It’s not often that I spend a full day with my ‘firstborn’, as we sometimes call the dog.
Woodland walks and pootles around our local parks are typically enjoyed with two, if not four, toddlers in tow. This in itself is lovely, of course, but sometimes I crave little excursions of just the two of us; a chance to connect. Josephine-dog has been my dog for six years next month; she was my dog before my children were born, she has been my devoted companion for almost all of my adult life. There is something special about spending time with her, about the way that in quiet spaces, she seems almost able to hear my thoughts and to respond.
We were excited to be invited to a ‘Behind the Scenes with Bakers’ event on Thursday, just me and the bearded lady. I requested and was granted the day out of the office, took the little chaps to nursery and then hopped on the train with my little dog to go and learn more about Bakers.
We started the day with coffees and a chance to chat amongst ourselves – it was lovely to see Hannah from Make, Do and Push and Laura from Five Little Doves, with their little companions in tow. Josephine-dog enjoyed a polite sniff of both, and a little meet-and-greet with the other dogs there as well. It was good to meet the Purina team, as well as to meet Sandra Strong from ‘Dog Film School’ and ‘Pippin’ from the latest Bakers advert and her owner – what a talented little dog (and an incredible team of trainers!).
We tucked up on the sofas to speak with the veterinarian from Purina – the brand behind Bakers – who described for us the nutritional components of a balanced food. She took us through the ingredients typically found in a Bakers meal, and reassured us that the Bakers range offers a 100% complete and balanced food to suit every dog. I didn’t know what to expect from Bakers, so it was interesting to learn that Bakers no longer contains artificial colours; it only contains colours that are derived naturally, from sources such as plants and minerals. We also met with a veterinary nurse who outlined what a healthy pet should look and behave like, with helpful visual illustrations.
Following a truly delicious lunch, we met with Sandra Strong from Dog Film School. We were given a clicker and a handful of Bakers biscuits, and we began with our task: teaching our dogs to touch a marker, by clicking and rewarding firstly any interest in the marker and eventually clicking and rewarding only the desired contact (touch with a paw) on the marker. Josephine-dog already knew how to do this, so after demonstrating it for the photographer, we progressed to learning to skateboard, which we had never tried! I found that she was super motivated by the Bakers kibble; she was keenly inquisitive and alert to try to work out what action I wanted in order to ‘win’ her reward of a biscuit!
Before I was a mother, I used to invest a lot of time and energy into training Josephine (who, to be fair, was quite a bit younger then too!). It felt wonderful to reconnect at that level; I felt that Dog Film School was her chance to shine. I felt so proud of my little dog as I watched her watch me, and felt that stream of connection flow between us.
As the event concluded at about three o’ clock and we were not terribly far from the office, I decided that it might be nice to pop in with Josephine-dog in order to catch up on my inbox. My tired girl greeted my colleagues with a polite wag of her tail, following which she slept all afternoon and well into the evening on my coat in a corner of the office whilst I caught up with work!
What do your dogs eat? Have you ever tried Bakers?
Many thanks to Bakers for inviting us to their event, and for commissioning this post.