As ECOs we spend most of our time in schools and educational establishments, but sometimes we also get the amazing opportunity to work at Dogs Trust Centre events.
Recently I was given the chance to work with Mel who is the ECO for Lancashire & Cumbria at Dogs Trust Merseyside’s Fun Day. It’s hard to put into words how busy, fun and exciting these days are, there are dogs and people as far as the eye can see. There are so many great activities on offer such as agility, the doggy dash and a lucky dip. For home-based workers it’s just brilliant to be part of something so big and put names to faces! It’s on days like these that you can really see and feel the shared love and passion we all have for dogs and their welfare.
Mel and I planned a jam packed day of educational activities from feely boxes, to Jenga and making dog toys. We also took the Be Dog Smart Lollipop game for an extra challenge. This game tests children’s (and adults) knowledge of being safe around dogs and enables us to have a discussion and show them a safer way to behave if they are doing something worrying that could result in them being hurt by a dog.
When we are delivering in school we do not get the chance to actually see children interacting with their own dogs or when we make things with them such as dog toys, how their dogs respond to them and how they play with their dogs. This was awesome; getting the chance to have great discussions and see in real life how safe the children were being around their own and other dogs at the Fun Day. They were remembering not to run over to dogs, asking the owners for a stroke and always thinking about how the dogs might be feeling as well on such a busy and exciting day. We were super proud of all the children we saw.
One of my favourite parts of the day was making dog toys as the dogs could not wait to play with them. We asked the children how their dogs like to play so they could make a toy that was safe and suited their dog. For example if their dog loved to pull and play tug, we made sure there were extra knots in the toy to stop the toy sliding and the dog biting fingers accidentally. We also talked about lots of other ways to use the toy, such as by hiding it or hiding some treats in it for extra fun at home.
I also loved playing Jenga as lots of adults got involved with the children for a shared learning experience. Plus it’s always a tense game and gets very competitive.
This lovely Dalmatian was telling Mel to hurry up and get her toy finished.
Our education team will be attended Dogs Trust events all over the UK this year, please come and say hello to us if you are in the area.
You can find more details on all Dogs Trust Events here: