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Travelling with Kali and our visit to Discover Dogs

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By Sue Williams Bsc, GODT(MT), MCFBA, Chairwoman Guild of Dog Trainers 26 November 2014


Kali has had a busy life filled with fun packed adventures. This week was perhaps her biggest adventure yet when we went to Discover Dogs at Earls Court in London.

Our journey started on the Saturday when we travelled from Porthmadog to Lymm, Cheshire to meet up with Guild colleagues and friends Lisa Tennant and Debbie Cordingley. After transferring luggage etc into the one vehicle and Kali enjoying a good run around the fields we set off south bound.

Kali is really content travelling this has been down to a combination of some fantastic work early on by her breeder, Corrine and her touring the UK with my display teams. She travels in a crate which I thoroughly recommend both for safety and comfort. When on a long journey I like to give her something she can chew if she wants, the play bones from Natural Instinct are perfect for this.

The time went quickly chatting and catching up- you know what women are like when they haven’t seen one another for a while! After a break at the services for us all to stretch our legs we resumed our journey. About 10 minutes after rejoining the motorway we heard a strange noise and saw a lorry driver flashing his lights frantically at us, so we pulled over on to the hard shoulder only to find out we had a flat tyre! We quickly got out of the car and I put Kali on her lead and we all retreated to safety as far back from the motorway as possible.

Kali wears a wide flat collar which is what I clipped her lead to when we left the car but for extra safety in this situation I also used a slip lead which meant not only did I have two leads attached to her but also a collar she couldn’t back out for added safety. After this incident I definitely would recommend always having a slip lead easy to access in an emergency.

When Kali was a little bit younger she wasn’t keen on traffic particularly large vehicles so I have been working with her slowly building up her confidence. This situation proved how far she has come as she was totally unfazed and calmly coped with the noisy busy motorway traffic during the ¾ hour wait for the RAC.

After all the excitement we finally reached our hotel, a dog friendly Travelodge. This presented another first for Kali, a stay in a hotel. She took it in her stride and really enjoyed herself. As she is crate trained I set up her crate in the room and once I was ready to turn in she happily went in and fell fast asleep.

On Sunday, after diverting to get a replacement tyre, we made our way through the busy London streets to Earls Court. Lisa did a fantastic job of driving and expertly weaving in and out of the traffic! Finally we had arrived and we were all buzzing with excitement and looking forward to meeting up with the team from Natural Instinct.

On entering the exhibition halls it immediately struck me how different the acoustics were for Kali. At 5 months old although getting quite big, Kali is still very much a baby. Kali is used to busy environments but these have mainly been outside and she certainly had never been in an environment like this. I walked her around so she could acclimatise and I could ensure she was relaxed and happy. This experience really highlighted how important it is to really know your dog and to have a relationship where by your dog respects and trusts you. All my foundation work paid off Kali was confident and although excited she was listening to me and responding to my commands despite the distractions.

We quickly found Natural Instinct’s impressive, busy stand. Immediately we were greeted by the team, some familiar others not. What stood out was everyone’s warm friendly manner and their genuine love of dogs. After catch ups and introductions the following hours flew by chatting to the public and Kali getting cuddles.

I really enjoyed the day and amongst the highlights was spending time on Natural Instincts stand with two young girls who want to become dog trainers. Kali was happy to be a demo pup as I showed them how to teach a dog basic commands in a fun positive manner. Kali then helped by being a perfect pup and doing the same for each of them much to their delight!

At the end of the day Kali was one tired happy pup who slept all the way home. Thank you to the Natural Instinct team for organising such a fantastic day. Thanks as well to Lisa and Deb for not only sharing this fun adventure but also helping me with Kali, taking photos, filming and all the amazing other things you both did to ensure Kali and I had a memorable, brilliant weekend.

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