Marley’s Stay at Bowerland

It’s been 8 weeks since I had the most amazing weekend at Bowerland. Time has flown by working on the training plan that was put together for me.

Firstly let me tell you our story

Marley is a lockdown rescue pup who is generally calm when it’s just us at home, but his focus on me when out and about – well I didn’t really exist!  Visitors coming into the house was also causing big problems. I took the plunge to book a Stay & Train weekend after a disastrous agility session where Marley just zoomed around almost hurting himself


What I didn’t realise was the amount of ‘bonuses’ that came with booking a Stay & Train. I got some online group training sessions with Michelle, a Back Off, plus an online workshop. I decided to book all of these before my stay to get me focused on the task that was Marley. Oh my! What a difference the online classes and workshop made. By the time our weekend came, Marley was beginning to enjoy the games and I could see some focus from him.

Our Journey

We live in Essex so I had about a 5 hour journey ahead of me.  My husband and I decided I would go on my own so that I could concentrate on our training. I began to get nervous about travelling on my own with Marley, who had never been on a holiday before. I needn’t have.  The journey to Bowerland went smoothly. Everything is thought through and a solution was found for any problems or concerns.

The Annexe

When we arrived, check in was very simple and the Annexe was just perfect! It was cosy and warm and had everything we needed, including a raised boundary. I packed food for dinner, so we didn’t have to venture out. We just chilled from the start.

Our First Day of Training

Saturday morning we had our group lesson with Sam. The management put in place for the dogs meant that Marley coped really well and I learnt loads. Saturday afternoon was my first 1-2-1 with Michelle. Again there was lots of learning for both Marley and me. Wow, what an amazing first day! I decided that we both needed to empty our buckets and digest everything we’d learnt so rather than going out for dinner I ordered fish and chips online, which meant it was easy for me to collect from the shop in Okehampton. No stress!

Our Second Day

Sunday morning was free time, we went for a short walk and had an early lunch in the Fox and Hounds and back for Marley to rest before our last 1-2-1 with Michelle in the afternoon. Because of the time of year we were losing daylight, so Michelle suggested we went to the cottage to make a plan for visitors. For me, this was the lightbulb moment of the whole weekend!  Marley and I successfully had a visitor, without jumping or humping – just chilling. He even fell asleep long enough for Michelle to take a photo. 🙂

Stress Free Journey Home

Our journey home was also stress free and my husband could see the progress we had made the next day. Marley was much more focused and engaged with me! All in all I didn’t want to come home, because Bowerland truly is a magical place.’

Many thanks to everyone involved

Diane and Marley