Walks n All - Dog walking and home boarding
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Is there any harm in trying to do good?
When boring is good
Yellow Dog - will it work?
A Day in the Life...
Some people just don't learn

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Is there any harm in trying to do good?

A very famous scientist once wrote that "for every action there is an opposite reaction" - apoogies to Sir Isaac Newton for paraphrasing! Now it might seem odd that I choose to open my latest blog with such a statement but from my observations recently this applies equally to people and their treatment of or actions towards dogs.

I never seem to get used to the fear that some children have towards dogs and I wonder where it comes from. Unless some unfortunate child has been either harrassed or bitten by a dog then I fail to see why their mere presence can generate such fear.

A Day in the Life...

It could have been any day really but I wanted to share my experiences today (03 April 2013) as the day in the life of a dog walker/sitter.

The day starts relatively early, the first dog arrives at 7.50 - it's an 11 week old pup and today is his first day with us. We have been out and bought new toys to try and break him in gently - he was not picked up until 5.30 pm so it's a very long day to be in strange surroundings for one so young.

Take out our dog, Morgan and one of the overnight boarders - it's freezing and I forgot to put on that extra layer - make the walk a fast one!

Some people just don't learn

It is perhaps a bug-bear of mine that dogs should be properly exercise - both physically and mentally - to ensure they stay in the best possible health. and while I know that it can be difficult in people's busy lives to find the time to commit to exercising our dogs it is my firm conviction that if you cannot make the time then perhaps you shouldn't have the dog at all! 
Of course not all dogs need vast amounts of walking some, and surprisingly I include Greyhounds and Whippets in this category, can get by with 20 minutes twice a day - barely the amount of time it takes to make a drink a cup of coffee.

Indifference or Neglect?

The amount of dog walking I (and Greer) am doing daily has grown exponentially since Xmas. That means of course that not only are we interacting with an increasing number of dogs but we also are seeing a great deal more of the countryside and hence coming into contact with more strange incidents. Take yesterday for example. I was walking with Lily, a most boisterous but lovely Labradoodle. We had reached the limit of our walk and had turned to return home. On the way back we passed two farms (one of which has fantastic dogs who run around the yard but never come further than the gate even though it is fully open) and one where I heard a dog barking in the distance.

Cornucopia of breeds

As the business grows and more and more people are hearing about and using the services I am increasingly fascinated by the number of classic and new breeds of dogs that we are catering for. In my youth, admittedly a distant memory now, people had Labradors and Spaniels and Alsatians and the occasional Jack Russell and Poodle; today it's as though every conceivable (?!) mixture of dog is available for ownership. My first charge was a Labradoodle (Labrador x Poodle), I also have the delight in caring for 2 Cockerpoos, a Cavapoo and a Whipoo (Whippet x Poodle) - although I am not sure that the match was as a result a some mad designer.

Perfect Symmetry

There are times when it seems all of the lines of your life are connecting. Today for example I am on the way top pick up and walk two dogs - failure - the car failed to start _AGAIN - god, I hate letting people and dogs down. On this occasion the dogs are just too far away for me get there on foot. So I send the texts and make my apologies. Time to go and fetch another of my regulars - not too far to walk this time on about 1/2 mile there and back. Get there - happy in the knowledge I would soon see  Alfie one of my favourites. No-one home... I haven't brought the housekey!" Trudge home cursing my stupidity - this is not turning out to be a good day. Pick up key and return. Alfie full of life as usual bounds down the road and onto the Rec. Normally at this time I would be en route to other clients and so cannot answer the phone.  As we saunter back the phone rings. A potential new client in Corsham - who wants me to walk her dog while she is away. Very happy - an opportunity which I may have missed under normal circumstances. Why the title for the Blog - well its obvious, the new customer's dog's name - it's ALFIE!! 

Sad Stray

It was 5.30 PM and I was just about to start tea when there was a knock at the front door. The dogs went mad - of course, but I largely ignored it - early "Trick or Treaters" perhaps. Then I was called to see - our neighbours had found a stray - a beautiful male Collie but he looked worse for wear - he must have been out on the streets for days to have deteriorated so much.  We decided to take him to our local vet to establish whether he had been microchipped - success - he had been therefore surely a matter of time before contact could be made with the owner.

Is it the time of year?

As autumn draws on I have noticed the number of people requiring dog walking/boarding services is reducing rapidly. Is this normal? Are owners saving up for trips and visits during the Xmas/New Year break and therefore intend to inundate me later on or do I shut up shop over the festive period? As I am new to the business what would be an appropriate charge to make for the Xmas bank hols - double/ triple the price? Is this just blatant profiteering? 

  

Lazy Saturday Mornings

In any other profession you can look forward to getting a well earned lie in after the trials and tribulations of the working week . However, dog sitters/boarders don't get that privilege; take this morning for example. At a little after 6.30 the dogs (only 4 stayed last night) made it plain that it was time for a loo break. Now some of our guests are in the mature category while Ottis (Weimararner) is lively and accident prone.  The rush for the door was an accident waiting to happen.  Bailey, my good old boy Greyhound was slightly wobbly on his legs after a long sleep and Ottis was dashing backwards and forwards in excitement. On one pass Ottis bashed into Bailey spinning him round and causing him to do the splits - oh, the noise!!  Fortunately, the yelping was more from shock than actual pain and after we cuddled and stroked him for 10 mins - he decided the safest place was back on my bed! So much for my lie in. Never mind the morning dawned a beautiful day. I really wouldn't change my life for any amount of lie-ins!!!

Gearing up for the weeks ahead

Having completed the website it is now time to ensure the public at large get to see it. Advertising firms aplenty coming out of the woodwork to take my money while promising to guarantee prominent position on Google search pages. This is getting really cool - just hope it generates more work...
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