Updates on the progress of your Police Dogs
13th January 2010 - Heidi Retires
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year! I got a jumbone, chewy treats and a new bed for Christmas. I enjoyed a lovely Christmas dinner and curled up on my new bed after my Christmas Day walk.
I officially retired from Northumbria Police on 11th January, 2010. I am looking forward to putting my paws up but I'm really going to miss all the wonderful friends I've made.
The pups are growing up really quickly now. It's hard to believe how small and cute they were just a few weeks ago. All the pups have now finished their puppy vaccinations so they are getting out and about and discovering new sights and smells.
This is a very important time in the pups' development and their handlers try to introduce them to as many new experiences as possible. They're all having loads of fun meeting other dogs and visiting new places so they won't be fazed by anything when they're adult police dogs. When they become police dogs they have to be used to lots of people and noise if they are going to work at football matches or patrol a busy street.
The pups still get to see their brothers and sisters from time to time to have a good run around and play. Vegas and Chase are great pals and they came up to the kennels yesterday with their sister Storm to get microchipped. They were all very brave as it's quite a big needle but worth it as it means they can always be reunited with their handler if they lost their way.
They were into everything and seem to enjoy causing havoc, pulling clean towels off the shelves and trying to get into the bags of dog food. They have all had fun in the snow but I'm sure they will get a surprise when it goes and they discover everything is not usually covered with the white cold stuff!
15th December 2009 - "Back from my holidays"
I'm back home now! I had a great time at Durham kennels and Karen, Caroline, Becs and Nicola took really good care of me - especially with having nine pups to look after! I was very excited to see Shane though, and we had a mad 10 minutes running around the house and chasing each other!
At the moment, I'm enjoying lots of long walks and visiting friends and family in the run up to Christmas! I've also just started hydro-therapy lessons; they are tiring but I love splashing around in the water!
The pups have all gone to live with their handlers now and start their new lives as rookie police dogs. I miss them, but I'm glad to be home - they were hard work! The pups all live at home with their handlers as part of their family so I hope they behave themselves! Their handlers' main job at the moment is to help them get used to people and to keep them healthy and strong as it won't be long before they start their special police puppy training!
They should be meeting some new friends as well; all their handlers have older, experienced police dogs so the pups will have a dog mentor to show them how to behave and give them welcome company!
One of the pups is already spreading her wings; she was specially chosen to start her new career with West Midlands Police dog section so I'll have to keep an eye on how she's doing there!
19th November 2009 - "Training starts early"
The pups are becoming little rascals; they are constantly playing and following the kennel staff around.
Their hearing and sight have fully developed and they can walk, run and bounce around.
They are learning coordination, balance, mouth and paw skills and they love to chase each other and wrestle. It certainly tires me out!
They love to play with their new toys, although a particular favourite seems to be an empty box cardboard box which they can hide and play in.
They also have some toys that family pet dogs would be discouraged from playing with, such as bunches of keys, chains, a leather trainer and a wallet, all of which they are encouraged to pick up and recognise. This will help them when they are fully trained police dogs, as these are the sort of things they will search for and retrieve, if it was a lost or stolen item.
They have boundless energy but they still need a lot of sleep to recharge their batteries ready for the next play session.
16th November 2009 - "Lessons in life"
The pups are really lively now and are being introduced to new sounds and people every day. They have all really taken to their puppy food and are eating more of that and less milk from me, they will soon be fully weaned and wont need me as much.
I will introduce them to the outside world and will help them develop their social skills but they will learn a lot from playing with their toys and interacting together, with nine little friends, there is always someone to play with.
12th November 2009 - "All grown up"
I can’t believe how quickly the pups are growing up, look how he looks.
I think they look just like their Dad.
10th November 2009 - "Play time"
We all had a visit from Paul, a Northumbria dog training instructor to see how we are all doing. He will be doing a lot of the pups training so he wanted to meet them all, they were very excited to see him. They love to meet new people!
The pups are starting to have two meals a day of their puppy food as well as special milk made specifically for young puppies. I am still feeding them too so they should have no problem growing big, strong and healthy. They were given toys for the first time yesterday which they have loved investigating although they are still a little young to actually play with them properly. I love playing with toys so I will show them how its done!
9th November 2009 - "I STILL have a big belly"
Look at my belly! it's still big but this time is full of milk and not puppies.
It should start to go down soon because the pups are getting weaned.
7th November 2009 - "Rachel comes to visit"
Today Rachel came to visit me, yipeeeeee! I go so excited to see her. We went for long walk which we all enjoyed. All the staff here are treating me like a queen and I met a new friend on Thursday, a kennel attendant called Nicola who has just returned back to work, she is really nice and we like to play together.
The pups are getting weaned at the minute which seems to be going well, seven of my pups are taking to their new food straight away but a couple needed a bit of help, I still have to feed them as well. The pups are starting to play together which is really nice to watch.
4th November 2009 - "Snug as bug"
I think I will have a lazy day today; the pups are getting weaned later, so I think I will just sit back and relax.
3rd November 2009 - "Barking mad"
The pups are just starting to bark which is very important for a police dog and they will need lots of practise and encouragement as they just sound too cute at the moment.
They are starting to show signs of wanting to play with me, which will be a handful with 9 little rascals!
The staff are going to try starting weaning the pups tomorrow which will be a lot of fun and take some of the pressure off me so I can relax a bit more.
29th October 2009 - "Music to my ears"
My pups are really up on their feet now, stumbling and wobbling about. They can now hear and the kennel staff are playing an environmental sounds CD as well as the radio to help them become accustomed to the sort of thing they will hear when they leave for the outside world. It has noises like traffic, children playing, the hoover, thunder storms and fireworks, although they will hear those for real soon enough!
I don’t mind those sounds at all and I remember when I was a puppy hearing the same CD.
I got sent this nice picture from a member of the public, Thank you!
28th October 2009 - "Eyes open at feeding time"
The pups are getting really hungry and they seem to be growing bigger over night. But the best thing today was that the puppies eyes opened today! They look so cute.
They also got wormed for the first time today which they didn't mind at all.
27th October 2009 - "Walkies"
I’m starting to feel more confident about leaving the pups on their own when I go for my walks, because I know they will be curled up asleep when I get back. I love going for my walks on the big field because I get to have a sneaky peak at the dog vans when I pass to see if there are any other doggy friends in them.
My friends Caroline, Karen and Becs who are looking after me are so nice. I have to say I could quite get used to all the attention I’m getting, I love people fussing over me and tickling my head. They are even feeding me extra food at the minute which I like!
26th October 2009 - "Squeak Squeak"
My pups are trying their best to bark but all they can manage at the minute is a small whine, but they do this quite often – when they miss me - and can be noisy sometimes.
They can now crawl and push themselves up with their back legs but they are a bit wobbly! They seem pretty good at burrowing under the fluffy vet bed though, I keep losing them!
24th October 2009 - "The calm before the storm"
My pups are doing really well, they are putting on between two and five ounces each day and are getting around the whelp box much faster and easier than they were. Its getting hard to keep up with them! Their eyes should open any day now which is very exciting.
I’m spending a lot of time feeding and cleaning my puppies as I want them to grow up big and strong.
I am also sleeping a lot at the minute which helps me conserve my energy so I can be there when my puppies need me, it does help having a whelp box that is warm and comfy, I am snug as a bug!
Everyone is being so nice to me and I am really happy but I do miss playing with Shane, I am looking forward to seeing him. We love to chase the cats away from the bird table, I can’t wait to chase him when I get back home!
21st October 2009 - "My trip to the vets"
I visited the vets this morning with my friend Caroline for a quick health check and the vet was very pleased with how I am doing. He said I was fit as a fiddle. I was glad to get back to my pups though. When I got back to the kennels my puppies were all weighed to check how they are doing I am happy to say that they are putting on weight nicely and they are all feeding well. Caroline say's they are getting bigger and stronger each day.
19th October 2009 - "Sgt Jason Leith comes to visit"
Jason came to visit me today to see how I was doing and to tell me how the Dad Jack has been catching criminals.
19th October 2009 - "My puppies love to sleep"
I was in the middle of feeding the pups today when my owner Rachel's husband came to see me, it was nice to see a familiar face. My puppies are all similar and a good size for their age especially being from such a big litter. Some are black and tan and look like mini versions of me and the rest have sable coats like their dad. They are very content and peaceful which means they are being well fed and are nice and warm. Newborn pups can do very little but sleep and feed, their eyes and ears are tightly closed but they are never completely still and twitch and stretch and can move around enough to be able to get to the warmth of my belly to feed.
16th October 2009 - "Yum yum I am hungry again"
I am finding it hard to leave my puppies to go to the toilet or to stretch my legs because I want to be with them constantly. I am starting to get my appetite back and I have been wolfing my food down which is good as the extra calories will help me produce milk for my puppies.
15th October 2009 - "I HAVE MY PAWS FULL"
My last puppy arrived at 2:00 am this morning.
I had five boys and four girls, some black and tan and some sable. They are all feeding and doing well.
Caroline stayed with me last night and did a sterling job. I have now had 28 puppies for Northumbria Police. I am sooooo tired and need to sleep ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
13th October 2009 - "I've lost my appetite"
Still no pups and I have lost my appetite. This happened the last time I had my litter, which means the puppies must be on their way.
12th October 2009 - "It's been a looooooong weekend"
I thought I was going to have my pups this weekend, I kept feeling them move inside my belly but they still didn't arrive. My belly is soooooooo big now and I am getting really tired.
8th October 2009 - "It can't be long now!"
Today I met a new friend, Becs! She’s a Durham kennel attendant, We spent lots of time together and we got to know each other. Karen, one of the kennel girls, is looking after me and can tell by my face that I am getting a bit sick of waiting and wish my pups would hurry up and come, it shouldn't be long now.
6th October 2009 - "A friend comes to visit"
Jason, Jack's dad, visited me today to say hi and make sure I was settling in OK. It was nice to see him.
5th October 2009 - "Moving day"
I arrived at Durham kennels today. I was a little nervous to be in new surroundings, but I was really happy to see my new friends. Rachel, my owner, left me with some of my favourite toys and treats to make me feel more at home. The staff have given me a radio so I can listen to music because I did this at home and it made me feel more relaxed. I am eating puppy food 100% of the time now; four times a day, instead of my usual two. I have decided that I will only be going for short walks instead of long ones as I get tired. The kennel staff have given me a private grassed area away from all the other dogs so that I don't get disturbed, I need to be relaxed when I have my pups. I do miss Shane my friend from home; he is a German Shepherd as well. I bet he's confused about where I am but I am sure he will be fine.
30th September 2009 - "My belly’s getting bigger"
I have been up to Durham today for another visit. I got a lot of attention from Caroline and Karen who will be looking after me which I really enjoyed. I went for a walk and also spent some time in the whelp room which is very comfortable. This is where I will be having my puppies. I am starting to feel more settled now and I am ready for the big day on Monday when I move in.
I am eating more food and I’m starting to eat dried puppy food that my pups will be fed when they are born.
(Look how BIG my BELLY is!)
The puppy food has more calories and the extra nutrients help my body. I am getting bigger all the time but I am still active on my walks but I do get very sleepy.
I have been given a bigger bed so I can really stretch out.