An Apology & Tribute to Reacher

We are devastated to bring you the sad news of a fatal accident on 23rd February involving a wonderful German Spitz, Reacher, who was at the time in the care of one of our host families. We take full responsibility for the accident and our heartfelt condolences go out to all those affected.

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We have robust systems and processes in place, developed over 18 years with the objective of ensuring the safety of every dog in our care. Unfortunately on this occasion, these stringent processes hadn’t been followed. A full investigation has been completed and the franchisee responsible has had their Barking Mad franchise in Glossop terminated with immediate effect. Our network of franchisees has been contacted to reinforce the importance of following our processes which are ISO9001 accredited.

As dog lovers at the forefront of home boarding care, our sole purpose is to provide a safe home-from-home for your dogs. A dog’s welfare is at the heart of everything that we do and every measure is in place to ensure this never happens again. This is also the wish of Reacher’s owners with whom we are working to tighten up our processes further. We continue to be dedicated to providing the very best possible service.

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Reacher “Boy” Smith
22/05/16 to 23/02/18

Shared home with his human mum and dad, Jennie and Mark, and his German Spitz pack; Ripley, Regan, Sebastian and Rupert.

Gambolled into our lives in summer 2016 and immediately made a big impact.

He was the youngest of our 5 German Spitz; but was determined to make his presence known.

Regan’s son and Sebastian’s nephew – he wasted no time in sorting who was boss!

His best pal though was Rupert and they formed a real bond chasing each other around the garden every day. Reacher was always first out every morning to clear the garden of “unwelcome” visitors; birds, squirrels and suchlike. It was his patch!

As he grew older, his walks were a constant source of wonder and amazement for him and he met a few more of his regular friends on the established routes. Basil the Beagle, Daisy the Rottweiler and various horses, ponies and donkeys.

His favourite place in the evening was next to dad on the sofa and after much practice the human / dog howl was perfected at the right pitch and frequency. I think this was more important for Mark than Reacher. Reacher knew his dad loved it and the 4 others could only ever bark along. Howling was the sole preserve of Mark and Reacher.

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About the same time; Reacher also established the paw over the arm technique. He enjoyed the adulation and a stroke of the head or tickle of the chin would result in the paw and a sideways glance as if he was saying … “yes, I know I’m a handsome fella and you’re enjoying this even more than I am”.

So many unusual traits and I know it’s a cliché; but he was a dog in a million. He could walk backwards! Why he didn’t turn round and walk forwards – I’ve no idea! He detested white feathers. He’d stare and get fixated; but would never get closer than a few inches. If he ever did have a quiet moment or relax – he’d walk to the toy basket and gently remove just one toy … uncanny.

Reacher had a short life; but it was full of love, happiness and vitality.

He’ll always be remembered and for the rest of my life and on many many occasions, I’ll think … what would Reacher do?