I adore meeting new people who have heads full of doggy information! I’ve followed Mark on instagram for what feels like forever and I absolutely adore the fantastic enrichment games he creates for his pal, Woody. Imagine my glee when he responded to my request for an email interview within minutes of me sending the message! Mark has been an utter joy to chat to and I’m so, so pleased to share his interview with you.
Tell us about your area of expertise:
I love creating ideas by up cycling items from around the home and using them to enrich my buddy Woody. At the moment I mostly offer ideas and advice online but I have sold several different versions of my bottle spinners in the past and now I’m starting to get more settled after moving to Cumbria I hope to start again in the near future.
How did you get into this?
Working for The Dogs Trust; after a dramatic change of career (I used to be a truck driver) the more I worked with dogs the more I got into how I could improve their lives whilst in my care. Two dogs in particular sparked my need to get creative, they were kennelled together and got on amazing but we always made sure they had time apart. Like all our pairs living together, I would pop one in the paddock and walk the other.
Unfortunately which ever one was in the paddock would just sit at the gate, basically board so I created my first bottle spinner to keep them entertained. I got some cones, towel wraps and set up an enrichment course and after spending time with them showing them what to do after a few sessions I was able to go out for a walk come back and see they where still busy. After that I was hooked and kept creating different things to keep the dogs busy.
What’s your favourite part of your interest?
Blimey I just love working with dogs, there are so many aspects of working with dogs to love, but seeing the dogs interact with something I have created and seeing them enjoy themselves that is the best part.
What benefits do people get from engaging with you?
I would like to think I just open people’s eyes to enrichment and show them you don’t need to spend a fortune to make your dog’s life a bit better and how beneficial enrichment is.
What can people expect to find on your social media pages?
Lots of advice and ideas at the moment. I’m always happy to answer peoples questions and hopefully inspire them to try new things
Tell us about your pets at home:
I have just the one and he is the whole reason I guess I am where I am! Woody is a brindle male Staff who I rescued from The Dogs Trust; he had been over looked for a number of years because he doesn’t like other dogs.
When I first got him I was truck driving and he would come with me each day but I was so taken in by what I had seen at the centre I started volunteering. Well when a job came along I jumped at the chance!
Woody and I currently live at the centre where I’m based and he gets spoilt rotten by my colleagues. I believe we have only spent 3 nights apart in the 3 and half years we have been together!
What are your dogs favourite enrichment activities?
Woody loves all the challenges! Food is life for Woody! He features in a lot of my enrichment videos and has so far worked out every one quickly, but a Lickimat is always a winner. He is also partial to chasing tennis balls and de stuffing toys is a must!
Otherwise we are out and about exploring our new neighbourhood.
Lastly, please tell us where we can go to find out more about you!
So most of my current ideas can be found on my Instagram @enrichandgo
Also I’m on Facebook Mark Enrichment