Thursday 31 March 2016

New arrivals. Charlie gets a new handler, commendation and a sad farewell

In this blog
  • OUR DOGS WISH OUR PUPPY WALKER DONNA A SAD FAREWELL                              



After a long an exhausting trip I finally arrived back with our 3 pups from Germany who remained with me over the weekend to fully evaluate them before allocating them to their new puppy walkers. They are pictured here getting into mischief in our garden.
My brood bitch Sasha kept an eye on them for me.
On Monday the new pups were allocated to their new puppy walkers at HQ.  Bernie has been allocated to experienced puppy walker Paul Sabin
who has literally only just finished puppy walking Charley from our C litter. It was a hectic day for Paul as the same day he collected Bernie he was also handing Charley over to her new handler Dave.

Bob has been allocated to new puppy walker Paul and his family in Brixham.
Bevan has also been allocated to first time puppy walkers Tracey and Michael Kirk in Exmouth.

While we were taking photographs we were joined by some of the new Devon and Cornwall Police recruits who were visiting the dog section and so we took the opportunity to take a picture of them all with our new Canine recruits.

For anyone who follows the blog you will probably know the pups were originally called Bedwyr, Berwyn and Bevan by our breeder Paul Jones but our walkers have changed Bedwyr to Bernie and Berwyn to Bob.

We will be having our first get together this Friday and I will be taking some photographs and updating everyone on how they get on.


It has been a very challenging and disrupting 8 weeks for puppy walker Paul and his family with Charley because Paul has been bringing Charley to our Initial Police dog course every Monday and then taking her home again every Thursday evening for the weekend because she didn’t have her own handler.

If you remember we started the course with Chaos, Comet, and Cagney who all had handlers but Cosmic and Charley who we were also training didn’t have handlers. Cosmic was eventually paired up with the new dog Sgt for Cornwall James and they are doing very well.

So we were all delighted for Charley this week when she paired up with her new handler Dave an experienced handler from Dorset dog section whose dog Koda has had to be retired from the section with a spinal condition.

Inevitably Charley and Dave will now be known as Chas and Dave. They had an excellent first week together. They are pictured here at the end of the week with the rest of the course. The course will be undergoing their final assessments on the 6 and 7th of April next week.

I will give you a full update as to how they all get on with their assessments. Up until now all the dogs have been doing extremely well. There have been a couple of blips along the way firstly with Chaos’s tracking exercise which seems to be now moving in the right direction and secondly with Cagney who has been very sensitive lately.

We think she may be going through a phantom pregnancy and there were signs last week that she was returning to normal. Hopefully she will return from the Eater break rejuvenated but we will still be taking things very steadily with her.


I received some excellent news from Avon and Somerset dog handler Mandy this week that she and her Police dog Argo from our A litter had been presented with a commendation for tracking down a criminal who had attempted a robbery at a Bristol service station armed with a knife and wearing a scream mask.  We are naturally very proud of them both.


One of the things I love so much about the puppy scheme is the close knit relationships our puppy walkers forge as we all watch our pups develop and grow together. It is very much a family.
So we were all devastated to hear that that Donna one of our long serving and most popular puppy walkers recently lost her battle against cancer.

It was an honour to be able to take my Initial Police dog course to form a guard of honour at Donna’s funeral and pay our respects. Rev’d Jane is pictured here meeting the dogs at St Mark’s church Pinhoe before Donna’s arrival.

I was very grateful to Sue from Dorset Police dog section who attended with her Police dog Bebe who was puppy walked by Donna, husband Chris and sons Tom and Jake.

I was also grateful to another of my puppy walkers Steve Pearce who brought 8 month old puppy Riggs to complete the guard of honour. Donna had been puppy walking Riggs until she became too ill to continue and Steve very kindly took over looking after Riggs.

Pictured here are Riggs and Bebe meeting at the Church entrance before Donna’s arrival.

Donna’s husband Chris is seen here checking that Riggs is okay before Donna is brought into the church.

Our guard of honour saluted Donna going into the church and on leaving the church before going to her final resting place in the church cemetery.

It was a very moving service which was standing room only in the Church and I know that Chris and his family were  extremely grateful to Rev’d Jane for making the day so special and memorable.

I was extremely proud of our dogs because I know what fantastic temperaments they have and that they could all be trusted to be social and friendly to all. It was such a moving occasion and it was so emotional for me to see Chris and his 2 wonderful boys Tom and Jake saying hello to Bebe and Riggs.

Donna and her family started puppy walking with Cleo who was one of the famous Dutch litter of 5.
Donna, Chris and Jake are pictured here on some early training days with Cleo.

Cleo was a very tough girl who was to be one of our first brood bitches but tragically she died of a stomach torsion when she was expecting pups.
Their next dog was Bebe from our B litter pictured here with her mum Mollie.

Here are the whole family collecting Bebe from our house where Bebe was born.

Here is Bebe with Donna and Chris at some of our training get together’s.

They never missed a session come rain or shine.
Finally their proud day arrived when Bebe passed out as an operational Police dog with Sue an operational Police dog handler in Dorset.
Their next puppy was Riggs one of our German Shepherd / Malinois crosses.

Here are Chris and Donna collecting Riggs at our house with Eamon and Dexter.

Here are some of our training sessions with Riggs.

Going back over the photo’s has brought back lots of great memories for me many happy times and laughs together. I don’t know if there is anything that follows our time here on this earth. But what I do know is that if there is an afterlife then Donna is up there now reunited with her dear and wonderful Cleo.
Knowing Donna as we do I think she would be saying no sadness, remember the laughs and the good times and keep up the good work.

Goodbye Donna we are all going to miss you terribly.

Donna with her beloved Cleo
From Me, Lenny and Sasha bye for now.

Thursday 17 March 2016

Rocky, Ronnie, Roxy and Roz enjoy their day out at Saundercroft Farm

On Thursday our 6 month old German imports Rocky, Ronnie, Roxy and Roz all set off to Saundercroft farm for their socialisation with all of the different farm animals. It is one of my favourite session’s and as always all the dogs and puppy walkers loved the day. Our first port of call was the barn which housed the Calves.

Ronnie and Rocky quickly got up close and personal.

Considering we didn’t get these 4 pups until they were 4 months old because of the rabies regulations and the fact they had not had very much socialisation prior to us getting them I was really impressed with how confident and calm they all were.
We then went outside to see the adult cows and again the pups were very confident and calm.

On the way to the cows Ronnie and Roxy bumped into Jack the rescue pony.

Next we met all the horses and none of the pups were fazed or nervous even though some of the horses were very large particularly Captain the shire horse.

Next on to the chickens who are probably the dog’s favourite because of their small size and movement. Again none of the dogs became over excited and were very sensible.

Finally we moved to the sheep which included a sheep called Al who was hand reared and is completely at ease amongst the dogs and people.

This visit is tremendous fun but it has a serious side because it is very important that out Police dogs are very confident in and amongst the farm animals and should know not to chase or worry them.
Our dogs often have to work in amongst livestock when searching agricultural land for missing persons and criminals and it is vitally important that they are not distracted by the animals.
At the end of the visit there was just time for one final photo with all the pups with farmyard dog Holly and pony Jack.

My thanks as always to Andi Darbey, Simon and Andi’s mum for letting us use their farm and helping us to meet their animals.
This weekend we trained the older groups and prepared them for a competition I will be running on their next training session in 2 week’s time. They will be assessed on their abilities in the stays, article searching, tracking, agility, speak on command, recall’s, playing tug and then releasing the toy. From what I saw today it will be a close run thing as the standard is high thanks to all the hard work carried out by our puppy walkers.
I will be doing a full report on how they all get on in the competition which will be conducted more as a fun day out.  Here is Rika today showing her lovely sit stay today.

Finally here is a picture of Lindsay and her dad Trevor who joined the Initial course last week to see their dog Cosmic working with his handler James.

So there you have it I will be doing a blog on how all the dogs get on in our competition and after that a report on how all the Initial course dogs get on with their end of course assessments.
Goodbye from me and Lenny and Sasha.