Reading for dog confidence in kennels at Newbury Rehoming Centre
We had recently seen the benefits of children reading to dogs in Rehoming Centres in America, and thought we’d test the theory with our Volunteers & Baxter.
Baxter came in over 7 months ago when the snow was on the ground, he was initially a very shy boy and it would appear he hadn’t had the best start in life. It took time for Baxter to get to know his carers, nevertheless it was always obvious he had a lot of love to give. Baxter really loved the outdoors, and spent most of his days happy, outside in his run. So when it was time for Baxter to have a leg operation, his time outside had to be very restricted to help recovery.
In my new role as Volunteer Coordinator I thought that my Volunteers could make a difference by really getting to know Baxter, without putting too much pressure on him. We took it slow and introduced him to a couple of Volunteers, initially Baxter took a little time to settle, but once Baxter got used to the non-intrusive, no eye contact, people out of regular Dogs Trust uniform & the sound of someone’s voice - by the end of the session he was always a lot calmer.
We’ve introduced over 15 Volunteers to Baxter and we’re confident that Baxter is comfortable, happy and looks forward to having his human friends in to read, cuddle and play with his toys in his kennel. He’s a gorgeous, cheeky chap that loves frolicking about……once you get to know him! His favourite book appears to be ‘Call the Midwife’ – so what Baxter doesn’t know about childbirth isn’t worth knowing!!!
Baxter is much happier when meeting new people initially and his recovery is coming on really well, we are very pleased to say he’s had some interest and we are certain Baxter will be going to his forever home very soon.
We will be using the same theory with other shy dogs in Newbury Rehoming Centre and keep you updated as to our progress.