From the moment I first brought my beautiful Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, George home, he thought he was a human. He wouldn’t eat dog food from a bowl (much to my dismay he would only eat from a fork which I found out after desperately trying to entice him to his food bowl!) He didn’t like other dogs approaching him, preferring to sit behind my legs whenever another dog tried to play with him at the park. As I work from home we spent so much time together that when I tried to pop out of the flat, George would go into panic mode and it was hard to calm him down. I thought it would be good to get George out of the flat and socialising with other dogs so did some research online. After checking out a few day centre’s in Central London (well not so much day centre’s, more cleverly advertised basements) I almost gave up on the idea until I stumbled across Halo Dogs.
I immediately booked a meeting with Justin and he invited myself and George to check out the farm so we could see what it was all about and so he could assess if George (and me as an owner) were suitable for the centre. Upon arrival we were taken to the indoor day centre which is huge! George bounded round the centre whilst I chatted to Justin. It was so nice to see him stretch his legs in a safe environment. Although we have nice parks in London, its not often you get to see your dog running around off the lead in such a huge space knowing that he is perfectly safe. I was so glad when Justin accepted George into school. It’s hard to hand your pup over to someone else but Justin put me at ease and I knew from looking at the indoor and outdoor facilities that he would have an amazing time and would experience what being a dog is all about, running around fields, playing with other dogs and rolling around in the mud! After his first few weeks with Halo Dogs, George actually started behaving like a dog. He would come home after a day of running around and head straight to his food bowl where he would happily eat his biscuits (gone are the embarrassing fork feeding moments!) Whilst out on walks he started being more interested in playing with the other dogs rather than hiding from them and he started to become more calm when I left the flat. I was so impressed that after only two days a week with Justin and the team, George had transformed from my confused and shy hairy baby into a pup full of beans and happy to play with other dogs!
Halo Dogs have thought of everything; report cards that keep me updated on what George has got up to in the day, YouTube videos showing all the dogs running around and playing on the farm, onsite grooming and even doggie sleepovers, which is great as it gives me the chance to have a guilt free night out or a holiday safe in the knowledge that while I’m having fun, so is George!
The one thing I love most is that Halo Dogs is like a home from home for George – Justin, Stu and the rest of the team are like extended family for him and I would never even consider anyone else looking after him – so much so that if I ever move, it will always be to an area in the Halo Dogs catchment! The excitement that fills him when he hears the knock at the door from Stu in the morning is incredible, I open the door and he runs out, not even glancing back to see me stood waving goodbye at the door! I could sing praises for Halo Dogs all day long, they are absolutely outstanding and I am so glad they are a part of our life!
Allicia and George