Our red family!

It’s the start of a brand new year; we’ve packed up the tree, pulled out the calendar and got our game faces on!

2017 was an epic year for Dog School Essex. We coached 765 dogs and their humans into better bonds, happier homes and more peaceful everyday lives. For any of you who know us, you’ll know that we are a small family of four over at Dog School Essex H.Q. Our Head Coach Hannah, Senior Coach Dave, Coach Shaun and myself, Daniella.

That’s four people talking to you, hearing your stories, finding the best ways to help you, booking you for classes and coaching a whopping 765 of you! You’d think it would be impossible. And you’d probably be right.

If you looked through the many, many, many photos we take of all the gorgeous dog faces that come through our doors you will very often find a flash of red in the corner. That’s because only half of our team is dressed in purple. The other half (I say half but they outnumber us!) is our incredible red wearing volunteers!

For every class, for every event, for the crack of dawn setup and sunset breakdown - we are never alone! Our team is lucky enough to have a genuinely incredible group of volunteers! The kind of magical humans drag that themselves into our classes after long days at work as Vet Nurses, fuelled only by their love of dogs and the chance to help dog families.

The kind of people who are so interested in helping and understanding dogs that they come with notepads to take notes and buy special brushes to clean out the Kongs more effectively.

They have given up precious time with their families and their own animals to come and be part of our family. On good days and bad, through colds and flu and difficult times. Without these amazing people having shown up every single time we have said “help” and been a wonderful, mad bunch!

Our volunteers get to be with us on seminars and events such as Essex Dog Day and All About Dogs. They learn about reward-based training and the different methods we use to implement it. All dogs and humans are different and there is not a one size fits all in our classes so we are always adapting to the needs of our dogs and their families.

There is ALWAYS room to learn! Our volunteer Nicky got APDT (Association of Pet Dog Trainers) certified this year! And some of our volunteers have gone on to work with dogs, in Dog School, Dogs Trust, and beyond!

We have had such a lovely year with our red crew! So, to our fabulous extended family – our organiser Belle, beloved Carolyn, gorgeous Carrie, Baxter’s Cheryl (but also ours), our warrior Lily, hardcore Nicky, our jokester Sylvie, sweet mama-bear Karen, lovely Emma, dog mad Jen, we – miss – you Georgia and wonderful Mette!

Thank you for giving us, the dogs and their families your hands and your hearts! 

To join our amazing volunteer family or chat with us about what life as a volunteer looks like please get in touch with us on [email protected] or 01268 535047!