Sunday, February 28, 2010

Operation Rolo Concludes

It's not very often that we get a dog staying at Barkingham Palace that requires military-style planning.

A short while ago, I received an email from a potential boarding client wanting to know if I would consider boarding her Chocolate Labrador, Rolo. I don't think his owner will mind me saying that she didn't sell the prospect very well. To her credit, she was brutally honest about Rolo's past antics, in particular, his passion for destruction. After reading her initial emails I decided that the very least I could do was offer to meet him at my home and go for a walk with he and Ellie to see how they got along. Besides, I was so intrigued by then that I just had to meet him!

On Rolo's initial visit, Jane, his owner, stood for almost the entire length of our meeting, obviously deeply-concerned that Rolo was going to break something. Me, I just kept my eye on my XBOX that was standing precariously by the much more valuable flat-screen television. Rolo was, it is fair to say, like a tornado. Like all young Chocolate Labs, he has an extremely high level of energy, and like all young dogs (he was only seven months of age at this point), he was blissfully unaware of his rear-end, let alone the trail of destruction that it can leave behind.

He ran in and out of the room and bounced on and off the sofas as though moving was about to go out of fashion. Ellie did as she always does. She watched for a while, then began to try to herd him up, and then nipped him to stop him bouncing around her. Rolo took it all in his stride.

Anyway, after watching him for a while and walking with him, I decided that he was okay to board. However, let me tell you, it really was like a military operation. Because he is such a handful, you have to make sure that you watch him for every minute. It's not that he's a bad dog; he is just young and, well, a Chocolate Lab! If it looks like it will fit in his mouth, he'll try it! We very nearly lost a laptop from the dining table as he decided to walk through the cable that was between it and the socket, and the plant pot is a little lighter since he helped to relieve it of some soil, but all in all, we got off lightly!

And now for something completely different...

You may recall I mentioned a project that m'colleague Lucy and I have been working on. Well, it's our new dog-related website. It's entirely devoted to positive dog-training. Of course, like all new websites, the easy bit is the designing and the building. The hard part is getting people to visit, participate, and stick around. If you would like to visit, please do, we'd love to see you. If you know of anyone else who is mad about dogs, please let them know too. We're doing our best to grow it all the time, and the more people join up (it's free) then the more motivated we are to keep working at it! It's still not finished as such, but it's complete enough to unveil it.

I hope to see you there.


achieve1dream said...

I'll do a post tonight about your new website on my blog to hopefully get you some members. :)

I'm glad Rolo did well.

The Dog Man said...

Seriously, thank you. Every little helps. If I can ever return the favour, please just ask. :)

Jane said...

Just seen this piece about our infamous Rolo. It's hilarious and you were very brave to take him on. Sorry about the lap top and plant. He does so many things it's hard to remember to warn you about everything. I was personally relieved to see your house still standing when we came to pick him up.
Love the site and will tell all my "doggie " friends about it

The Dog Man said...

I have vowed to one day write a book about the experiences I get while home-boarding. I'm sure Rolo will feature in there somewhere! :)