Good point ! The photos do look so much nicer with the garden in the background but yes are the longer terms dogs getting time out? I am not, like several others on the current dog walking register , but would be happy to take them into the garden for a play - would that be something we could do? Caz
Rest assured peeps - all the dogs are really getting the benefit of the Sensory Garden. It has been truly transformational!
Yes, we take the dogs into the garden for their update pics, it gives us a chance to see the dogs at their most relaxed - which reflects how they are likely to behave in their own gardens once they have found their forever homes. There's only so much you can read about a dog when they are in their kennels, or attached to a human by 3 foot of lead, or when they are in the vet room.
And from what we have experienced, one of the greatest benefits to the dogs is when they spend time in the garden with their potential forever families. It has to be seen to be believed, the dogs can show their true nature once they have the opportunity to kick up their heels, run around, catch balls, run up to you joyously, dart around your feet, tease you, play bow to you, it is one of the most bonding experiences, and it's something that has never ever been possible until now.
But to answer your question Bern, yes, the resident dogs do get regular opportunities to have some 'play time' in the garden too ;D
The staff and Friends regularly take resident pooches into the garden for an off-lead romp, and no-one who witnesses them charging around the garden would doubt for one minute that the hard work put in to making this happen was worth it. It still thrills me, every time I take a dog into the garden, it is magical to see how much they enjoy it!
Friends are currently discussing with the Council how we can help implement a full enrichment program for all the dogs whilst they are in CDH. This will involve ensuring that they experience a full range of stimulating experiences, both whilst they are in their kennels, and for the time they spend out of kennels.
We will be looking for volunteers who can help with kennel enrichment, (which will mostly involve kongs and activity feeders), as well as committed walkers, activity & play facilitators, and volunteers to help prepare our dogs for rehoming. We and the Council are planning to introduce a structured, tiered training program for all volunteers to ensure that the dogs experience consistent and positive handling at all times, and rolling around on the grass will feature prominently ;D
The garden plays a key part in our environment enrichment program, it has done so much to improve the welfare and wellbeing of our dogs, it's certainly not just there for pictures!