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Hello everyone!

We are just checking in, to say another big thank you for supporting us during these challenging times. We really appreciate it.

Hopefully over the next few weeks, our hours will be extended – gradually helping us get back to some kind of normality. We will continue to restrict customer numbers in the shop and continue to follow Covid secure practises. The virus has not gone away, so we all need to remain sensible.

On another note, Archie has enjoyed being back working in the shop. Despite the fact he is supposed to be on ‘my’ side of the gate with me, he often manages to sneak out and help himself to a treat or two. His new favourite quick steal, are the J R Pet Products Pure Meat Coins. They are at a great height for the nose of a Cocker Spaniel and totally yummy!

Archie cocker spaniel carrying his dinosaur

Sadly, Sparrow can’t cope with being at the shop at the moment. She gets very stressed and anxious when she sees another dog and can then be rather grumpy with Archie later in the day. She stays at home with someone and is reunited with Archie, when we’ve finished work. During the day, she finds Archie tolerable! Its just the evenings we can have a few grumbles (depending how stressed she’s been earlier on). However, we are getting good at reading her body language, so can preempt a lot of situations. Treats help!

Sparrow Red Cocker Spaniel

Taking on a rescue dog is never an easy task and I’ll be the first to admit I have been on the brink of tears a number of times with Sparrow. I’ve felt judged on occasion, for her reactivity, as if it’s totally my fault. I’ve even had people walk up to us with their dog when I’m trying to walk away, (and she’s wearing a ‘reactive dog’ lead!)  We have the support of a lovely behaviourist, who is helping us with Sparrow. We know its not going to be easy journey but we are determined to ‘get there’ eventually!

Wish us luck. We will keep you posted.

Love from Jane, Archie and Sparrow.Archie and Sparrow cocker spaniels

Sparrow has now been with our family for a few weeks. We’ve had a few ups and downs and a few steps forward and a few more steps back – but we love her to bits.

Archie and Sparrow at The Pet Shop Ripon
Archie and Sparrow in the shop

Sparrow is a gorgeous, albeit feisty little girl, but sadly she is worried about other dogs. This causes her to bark, and Sparrows bark is rather loud! As she finds the shop completely overwhelming at the moment, we are trying to limit her time there, to an absolute minimum. Everyone in the family is juggling their work schedules at the moment! We have also enlisted the help of a wonderful dog behaviourist, to help us get on the right track. (We don’t want her scaring away all our lovely customers!) I am armed with treats behind the counter, so if she see a dog coming in, she is fed liberally with lots of tiny tasty treats. Hopefully this will eventually make her realise that dogs = yummy treats and will help her to stop reacting.

Sparrow cocker spaniel, looking at the dog food at The Pet Shop Ripon
Just choosing dinner!

Archie has been the best brother Sparrow could want. He’s such a gentle boy, unphased by her grumpiness, and actually enjoys having her around. He’s definitely got a spring in his step and runs around on walks like a 5 year old instead of a 10 year old! Its so lovely to see.

Archie and Sparrow cocker spaniels at The Pet Shop Ripon
Sparrow and Archie

We are staying positive and working hard to make her feel happy, loved and confident. Watch this space for further updates!

Sparrow cocker spaniel in the paddling piol
Someone loves their new paddling pool!

Last Sunday, we made a long trip to Wales to have a meet and greet with a little rescue Spaniel called Sparrow.
We’ve thought long and hard about taking on a rescue, as we still miss Dexter so much, but as soon as we saw this little girls face on the rescues website, we knew she was the one.

Sparrow red cocker spaniel The Pet Shop Ripon

Taking on a rescue dog is never going to be plain sailing, as they will have their own baggage to deal with. However, we felt we could offer this girl a loving forever home, and we would deal with whatever issues we needed to, along the way.

Archie joined us on our journey to Wales and was introduced to Sparrow in a safe enclosed area at the rescue. Sparrow was more interested in the humans present and Archie was more interested in the treats being offered, than they were of each other, but they did have a little sniff, before ignoring each other again! However, there were no cross words and everything went very smoothly for their first ever meet.

As the meet and greet had been successful, we were officially allowed to adopt Sparrow and take her home. (Homechecks had already been completed at this stage).

The journey home was long and tiring, and Sparrow spent most of it either standing up in her crate, or digging up her vet bed. She didn’t cry or bark, just stood looking so sad and confused. We all felt drained by the time we got home.

We lifted her crate into the garden, and carefully opened the doors, so she could come out in her own time. Bless her, she was very brave, ran straight out and spent a good half an hour simply sniffing round the garden and the house.

Archie and Sparrow cocker spaniels The Pet Shop Ripon

We offered her water and food, which she simply devoured in seconds, before moving on to Archie’s bowl. Note to self, find the slow feeder!

It’s obvious that Sparrow loves people. She wanted to sit at our feet the whole evening, and enjoyed a gentle pat. She wasn’t terribly interested in Archie, but was happy to be in his company and vice versa.

It was a good start.

Keep following our journey. I’ll give regular honest updates about life with a rescue.

Sparrow cocker spaniel The Pet Shop Ripo