towards the Vintage Car Display, where colourful models shone in the afternoon sun and proud owners ate picnics close by.

PicMonkey vintage cars and pony area

It costs over £500,000 each year to run Millbrook, where new homes are found for hundreds of dogs and cats, horses and ponies and small animals:  guinea pigs, rabbits, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, mice, rats chinchillas, degus, budgerigars, cockatiel and parakeets. Each year the money raised by Gala Day helps fund specific projects.   In previous years this has included reforming the pond, constructing new animal blocks, and providing a new enclosed riding school area. Donations are still being received but so far Millbrook Gala Day this year has raised almost £19,000.  A great achievement.  Well Done Sue and all the workers, sponsors, volunteers and Gala Day participants.

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Sue, Manager of Millbrook Animal Rescue Centre, with Rescue Dog, Dougal

If you are interested to learn more about homing or training an animal, working or volunteering, please contact RSPCA Millbrook direct.

http://www.rspca-millbrook.org.uk

Please note the first Sunday in September in your calendar. It really is a great day out for children, dogs and animal lovers.

Puppies and dogs adopted from Millbrook have access to their resident dog behaviourist, June Williams M.A. (Hons) Ed.D, C.A.B.T. June supports new owners during their first three months, with free advice.

Puppy and Dog Training Classes:
Sarah Whitehead’s Clever Dog Company    http://www.cleverdogcompany.com
Sarah is a Member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers whose code of practice states that members use only reward-based training methods.

If you like this blog, please share with your friends and click the ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’ Buttons to receive an email when future blogs are published.  Many thanks, Diane.