St Joseph’s primary school had an exciting morning when Dog Trust’s Deirdre Ui Dhubhda, Education Officer for the South East delivered a workshop to all the pupils.
5th class student council members Kate O’ Connor, Alyson Kelly, Sarah Farrell and Chloe Flanagan reported on what the seminar was about. “The Dogs Trust is a voluntary organisation who raise funds to rescue stray dogs. In the dog pound at least 17,000 dogs were put to sleep and that’s the reason Dogs Trust was founded. Dogs Trust visits our school every year to encourage us to mind our dogs. They tell us to make sure we keep our dogs healthy by washing them, feeding, playing with them and walking them. They also tell us all of the bad things that could happen if we don’t mind our dogs properly. Last year St. Joseph’s primary school fundraised €234 for the Dog’s Trust by 5th class making friendship bracelets and selling them to pupils for 50c each.”
Deirdre Ui Dhubhda spends four days a week visiting primary schools in each of the five counties. “During the summer holidays I visit libraries, community groups and playschools and the aim is to give the children as much knowledge as possible about dogs so when they are older they will know how to be good dog owners and whether owning a dog is right for them. The workshops cover many different aspects of owning a dog including: how to treat dogs so they are healthy and happy, the cost of owning a dog where the pupils use maths to work out the annual costs, matching a dog to the owner and many other subjects.”
The two dogs accompanying Deirdre were Sadhbh and Conán who sat patiently throughout the talk and let each of the pupils’ stroke them after the seminar. The dogs are trained in as Gaeilge and were vetted to ensure their temperament is suitable for children’s education seminars.
St. Joseph’s 5th class student council explained to the Nationalist that there was a lot to learn from the Dog’s Trust Educational workshops.
“The talk was really good and we learnt about how to keep safe around dogs,” said Kate O’Connor (student council). “I learnt that when a dog licks his lips it might be because he’s afraid or nervous.”
“I learnt that you shouldn’t go up to pet a dog that you don’t know and that you should ask the owner first,” said Sarah Farrell.
Alison Kelly really enjoyed the talk. “I didn’t know that when a dog is in his bed that it could be scared, or nervous or tired and that you should let the dog decide if he wants to come to you.”
“We learnt a lot today and I thought it was very good for the little children to learn more about dogs and what they should and shouldn’t do around them,” said Chloe Flanagan.
“Everyone enjoyed the visit from the Dogs Trust and we all had a great time,” said the student council. “Deirdre brought two lovely dogs with her named Sadhbh who is 3 and Cónán who is 2. They are miniature Schnauzers. Deirdre taught us how to stay safe around dogs and at the end we all got to rub Cónán and Sadhbh and they loved it. We look forward to the Dogs Trust visit next year.”
For more information on Dogs Trust visit www.dogstrust.org.uk