I am a volunteer with the Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. I am not a full time socialiser but offer to board puppies whilst their full time socialiser is on holiday. I have had a few puppies come to stay with me over the last few years and you can read my previous blogs about each one, but this time in August it was little Enzo’s turn to come and stay for a week.
Enzo was a 6 month old black Show Cocker Spaniel who arrived on the 7th August 2015 complete with his doggy belongings, including his sleeping crate, food, a big bagful of toys, lead, harness, collar etc. I have to say that out of all the puppies I have had, Enzo settled in the quickest and as soon as he arrived he made himself at home.
He enjoyed going on his walks up on the Moors behind our house in the tall ferns and undergrowth and playing with his tennis ball in the park, which he absolutely loved, so much so, that he thought a lemon that I picked up when we went shopping was in fact a tennis ball.
He loved playing hide and seek with his cuddly toys, and was really very good at it, and never gave up, each time was determined he would find it, which he did.
He was a real character and you could do anything with him. He even sat in the garden with his my husband’s sun hat on, but carried on chewing!!!
He was not however very keen on the vacuum cleaner. As soon as I switched it on, he barked very loudly but followed me around the house barking incessantly with his tail wagging all the time, but was relieved when it was put back in the cupboard.
Enzo liked watching the television. One evening the film “The Life of Pi” was on, and Enzo was particularly interested in the Tiger who he barked at, and then growled at the meerkats, but really any programmes that contained animals or birds he was very interested in.
If you are an owner of a cocker spaniel you will know how hard it is to get them dry, and as it rained heavily on a couple of days Enzo did get soaked. Towelling just doesn’t work, so I had to get him used to a hairdryer. He was not keen at first, but after some gentle persuasion he quite enjoyed it and kept coming back for more. But to be honest he didn’t really like getting wet and walked very quickly to get back home in the dry!!! He even wasn’t very keen on the paddling pool.
When the puppies come to stay I have to continue their socialisation so decided to take him for some lead work down to our local garden centre. After I had walked him around the garden centre where he was very good, I decided to walk over to the farm shop where they have chickens in outside pens. Well Enzo was very excited when he saw them, and I think he wanted to get in the pen with them. He did eventually calm down but was still very interested in them.
Now Enzo had a little bad habit and that was that he preferred to walk on 2 legs than 4, and at every opportunity he would plonk his front paws on you whether you were walking towards him, or if he was walking behind you and it was like having a “Cling On” with you. He also was very nosey and liked to stand on 2 legs and see what I was doing in the kitchen.
As in pevious blogs I mention that I walk my neighbour’s elderly Golden Retriever, Henry who puts up with all the puppies that come on our walks. He was very good with Enzo and after Enzo realised that Henry wasn’t really interested in playing with him, they walked quietly together.
Enzo also met my friend’s two black Labradors, Boris, and little puppy Fred. We went for a walk with Boris, but Fred being only 12 weeks old waited at home until we came back. However when we did arrive home, the three of them went mad, chasing each other around the garden and play fighting. Needless to say Enzo was worn out and slept for much of the rest of the day. But did manage to get them to sit still for a nano second to get the photo – but note all the tongues hanging out!!
Now although Enzo slept in his crate he was partial to beds, and at every opportunity he would go in the bedrooms and jump up on them, and when he was made to get off he was none too pleased. Well a lovely fluffy quilt and pillows, is so much more comfortable than a dog rug!!!
However on Thursday evening Enzo did a “Houdini”, he broke out of his crate, crept upstairs without setting off the house alarm and slept on the spare bed all night. How did I know?, well on Friday morning when I got out of bed and went to the airing cupboard, when I got back to my bedroom door Enzo suddenly appeared. He was very clever as once upstairs he kept remarkably quiet as if he made a noise he would have alerted us and he would have been back downstairs, so he got his wish and slept on a comfy bed. Well it was his last chance as he was going home today the 14th August 2015.
I shouldn’t really say this, but out of all the other puppies that I have had to stay, who have all been lovely, Enzo was definitely one of my favourites. He was a super little puppy and hardly put a paw wrong. I am sure that he will go on to make super hearing dog for some lucky person.