Archive for February, 2016
I would like to welcome you to the big ‘ol rock. It may look like a misplaced chunk of stone, in our yard, to the bystander. What do you do with a massive rock…sit back and watch. What happens on the rock is a blissful tranformation of energy. If you want therapy, attention, love, affection, inner peace, joy, comfort, laughter, and more you will be drawn to the rock too.
This rock has provided me with great pleasure being able to see others enjoy the relationships they form on the ROCK. My dear friend, Meredith, would come over not to see me, but to spend time on the rock. She knew the benefits of the ROCK! I am pretty certain many children will remember the ROCK as a special place too. Here are some snapshots of my family on the ROCK. I am not a blogger, so I will let the photos tell the story.
When I began planning for my eldest daughter’s birthday I started the way I always have: by asking her what she would like to do for her special day. She’s not hard to figure out – she loves animals and she always has so it came as no surprise that she wanted to have a party that involved animals in some way. Here’s the thing though, I’m not an outsourced party kind of gal. I mean that in the least offensive/judgmental way possible. I think outsourced parties are grand and seem to be WAY less stressful than the elaborate in-home parties that some people throw. Our parties have always been at home and they’ve always been pretty simple but I had no idea how on earth I would be able to give her an animal (specifically dog and cat) birthday party. She mentioned the possibility of incorporating the animal shelter somehow but a few calls to the local shelters later confirmed that a shelter party was not a plausible option. It was at that point in the party brain-storming process that I remembered seeing a woman and her dog do an obedience demonstration at my daughters school. More specifically, I remember her mentioning that she did summer camps at which she would teach children how to approach dogs, behave around dogs and furthermore train dogs. One quick call to the awesome Union Academy receptionist later I had a name and number. That name was Amy and the business name was K9’s Unleashed. I called Amy to be sure we could work something out and then I pitched the idea to Kennedy and the rest is history!
Working with Amy to determine what types of things Kennedy and her party guests might enjoy was fun and she was very flexible in the planning which was nice because I, of course, wanted Kennedy to be thrilled with the end result. Luckily, each party guest had a dog of their own so they were all very excited about learning more about dogs and as an added bonus were all comfortable being around dogs. I loved that even though Amy new all these girls had dogs – she still went through the basics with each of them in a fun and interactive way. Questions like “how do you approach a dog for the first time?” and “how should you talk to a dog” were great openers to get acquainted with the girls and to determine if their inclinations were correct or not. Once everyone knew how to “meet and greet” new dogs, she let her dogs out and into the gated party area. Giggles and wagging tails abounded and we were off to a great start!
The girls were able to learn about canine agility drills and were even able to partake in running the dogs through some of the drills which they all LOVED. They learned how to appropriately use the leash to lead the dogs and were able to learn how to coax a dog through open tunnels and tunnels that appear to be closed at one end – emphasizing how important them communicating with the dog is and how important it is that the dog trust them as his leader.
The girls loved the agility part of the party but a close favorite was when Amy talked with them about enriching the lives of their dogs at home just as she does with her dogs there. She showed them several enrichment toys and how they work. She taught them a really neat trick with a muffin pan, tennis balls and treats (something each of them could go home and try with their own dog). Each girl got to take a turn picking the dog and toy they wanted to work with and they got to really see these dogs work while playing and it was really fun and interesting.
After the party we made homemade dog treats and everyone went home with the recipe and some dog treats for their beloved pooch. The recipe we used was compliments of Amy. She really will try to work in what seems best fitting for your child. I knew Kennedy would love the agility and she loves to cook so making dog treats was perfect for her. Maybe your child would prefer a craft and Amy can do that too – just ask and she will do her best to make your party a success!
If you’ve got a dog lover at home – K9’s Unleashed would be a pawsitively perfect place for a party!