21 May 2018


Following the Royal Wedding celebrations, here is another fairy tale story of how one very special springer spaniel helped pull to off the dream wedding proposal for this young couple. 

Brooke is a liver and white Springer Spaniel, she is two and a half years old and we have had her for two years. She is our first spaniel and as my sister trains many types of working dogs, we thought we better have a go at training her. We had her from a known breeder at six months old and she was definitely wild and in need of some obedience training. Our other two dogs are Patterdale/Lakeland terriers and beyond trainable!! Unless it's for their dinner!

After initially bonding with Brooke and meeting the terriers we started basic training. Lead work, sit and stay and recall commands. Gradually built it up to include dummy retrieval training and learning to hunt to find them too. We both take her training quite regular and work together to make it interesting and challenging for her.

I planned my proposal but hadn’t planned what day I was going to go for it. I wanted it to be at a time when it was just our little family, us and the 3 girls. I thought about grand gestures, public displays or a big family do, but it's just not us. I could not guarantee the terriers wouldn’t just run off with the proposal dummy, so I focused on Brooke completing the task and making my plan work.

Where we take to dogs for walks and training is close to home and has the amazing views of the Harringworth Viaduct in the background. The dogs learned to swim in the river nearby and we often pop down to escape the stresses of the world with them there and it is just a beautiful place. I took Brooke out on my own prior to going for the big event to make sure she was getting her retrieves bang on, and we practiced to make sure she would pick the new orange dummy.

Samantha finished work and arrived home, that evening said come on let's take the girls out before the weather turns. I thought this was my perfect opportunity. After the weather putting a stop to us going the last few times. In my dog training bag, I already had a bottle of champagne (non-alcoholic as I had to drive home) champagne flutes and a new orange training dummy with my proposal written on it. As she loaded the dogs into the back of the truck I nipped upstairs and got the ring.

We arrived at the green lane and walked all the dogs together chatting away. When we were heading back to the truck I said we will put the terriers in their cage and pop into the field to do some dummy training before we head home. I was placing, throwing and hiding the dummies and Samantha was working Brooke to find them and they were both doing well. While they were searching for one I headed the opposite direction and placed my proposal dummy out ready for the big event and headed back to where they were searching. When she had finished I said ok there's just one more. Line her up to send her straight down to the area I had pointed out. As Samantha did this I took a few steps back behind her shaking with anticipation to whether she would find it or not. Brooke was spot on, and headed straight down to the area and hit the ground hunting to find it. Then bang she hits the spot and pulls her head up high and starts carrying the orange proposal dummy back to Samantha. 

As she took the dummy out of her mouth, at first a bit confused, she read the words on it, "Samantha will you marry me". She turned around I was ready on one knee with her ring out. She just burst into tears on the spot. When she finally got control and answered "yes".

We then headed back to the truck and with all the girls and sat on the tailgate, popped open the bottle of bubbly.  The girls mean everything to us and it meant so much more for them to be a part of it with us.

Whilst there are times they stress us out, I couldn't be without them. When we got home Brooke got an extra special treat for making our day extra special.

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