One of the best things about the education team is the amount of events we host.
We host five a year, each one with a unique theme and itinerary.
And on July 13th this year, we’ll be hosting our annual Summer event Doggy Detectives
At the moment the education team are busy preparing for this fun filled afternoon, but to celebrate its return, we thought we would use the blog this week to talk to each of our Education Officers about their favourite events that we host, and any memories they have of each of them.
And we thought it was only fair to start with the newest members on the education team, Domhnall and Maeve.
Being new to the team, naturally Domhnall and Maeve haven’t been to all the events yet (that will change don’t worry guys) but both were present at our Tea and Tales event in April.
I wasn’t long with Dogs Trust when I worked at the Tea and Tales event this year, but I found it really fun and engaging. Like all the events, it is held in our rehoming centre in Dublin, and we invited various members of the dog community to come and talk to the children about their careers with dogs. We had a Vet, a Canine Carer, a Trainer and even a Groomer tell us all about what their jobs involved. It was so interesting, and I think lots of the parents learned a few things themselves.
Looks like you weren't the only one to enjoy Tea and Tales, Maeve!
I wasn’t actually on the Education team when we hosted Tea and Tales this year, but that didn’t stop me from attending. You see, every year one of the Canine Carers gives a talk at Tea and Tales, and this year that Canine Carer was me. A Canine Carer is someone who looks after the dogs here at Dogs Trust. They feed the dogs, walk them, medicate them, keep their kennels clean. Basically, they provide everything a dog needs to be happy and healthy before finding them a new home. The education team asked me to talk about my experience, and I guess I did a good job, because I’m on their team now.
The event was really fun and interesting, but I am looking forward to attending the future events as well. Particularly Doggy Detectives.
Domhnall the Canine Carer, now Domhnall the Education and Community Officer
This year we hosted a new event in February. It tied in with Valentines day, so when we were thinking of a name, we soon realised it had to be called Puppy Love. It was so much fun, its now my favourite event of the year.
Puppy love was very busy. All the attendees took part in two art and craft sessions. The first was creating their very own cloth puppy to take home and love forever. And the second was a session in making valentines day cards for the dogs in the centre. And then the afternoon wrapped up by watching a play, mostly preformed by some of the children attending. The play was aptly named “Shakespaw in Love”, and we even had some fun special effects. I think this is my favourite event because you could feel all the love in the room, and it combined two of my favourite things; dogs, and Arts and Crafts. It was so nice attaching all the Valentines day cards to the dogs' kennels after the event. As it was our first time hosting this particular event, a few members of my family came, and my brother was even cast in a small role in the play. We laughed so much. I can’t wait for Puppy Love again next year.
Everybody say LOVE!
I love Halloween. I’ve loved it since I was a child, and I don’t think I’ve ever not dressed up. So my favourite education event, without a doubt, is our Howl-O-Ween event in October. Each year we invite all the participants to dress up in their scariest costumes and come along to our rehoming centre. We award the best costume (obviously) but its always tricky, because so many of the kids put so much effort in (mind you, us Education Officers have been known to dress up mighty scary ourselves). We then host a safety workshop, because, as fun as Halloween is for us, it can be a very scary time for dogs as well, and not because of all the ghouls and goblins. Fireworks, bangers and bonfires are all very intimidating for our dogs and its very important we remember their welfare at this time of year.
It's only told, but once a year. Will you listen? Or do you fear?
But my absolute favourite part of Howl-O-Ween is story time. Halloween is about getting scared after all, and a few years ago in Dogs Trust we found this ancient scroll that had a very spooky story written on it. This story is called “The Werewolf of Dogs Trust”, and the tale is so scary it can only be read once a year at our legendary Howl-O-Ween event. I’m getting chills just thinking about it. I can’t wait to hear it again later this year….
Christmas is my favourite time of year. Its such a magical time for children and that is why Santa Paws is my favourite event. I adore Christmas decorations and we get to borrow most of ours from the M50 store and decorate our Training Barn with lots of sparkly lights and Christmas Trees. And then of course we are so lucky as Santa himself pays us and our furry residents a visit every year to check whose been naughty or nice! We don’t forget our furry friends at Christmas, the boys and girls make up stockings at Santa Paws with doggy toys and treats for our dogs on Christmas morning.
Is this not the most adoroable photo you've ever seen?
It’s a super busy event, but its worth it to see everybody so merry. Oh, and I also love that the dress code for Santa Paws is Christmas Jumpers. We wear them, and of course so do the children. It’s a pity we can’t wear Christmas Jumpers everyday!
What a strange photo to upload in June!
Well, look at that, all of our officers have stated their favourite event except for one, and we left this one till last because…
My favourite event is Doggy Detectives, which means I am super excited at the moment. I think I love it so much because I’m a qualified Science Teacher, so I love all the experiments and tests that we carry out on the day.
Dawn's dog Piper can hear much much better than us, and compared to her, we're almost nose blind.
The event itself is really unique. It is a detective themed afternoon, that centres around the subject of responsible dog ownership. That might sound odd, but it makes so much sense when you think about it. We host a clue hunt all across the centre, so when our participants are touring the premises, learning all about what goes on behind the scenes, they are also collecting items that a dog needs to be healthy and happy. We also have a short film we show the children that always goes down well, but my absolute favourite part of the day is the senses experiments. I find it so fascinating that a dog's senses are so different to ours. Our senses are how we experience the world, so a dog's world must be very different to ours, but although we know they are different, sometimes it’s hard to know just HOW different. So our experiments are designed to show children just how much better a dog can in fact smell. And, just how much better they can hear. And as for their eyesight, they are colour blind, but does that mean they can only see in black and white? Nope, that’s not the case. If you want to find out more about that, well you’ll just have to attend.
Yeah, without a doubt this is my favourite event, but in all honesty, all of our events are fun and unique.
If you would like to come to our Doggy Detective event, you can buy tickets at our online box office.
A single ticket costs €5 while a family ticket costs €18
We hope to see you there, and remember to keep an eye out for the rest of our events throughout the year. If you have half as much fun attending, as we do hosting, we’re sure you’ll have a ball.