School Dogs

Molly and Jasper Blog 2020

Concentration

“Good creative skills,” calls over The Boss as I gallop across the field doing what must look like an impression of a stag. I look at her in bewilderment. I’m not being creative, I’m being resourceful.

The thing is, Molly cut her leg. Not anything massive, The Boss cleaned it up and bandaged it and said it was probably down to a flint when Molly was being acrobatic trying to beat me to catch the ball. And that’s why I’m having to be resourceful. Whilst Molly is “healing” we’re not allowed to play ball in case leaping in the air makes It worse.

So, being the problem solver I am, I decided to find an alternative. With the dawn chorus as my soundtrack, I took myself ditch exploring. I knew what I was looking for, and after quite a bit of pulling and twisting and a lot of focus, I procured a prize twig, probably more of a branch really. It definitely wasn’t a tree. Molly and The Boss were two fields away by this time, so negotiating long grass and narrow gaps in the hedge (which I’ve learnt over time means I have to hold my bounty at an angle to get through them) I bounded to get ahead of them, the twigs of the branch glistening like antlers.

The Boss then realised what I was doing, as one by one I bit off and spat out the twigs until, finally I had a perfectly sized stick for throwing. “Ahhhh…”, noted The Boss.

What has my tale to do with the little people you wonder. Well, like me, they can be lost in their tasks when they are interested in them. What is important is that we teach them how to concentrate when it’s something they’re not too keen on. This is both a learning and life skill…and something we are all having to work on at home at the moment. One of the skills needed to concentrate is to manage distractions. Having the whole family at home whilst the little people are trying to learn and the big people are trying to work, this skill is being tested to the limit. We heard The Boss having a professional conversation with someone on the phone the other day and even we heard the holler “Mum, I’ve done a pooh!” from the other end.

When at school the little people are taught to draw a diagram or jot down their ideas to help them think through a big task. Molly and I struggle a bit with that but then compared to the little people the things we have to concentrate on are not quite as demanding. We try hard to concentrate to follow instructions, find lost balls and, as we all know, the most important thing that Molly concentrates on is her belly!

So, in this continued lockdown we wish you all, little and big people alike, lots of patience to be able to keep concentrating on the things you need to get done and to manage your distractions.

We’re missing seeing you all and I am especially missing my morning greetings at the door.

Stay strong and safe,

Lots of wags

Jasper -the stag x

Teamwork

The Boss is always saying “Good teamwork!” to us. If I’m honest, we’ve always been a great team, Jasper and I. I nudge the door, Jasper jumps up and opens it; he goes swimming in the sea to fetch a ball that has been lobbed a good distance and I wait on the edge guiding him back to shore and I start off the guard-dog barking when I hear a cat, bird, car (I could go on) and Jasper joins in.  

Teamwork is one of the characteristics of learning the little people are taught in school. And it’s hard. You have to listen to each other, co-operate with others, be kind when you don’t agree, explain things to help others and remember that everyone has something to offer.  

Up and down the country families are being forced into being teams, however they usually function. For some this will be easy and for others, well let’s just say I found it quite hard when Pippa the pup visited us last year- it’s taken me a while to see her as part of the team!  

At the moment we are missing all the little people, and the big people too! It’s been hard for us to not have our usual routine and we’re missing all our strokes and loves and the learning we do when we go into class. Don’t get me wrong, The Boss is okay company… but we’re not getting our walks at the beach and we’re not socialising with other dogs and it’s all a bit boring. But we all have our part to play in being the UK team. That’s a bigger team than just Jasper and me! Sometimes The Boss makes decisions for us that we don’t really like (like when we want to go and explore a big muddy puddle and she shouts “This way!”) but we do listen to her and trust her because, well she’s The Boss.  And rules are rules (no muddy paws on the carpet, four legged folk get fed after two legged ones...).   

And the current rule is that we need to be on lockdown. Apparently there’s a boss bigger than our boss, and that’s the Prime Minister. Turns out he likes four legged folk too. Anyway, he runs the government and he says that we all need to work together.  We can all play our part; some of the two legged people have to do their job because they are needed to keep us all safe; some of the two legged people mustn’t do their job to keep us all safe. Which means learning from home for the little people for the foreseeable.  

When this is all over I am really going to appreciate my weekend walks. I am going to be sooooooo waggily excited to see the little people and to have loves and snuggles. In the meantime, teamwork is the name of the game. Where we listen to others, co-operate and be kind.  

Keep safe little people.  

And we look forward to seeing you all as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Missing you hugely but sending you lots of wags,  

Molly x  

Our School Dogs
Molly and Jasper Blog 2019
Molly and Jasper Blog 2018