Kindred Tales | Ciara & Kuiper | Vet in the City
Tell us about Kuiper and how he came into your life
I waited over a year and a half for Kuiper. He’s a Miniature American Shepherd, not a terribly common breed here in the UK but very popular in the US. I sought out the best UK breeder and was put on a waiting list, there was even an interview! After this great, long wait, he surprised his breeders arriving a few days early and was born on my boyfriend’s birthday! Mini Americans come in a whole host of coat colours- merle grey, beautiful browns and black tricolours. Another crazy coincidence, he looks so much like my old tricolour Border Collie Lucky, which makes him even more special. Can you tell I’m obsessed?!
Kuiper (rhymes with Hyper) wants to be everyone’s friend- everyone at work, the Amazon delivery guy, the little grumpy dog at the park, the pigeons and squirrels. Ok, maybe that last bit is an exaggeration ;)
How does your Kuiper fit into your general working day?
I’m very lucky in that Kuiper can join me at work! Whether I’m in the clinic, at doggy daycare or at Butternut Box HQ, he fits right in. My boyfriend’s office is also dog friendly, so he often goes to work with Dad too. Being a country boy (he was born in North Wales), he didn’t love the tube to begin, but now he’s a seasoned Londoner and skips onto the trains.
When you’re not working where do you both like to hang out?
You can usually find us on Hampstead Heath, Waterlow Park, Highgate Woods or exploring the graffiti art along the train tracks of Parkland Walk.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?
Poop bags, I’ve started using compostable ones made of cornstarch. Lots of high reward treats for recall, as he doesn’t quite understand that there are grumpy people who don’t want to say Hello. In fact, I don’t understand that either! I wear a treat bag that clips onto my jeans. It’s not the most fashionable accessory, but it has a handy keys/ poop bag inner pocket and the treat pouch is lined, especially useful when his treat is cooked chicken or oily sprats. He can be a bit of a tennis ball thief, so I try to carry an extra ball in my pocket too!
What adventures do you and Kuiper have planned for the rest of the year?
I had hoped to go to Ireland and introduce him to the dogs at home. We are very lucky to have a small river running through the family farm and often go out stand up paddleboarding, and I was looking forward to getting him on the water. But there will be plenty of time for that after Covid! Till then, we’ll continue to explore London and try to get to the beach a few times!