You find them in every town – the well-heeled older woman, the grungy man about town, the slightly eccentric neighbour, the buff young blokes on the block and those who work hard for their money.
But just how do they spend their days? And more importantly, what are their favourite accessories?
Tune in each month to find out the deepest and darkest secrets of those dogs you may pass on the street but are just too polite to question…
Interview with Sally
Full Name : Sally
Age : 9 in September
Job Title: Curator of Artefacts, Busselton Snuffle Garden
Breed : Maltese +Shih Tzu +Lhasa Apso = Princess Sally
Residential Area: Busselton Snuffle Gardens
Favourite Harness : Perfect Fit – Pink
Preferred Lead Length: 3m Freedogz Biothane 13mm Pink Pink or Pink
In-depth interview questions:
I think first we should set the scene for our readers. We are chatting at your home and place of work, the Busselton Snuffle Garden. Tell me about the garden. Our Snuffle Garden is an enclosed and safe environment where dogs can be curious, explore at their own pace, and do what dogs do best – sniff! It gives dogs the freedom to ‘slow down and smell the roses’. The dogs love it – it’s a ‘command-free’ zone, with no balls to fetch or obedience exercises to complete. It’s just a quiet spot away from the busy world where dogs can slow down and explore with all their senses in a safe, stress-free environment. A Zen garden for dogs, I guess you could call it. And I tell you what else I have noticed – it seems to have the same effect on people too!
I see your job title is Curator of Artefacts. What exactly do you do? I have a super important job – I test all the new equipment that regularly arrives in Mum’s car, or even better, in the big trailer, before deciding if it is worthy of our garden. Nothing gets into that garden without undergoing a rigorous inspection by me. What really makes for the perfect item is something with its own unique smell. When I see a dog get a whiff of an exciting new smell and light up as those feel-good hormones kick in, well, I get a warm feeling all over because it means I have done my job well.
How long have you had this job? About 4 years. I am very qualified to hold this position – I am very curious, a great sniffer, and I like to check things out at a grass roots level. That’s not just because I am small – it is because I am really committed to my job.
And you live on-site with your family? Yep, I live this dream 24/7. I live with Mum, who created the Snuffle Garden, Dad, who is a local ranger, and my doggy sister Biscuit. Not to sound like a snob, but Biscuit is the feral one in our family.
I see. So you and Biscuit are quite different then? For sure. I have heard people describe me as a bit of a princess, and it’s true that I like to lie in Mum’s lap and sleep in. But there is more than one side to my personality. Once I get into the garden, I love nothing more than to run free, paddle in Muddy Waters, find new smells, and then roll in them. But, and let me make this clear, I do not like getting up early, so when I run free it won’t be at sunrise. Also, I don’t like baths. Sometimes there is some conflict between Mum and I given my love of rolling in smelly things and my absolute dislike of baths.
Tell me more about your Mum. Ah, Mum…. where do I start. She is a complex woman – part artist, part rescuer of good things (some people call this hoarding, but I see it as an undervalued skill), part animal activist, part gardener, part eccentric, part mad. Put them all together and you get the very best human a pup could share their life and garden with. My Mum is the best!
Does your job get you out and about to meet visitors to the garden? No, not normally. Very rarely I may be invited out to mingle, but the purpose of the Snuffle Garden is to provide an enriched, safe environment for individual dogs and their human companions. I don’t mind sharing, as I understand how beneficial sniffing is to a dog’s wellbeing. But when they go home, man, I am right out there to smell their pee!
Does Biscuit work with you in the garden? Not really. We each have our own ideas, but sometimes we do race each other to sniff new things together.
What’s the best thing about your job? Pick just one thing – you have to be kidding! I can give you my top five – exploring, sniffing, having a say about what stays and what goes, space to roam free, and the raw diet lunch breaks.
If you could change just one thing about the garden what would that be? That’s an easy one – I would keep the grass cut shorter as I do not enjoy wet grass tickling my belly!!!
What is your favourite area of the Snuffle Garden? At the moment it’s the new castle in the little dogs’ enrichment area, but I could change my mind tomorrow depending on what arrives in Mum’s car or trailer. That’s the great thing about it – the garden is constantly changing, with new smells and textures and um, more smells.
So you lead a fulfilling life then? What more could I ask for? A great family, a great garden, and the warm fuzzy feeling I get from knowing how my work enriches the lives of other dogs and their owners. What’s not to love?
Any final thoughts for our readers? I think I speak for all dogs when I say we need more snuffle gardens. Snuffling and sniffing is such an important part of our basic needs and natural behaviours. I think it would be amazing if dog owners in communities everywhere put their thinking caps on and worked together to create little snuffle gardens, here, there and everywhere.
And hey, feel free to contact us if you want to visit my snuffle garden. Don’t just take my word about how much your dog will benefit – bring your dog and come see for yourselves!
Oh, there’s one last thing readers could do. They could leave a comment or photo of any standout snuffling artifacts they have in their garden or training ground –remember, one man’s junk is another dog’s sniffing treasure!