Lesley Matthews, Puppy Socialiser
I applied to be a puppy socialiser for Thames Valley early last year, I attended our first open day with my husband, we signed up that day, within 6 weeks we were in Sulhamstead to pick up Ghost a mere 7 weeks old.
Nothing prepared us for the sleepless nights, the only way to describe this process is, it’s like a child. The baby phase sleepless nights, toilet training, naughty toddler, chewing things, generally trying to push your buttons, then teenager with lots of attitude, totally destroying the garden, eating every flower pots contents, and ripping trees apart.
However all said and done, we wouldn’t change a thing, Ghost was returned to the dog section to start training with his instructor at 10 months. He is a sensible, well rounded young dog, with a great need to work and please. He is excellent with other dogs, loves children and was socialised everywhere possible. We trained him to want his ball, so he has plenty ball drive for rewarding him for his good work, training with bite work, and releasing of course. He is very good at tracking, and speaking on command and I’m confident he will pass his course with flying colours, where we will be there to see him pass out! Very proud parents!
We volunteer to do this as we live in Hampshire and it’s a Joint Operations Unit, I am at home all day, my children are at school, it gives me time, where I can make a difference. People often say, why do it? We do it, to put something back into society, we have the time and the energy, and I think so far we are good at it so why not, it’s hard work but very satisfying.
I am currently looking after one of our young ladies who has been sold and awaiting to go to her new home in a few weeks, then we shall await our next challenge and do it all over again and again.
We have lots of different volunteering roles across the Force.
Have a look at our website to find out more information.