As we enter April, change is word that springs to mind at Ashman Jones. Though life has plodded along for the most of us, others have been working behind (and in front) to make the world easier for those less informed. These changes are out in the open and are found below.
The puppy club
As many of you who have had their furries come through the ranks at Ashman Jones will know, it is likely that they started with the infamous puppy or kitten club. This means that it has led to pretty good start to life (at a very cheap rate). One of the main draws to the puppy club is the possibility of early socialisation classes at the London Road Practice.
The early socialisation is spread over a two week period where the first week is led by the behaviourist Adam Daines, he runs through basic commands, toilet training, exposure to new situations and things that could become rather expensive later on. At this one our lovely student vet nurse Hayley is on hand to help out and answer any questions you may have. Then, in the second week, Head Nurse Debbie takes the reins and begins teaching health, diet and generally how to reduce vet bills and generally end up with a nice dog. What is special about this second week, is the skills that Debs implements come from her vast range of CPD (Continuing Professional Development), where she starts on posture of the animals and uses techniques learnt from her T-Touch courses to calm puppies and allow them to feel comfortable when handling in strange ways. Like in a vet's consulting room for instance.
Now unsurprisingly, the main point of the early socialisation classes is to socialise with other animals (as until a week after second vaccine, pups shouldn't be socialising outside). But there have been a few cases in the past where the puppy has been too old (we have noticed that any animal over 14 weeks is simply too big and boisterous compared with younger animals) or there haven't been other puppies to play with. Now, however we have changed this policy, so within your puppy pack when first signing up to the puppy club, you will find the socialisation voucher included, but if there is an issue with the puppy party, then this £10 voucher that can be used at Avon Dog Services, which is Adam's behaviour training company based in Combe Down. So doggie gets a chance to mess around, no matter what!
We have always recommend microchipping, as it does reunite pets with owners, should they ever go missing. The government seem to agree with us (coincidence? I think not) so have made microchipping dogs compulsory from 2016. This means that there are fines for any person that has an unchipped dog.
Thankfully however, for a year, microchipping is free!!! For dogs, anyway. From the 1st of April 2014 to the 1st of April 2015, the Dog's Trust are funding any chipping that needs to be done. Isn't that good of them?
A new face
For anyone that has been into Widcombe or London Road this past week, may have noticed reception has had a tail. That person has been Holly. Holly is our new receptionist/soon-to-be-student nurse. She is taking over from layabout Sam, and so reception won't have anyone who's slacking. She is absolutely lovely, and always has a smile on her face, and her telephone manner isn't half bad either. Now, if she could stop breaking the computer, we would be there!
So, what's been happening?
Debs has come back from her T-Touch course up at Tilley Farm wiser, bolder, but just as sarcastic so the nursing team is back to full strength. Soph is off at the moment so we have a locum in as I type but Soph's back on Monday after a weekend of heavy congressing. Next week however, Muz is only on a half week, as Wednesday afternoon he is disappearing back to Oz for two and a half weeks for a well-earned holday and to catch up with friends and family down t'other side. This means a variety of locums however it is mainly Matt, who was here a few weeks ago (who now has a new baby son actually, so congratulations to him and his wife).
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And for the picture, nothing is better than a bit of a rant!