Tuesday, 26 October 2010

When a Labrador met a Meerkat

Glasgow Education Officer, Lorraine Hare recently had an opportunity to see what happens when Donny the Labrador made friends with Maku the Meerkat, at the Glasgow Science Centre's Dog Days exhibition.

The Glasgow Science Centre invited Donny and I along as part of a Dog Days exhibition for children. They created science experiments for children to get 'hands-on' and learn about dogs. There was a 'smelly test' where children found out about a dog's nose and put their own noses to the test to decipher different smells in jars. There was a hearing station where kids could learn about how a dog's sense of hearing works. There was also a chance for them to make dog toys from recycled materials and a picture activity about body language.

Donny and I had our own table with fun activities for children - colouring-in, puzzles and mini-workshops outlining responsible dog ownership and what a dog needs to be happy and healthy. Donny was the centre of attention and enjoyed having cuddles, demonstrating his clicker training skills, putting his nose into action on the ' Dog Treat Treasure Hunt', being brushed and having lots of cuddles. The kids learned lots about caring for dogs and parents joined in with the activities too - especially the Donny cuddles!

We met a Skunk (called Peanut) and a Meerkat (called Maku) as they were doing a short show for children in the exhibition room next door as part of another event. The gentleman who was caring for them on the day came into our room to say 'hi' and wondered if Donny would like to meet them. He thought it would be a good experience for the Skunk and Meerkat if Donny would like to interact with them. As Donny is a kind and gentle soul I was happy to let him say hello to both creatures! They were relaxed and happy the whole time and didn't seem in the least bit worried about Donny, and he was just the same. They sniffed him and the Meerkat was nose-to-nose with Donny for a while. I think they rather liked each other actually!
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