Knowing Your Dog’s Limits

by Joanna Page // August 2017

Knowing Your Dog’s Limits

Mike and his five year old boxer, Spiggy, bounced into my life five years ago. We’ve been a solid unit ever since and it was therefore only natural to want to include her royal furriness in our recent wedding. After much searching we finally found a venue that was happy to include dogs in the guest numbers and four-legged members of the wedding party.

As our day got closer, my thoughts turned to what we would ask of Spiggy on our big day. I had grand visions of a smart boxer trotting down the aisle towards us with a nice smiley face and our rings attached to her collar. Spiggy is a sociable hound and has always gone to café’s or the pub with us as she has been known to enjoy being the center of attention. Knowing Spiggy as we do however, I had a feeling she’d be inclined to stop for a cuddle and to slobber on everyone she knew along the way. The plan then was thus: Spiggy would accompany the best man at the front and come to us and the celebrant to deliver the rings before being able to sidle back off to a comfy seat next to people she loves. After the ceremony, Spiggy could play with her human and canine friends before seeing what she could scavenge under the buffet table. As Spiggy has got older, her eyesight has got less sharp and her sensitivity to noise has increased a little. We wanted to make sure she had a great day, so with this in mind, a friend was enlisted to return her home with a snuffle mat and her favourite treats well before the disco started.

The day of our wedding arrived with some very short-lived sunshine. By 10.30am the rain was torrential and continued that way until the early hours of the following morning. It surprised us to see Spiggy looking like she was a bit uncomfortable. Unfortunately, we think the combination of the sound of the rain on the marquee and lots of people forced to stay in a tent was a little bit too much for her. As soon as our short ceremony was done, we took Spiggy outside and she was back to her narmal happy self. That told us all we needed to know about how Spiggy felt about all this wedding malarkey and with a quick photo outside she was whisked off to a comfy bed and lots of treats!

Dogs do talk to us, they just don’t use words. Our dogs do want to spend time with us but sometimes it’s better to let them have a nap than put them through a situation they aren’t 100% confident with. Whether those situations are socializing with other dogs, going to busy pubs or taking part in their owner’s wedding!

To learn more about how to speak "Dog", why not join a Dog School course at one of our venues throughout Dorset? For more information go to the main page of our website here and fill in an enquiry form, or alternatively email us at dorsetdogschool@dogstrust.org.uk