Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bella the Dog Blog #2 - Trainer Visit

Today Kieron from Dogs Trust visited the house to make sure everything was OK. We passed the inspection so we must have a suitable home for Bella!

We also got some useful feedback on crates and beds, and sleeping arrangements, not just from Kieron but other responses to the last post. We've decided on a normal dog bed - and have her sleep in the living room - using her old blanket and a bed like the one she has now, plus whatever toy she likes. From what we saw when we walked her I'd say she is house trained.

Still no idea on how she'll take to driving in the car, they don't actually know in the shelter, I think we just have to get her used to the idea gradually.

I called today and she is in good health. Nothing else planned this weekend, so I'll be home full time to help Andrea and Bella get settled in.

We have registered with a vet and bought a dog license (as Dogs Trust require).

I don't really understand the dog license in Ireland. It is mandatory, a uniquely numbered piece of paper, there's no dog tag to attach to the dog and nothing got entered into the computer in the post office (as far as I could see). I didn't need to have the dog with me, or prove I had the dog, or even prove my name or address. From the point of view of protecting dogs, finding lost dogs, protecting dog owners or the general public the license is totally worthless. Given that it probably costs more to issue (and enforce) than the €12.50 they ask for, I have to wonder if it is just a punitive annual tax on dogs, and if so, why? I think the tax on a non-neutered dog should be €1000 per anum, and the money raised used to provide free neutering for other dogs. I'll admit it, I don't really agree with the concept of dog breeding (a subject for another post), but a barrier of entry would at least deter opportunists and amateurs and help prevent what happened to Bella - she was abandoned last November while pregnant.

Anyway, our plans are flexible, and we'll have to learn and adapt as we go. I am not so worried about it now. The worst that can happen is some stuff gets damaged, but eventually we'll train Bella and she will train us, and we'll all be happy.