Assisi Animal Sanctuary is Northern Ireland's largest independent animal welfare charity providing shelter for up to 200 companion animals - cats, dogs and rabbits.
Charity Reference No: NIC104594.
Cracker is a tri-colour collie who lived at Assisi earlier this year and was adopted by Allen and Lydia in January. They have been keeping a diary of Cracker’s antics and training and we thought you might be interested in what Cracker got up to and how Allen and Lydia have been training Cracker – here is the story so far ….
Sunday 8 Jan I’m off to my new home in Daddy’s car sitting on Mom’s knee. I’ve got 3 big sisters, Shara (16) Dasher (11) & Sandy (9) – they’re all huge. I’m only 10 weeks. Before going home we went to Jollyes and I got a new collar and a blue bed to sleep in.
Mon 9 Jan I cried last night when I was put to bed but Mom told me a bedtime story from her room about my very busy day so I soon nodded off. My bedroom is blue for boys but I’ve to share it with Dasher. I learned how to get food from my treat ball today (easy peasy) and I practised and practised until I could jump onto the conservatory sofa, makes me feel like a big boy already.
Tues 10 Jan I cried again and got my bedtime story, fell asleep then Shara came in during the night so I wasn’t lonely. I’ve figured out the dog flaps, push with paw then in I go. Mom says I’m the cleverest little boy. I’m learning sit as well but it’s all very exhausting.
Wed 11 Jan I gave Mom a big surprise today, she put me in my crate and I escaped while she was mopping the floors, Daddy hadn’t secured the side door properly, I had such fun skating on the wet floors. I can get up on all the beds now, I just love all these challenges.
Thur 12 Jan 100% success, all poohs and piddles done outside, Mom makes such a fuss about how clever I am. I’m also an expert now with the dog flaps. I found a plant pot with yummy compost to play with, so I’ve been really busy.
Fri 13 Jan So many rules, don’t chew human skin, clothes, shoes or furniture or doors. Apparently that’s why I have so many toys and chew sticks, I thought they were just for fun. Met my Granny and 2 cousins today, a lab called Cindy and a Springer called Meg, why are other dogs so huge and I’m so small.
Sat 14 Jan Gave Mom a big surprise by jumping on her bed and waking her with a big kiss, Daddy played fetch with me this morning as he wasn’t at work. I’ve got a new trick, steal towels from bathroom and run really fast to get chased. I just love to play all day long.
Sun 15 Jan Daddy played outside with me for ages so I needed an extra long afternoon nap which meant I was bursting with energy when I woke up. New game, steal place mats and tablecloth from telephone table so Daddy can chase me. Steal pyjamas from under pillow and he chases me, I’m so inventive thinking up new games.
Mon 16 Jan I’m so good at sit now, I’m learning down, it’s pretty easy too. I’ve found another new game, pruning the bushes, I might grow up to be a famous gardener. I don’t bother with my paw on the dog flaps anymore, I just hurtle through, I can even bring toys and stuff in and out.
Tues 17 Jan I’ve mastered the living room chairs now so I can go anywhere (I must be getting bigger). I get my lunch in my treat ball now cos Mom says I’ve so much energy, she’s exhausted. Dasher really snapped at me today because I tried to steal her Bonio, I squealed like I was mortally wounded, I got such a fright.
Wed 18 Jan Found a new toy today, a kiddies plastic spade so I thought I’d get back to my gardening shortening palm leaves, (so they’d grow better) I’m also working on taking sharp corners off the picnic bench with my little teeth. I had a nightmare during my afternoon nap ( I was stealing Dashers Bonio again)
Thur 19 Jan I’ve got so many names, Cracker, puppy, no and nicknames wee man, tiny boy and the youngster. Went to vets tonight for my jab, Shara came to get hers and to look after me. Everybody there made a big fuss and the Vet said I was very healthy, Dasher and Sandy checked me out when I got home
Fri 20 Jan Played tug with Dasher with the rope toy. I tried so hard to win but she was too big and strong. My little legs ached and Mom said I was walking like a wee old man afterwards. I needed an extra long nap, I was so tired.
Sat 21 Jan I’ve been getting my breakfast and lunch in the treat ball because I’ve so much energy and I don’t eat it all when it’s in my bowl, it’s much more fun chasing the ball and I’m an expert anyway. Mom holds me up to the mirror every night at bedtime to see how much I’ve grown. I should think so, I always make sure I do my stretches when I wake up.
Sun 22 Jan Sandy got me in trouble today teaching me to dig at the plum tree, I would never have done such a thing myself. Daddy bought me a big bag of chew shoes as I’ve eaten the ones I had. I’ll have such strong teeth when I finish them.
Mon 23 Jan Shara has been checking I’m tucked up in bed at night-time the last few nights, I’m fine now as Dasher sleeps on the bed beside my crate all night so I’m not lonely. She plays with me lots now, we play tug and wrestling every day and then I have a nap.
Tues 24 Jan I went my first walk today, Shara came to look after me. I had such fun smelling everything that I forgot to chew my lead after a minute or two. When I’m bigger I’m going on long walks with Dasher and Sandy, I can’t wait to meet all their doggy friends.
Wed 25 Jan I’m really cross with Sandy, she sneaked into my crate and stole my shoe chew, but it worked out okay cos Daddy gave me a new one going to bed. I hid it under my snoopy dog so she won’t find it.
Thur 26 Jan Walked to my Granny’s with Shara today, it was so exciting, my cousins gave me big sloppy kisses when I arrived. I was awfully tired although I do feel so independent.
Fri 27 Jan I’m learning my “green cross code” I’ve to sit when I come to a road. I’ve got my sits and downs perfect now so I’m learning “come” but if I’m really busy, I pretend I didn’t hear.
Sat 28 Jan I met 3 new friends on my walk today, one was actually smaller than me, the first dog I’ve seen for 3 weeks who’s not huge. Daddy bought me a rope tug-toy so me and Dasher practised with it for ages.
Sun 29 Jan Brought Mom lovely flowers from the garden but she wasn’t as pleased as I thought she would be. I got in trouble for knocking Shara down the step but it was an accident, I was just running fast and she was in the way.
Mon 30 Jan I went for 2 walks today, one with Shara and one with Sandy and Dasher. It was great fun pulling their ears and dodging away. Mom thought I’d be tired but I wasn’t, it was so exciting, I was really hyped when I got home
Tues 31 Jan 2 walks again, a big long walk with Sandy and Dasher (tugged their ears again) came home hyped again but got really sleepy early. Daddy bought me a new tennis ball so Dasher invented a new game, tug the ball.
Wed 1 Feb Met a puppy on my walk (4months) she was very pretty, also met a lab at the shops so we played “nuzzles” for a while till her Mom came out. Shara had a little whisper with her (maybe she was telling her to be gentle with me)
Thur 2 Feb New game, if Mom doesn’t like flowers, I’m going to bring her nice stones instead, she wasn’t impressed. Had a long play with Sandy but she doesn’t take as much nonsense from me as Dasher.
Fri 3 Feb I must be growing bigger because I got stuck between the chair and sofa and had to really wriggle myself free. I was so upset, I pulled the links off the blinds afterwards and then chased my tail for ages.
Sat 4 Feb Sandy stole my turnip tonight so I had to be careful and not leave my bonio and dent-stick around cos I like hard things to bite as my baby teeth are getting very sore.
Sun 5 Feb I’ve got a link lead to Sandy or Dasher for my walks, met another puppy (6 months) called Buster, I wonder how my brother and sisters are getting on, sometimes I miss them. Mom says I suckle in my sleep sometimes.
Mon 6 Feb Really foggy on my walk, the road monsters big shiny eyes were all yellow and blurry. Met Sandy’s best friend and had a play with her.
Tues 7 Feb Stole Mom’s sandwich, I thought she was waving it about. I ran like the wind and gobbled it so fast I had very sore hiccups after.
Wed 8 Feb Got a new tug toy with 2 balls attached, me and Dasher had the best time testing for destruction. Was upgraded to treats in buster cube – it was not as easy as the treat ball I get my breakfast and lunch in.
Thur 9 Feb Met Sandy’s friends, Izzy & Mac, they are much smaller than me, Izzy was very noisy but Mac just gave me lots of kisses.
Fri 10 Feb I tried to get a 3 foot stick through the dog flaps, I nearly knocked myself out when it jammed against the door, I’ll not do that again.
Sat 11 Feb I love Saturdays, it’s stock-take day when Daddy fills all the dog treat containers and we get to help and then get share.
Sun 12 Feb Played football with Daddy for ages, he says I’m great at tackling. Played in the long grass on my walk with Shara.
Mon 13 Feb Mom sprayed the door with perfume to stop me biting it, it was the most horrible taste, I had to rub my nose on the carpet to get rid of it.
Tues 14 Feb Daddy says crisp bags, plastic bottles and plastic bags are not “treasures” and I’m to stop scavenging on my walks, I thought I was recycling.
Wed 15 Feb Mom phoned my foster carers Maureen and Sandra at Puppy Love Rescue who looked after me until I was old enough to come to Assisi, to let them know how I was getting on so I barked at Sandy so they could hear me play and having fun.