We are a family run garden centre that is well known nationally as a specialist for bare rooted hedging plants and young trees. The Garden Centre always has a good selection of shrubs and plants which are not commonly found elsewhere, together with a wide range of the more commonly sought after plants. Established for over 50 years, the Garden Centre has recently been redeveloped to a high standard. Our shop contains the largest selection of seeds and bulbs for miles around, together with garden chemicals, tools, garden furniture and many other goods. Outside we stock peat-based and peat-free composts, paving, fencing, timber decking, garden buildings and greenhouses, and a large range of pots, statues and garden ornaments. Our aquatics centre has a good reputation for their excellent quality tropical, marine and cold water fish. The Gardeners' Retreat, our coffee shop/restaurant, serves fresh home cooked food and is an excellent way to round off any visit to the Garden Centre.
Tuesday 1st March 2016
Kiwi has now been with us and training for eight months. She loves her routine of going into the Medical Detection Dogs Centre every weekday morning and meeting up with the other dogs and the trainers. She is doing very well on her training and really enjoys her cancer detection work. When there is enough daylight she gets a walk on her way home but she has plenty of mental stimulation and walks during her time at the Centre to tire her out, but as she loves a walk and a chance to run and retrieve a ball and I enjoy relaxing with her after a day’s work when we can take advantage of the daylight we do.
Although she is still a very inquisitive and quite bouncy dog she does know how to behave so she has represented the charity at such events as the Swanbourne School Christmas Fair, and also she is at the Garden Centre on Sundays and on occasions when she is not needed for ‘work’ at the Medi-Centre.
She has now become very much part of our family and despite her lively nature she is very gentle with our grandchildren, even the two year old. She has yet to knock any of them over – even the six and seven year olds when they are racing round the garden playing with her.
It really is a pleasure to act as a guardian to one of these remarkable dogs and worth the time one has to give to them.
To find out more about the charity, please visit their website here.
Monday 1st June 2015
I must say that the Socialiser Team at Medical Detection Dogs are very good at not letting their volunteers get too upset at handing the dogs over as they always seem to have a 'replacement' ready for one to look forward to taking on. As soon as I handed Whiz over to Helen I was told that another dog I knew already from training classes was in need of a new Socialiser as her present Socialisers were about to go out to Spain to enjoy the warm sun for the summer. I had a good chance to talk to them before they left, leaving behind their precious Kiwi in my care.
Kiwi settled in very quickly and seems to love her routine of coming into the Garden Centre where she gets plenty of attention from the many customers she greets. As with Whiz, she gets on famously with Mia, Chris' dog, and the two have fun playing together for a while before settling down on their own beds.
As with all dogs she has a very strong personality being very lively and playful, and a complete 'ballaholic'. I am sure she would play ball all day if there was someone with the time to play with her. Even on walks she takes her ball and has it thrown non-stop, chasing and bringing it back for more. She has an excellent nose as she can find the ball in long grass even when she has no idea where it fell. The only problem is when it is in stinging nettles as these must affect her as she very quickly comes out, standing back waiting for me to plunge in to retrieve the ball having indicated where it is. Luckily thick trousers and a good stick are good anti-nettle tools!
She went back for a day to the Medi-Dogs Centre for a possible matching and assessment, and after this and a great deal of discussion between the trainers and the Cancer Detection Team, it has been decided that she should make an excellent Cancer Sniffer Dog, so she will be starting her training with them as they are taking on a lot of new work and need more dogs. As a result we will become her 'guardians' taking her into the Centre at Great Horwood first thing in the morning then collecting her at the end of the day on days she is wanted for work, otherwise she will come into the Garden Centre with us. As the Charity's Centre is just down the road from where we live that should work very well. A new and exciting phase of our volunteering for Medical Detection Dogs commences!