Fun 4 All Dog Club's Gilbert's Gallop
Fun 4 All Dog Club was started by Helen in August 2008 with a small Flyball class - and it has grown!
Here is how we have become what we are today.
Back in 2008, Fun 4 All was formed when I was one of three dog owners featured for a whole year in the popular and informative monthly Your Dog Magazine. As a diarist my activities with the dogs were published every month. It was a memorable year to have in print with the conception and growth of Fun 4 All Dog Club. The magazine printed the unforgettable monthly antics of Ella, Measles and the really lovable, but extremely naughty black Labrador, Rupert.
Rupert was, on the whole, a pretty typical Labrador, however he really had taken his desire for food to the extreme and gained his own fan club in the process. The diary concluded in March, 2009. The magazine certainly promoted the growth of the club.
I had already been an Agility and Basic Obedience Instructor for some time. In 2008 I took an instructors course qualifying as a ACAI Qualified Agility Club, Approved Basic Instructor and soon the time was right to move forward. In later years I completed many courses including Kennel Club Bronze and puppy instructor.
For a bit of fun in the Autumn of 2010, I was invited by ITV to appear with my Great Dane, Measles, in the first episode of the Michael Ball Show. This was for Measles to perform with two of Michael's fans in a simple giant breed agility competition. It was funny - giant breed dogs performing Agility in just 22 sq ft of stage floor space!
From 2009 to 2011, I wrote monthly dog articles for The Forest Magazine , Charnwood's then popular free full-colour magazine. It was fun to write funny, interesting and informative articles every month. The readers feedback was extremely positive and very rewarding.
In 2011 I was asked by the Your Dog Magazine to be a a guest expert for the February issue, answering readers questions on Agility, Flyball and Rally Obedience.
Then in May 2016, after 8 years in the fields behind The Bulls Head pub, we moved to the beautiful setting of Lubcloud Farm on Charley Road, situated on the border of Shepshed.
With four hard weeks of fencing, mowing and ground preparation, the club reopened for fun agility classes and the new service of Secure Field Private Hire for free running exercise and called the field Apollo's Park. This has proved wonderful for owners who have never walked their dog off lead (oh no, the dog has run off again!) and for the owners of multiple dogs to have the whole facility to themselves. The finishing touches include dog toys, agility equipment and hot drinks facilities to make themselves a relaxing drink.
The winter of 2016 was a very wet period which stopped agility classes from taking place. I re-opened them in 2017, however I decided later that year to discontinue the classes due to the ground condition and weather. The good news is we offered Meet 'n' Greet Social events on alternate Saturdays, Sundays and every Wednesday lunchtime.
In 2019, I thought we were at our busiest, having at times back to back bookings most weekends...…however we had no idea what was coming.
Now, in 2020, with the CoVid-19 restrictions in place, we have never been so busy. We adhere to government guidelines for customer safety and ask that all of our clients do the same. It is now more imperative then ever before to book early to save disappointment - people are able to meet in a safe and secure outside location and to adhere to social distancing without compromising their dogs well-being.
Our latest news is that we are moving to online booking and a new name for the field Gilbert's Gallop! Being so busy, clients were finding it hard to get through on the phone at times and we wanted to offer a system where a booking can take place at our customers convenience, but still have the personal touch available should it be requested. We are able to continue to give special offers and experience-driven advise where needed, but details such as credit card details are secure and we have removed the need for cash payments. This system went live on 1st November 2020 - another milestone for Fun 4 All Dog Club!
The history of the club started with my idea for a fun pet dog club, in a safe environment, with a friendly group of like minded people. The aim was for it to be in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere for everyone. Today we continue ensuring we are open and friendly to not just the dogs, but the owners too.
I hope you and your pet enjoy the freedom of the secure field and come back to see us soon. Helen
On 1 December 2020, I made the decision to change the name of the park to honour Gilbert, my Great Dane, below.
So we are now officially... Fun 4 All Dog Club - Gilbert's Gallop!
On 6th December 2021, we improved the booking process for customer with a new scheduling system that offers an App for mobile and tabblet devices.
Gilbert, the biggest Dane for miles. 38" high to his shoulders and 41" neck to tail!
Helen, Measles, Rupert and Ella.
Photo by courtesy of 'Your Dog' Magazine 2008
Tux at 2 months old 2021-