Walking The Dog....volunteer Dog Walking

No doubt about it walking the dog is a great way to get fit, make friends and enjoy some time out from the general workaday routines of life. Not to mention just having some fun with one of man’s best friends. In fact when you come to think about it owning a dog could quite easily be described as being one of life’s few privileges. I’d go further; I’d say that everyone but everyone should have access to a dog, because quite simply, they are more than good for us. I’m not on my own in this rather bold statement either, because when asked about dog ownership, nine out of ten people said they would choose to have a dog in their life. Yet despite this, the sad fact remains that many people do not own dogs for reasons they feel to be beyond their own control. Flat dwellers, city dwellers, people who live in rented accommodation and whose landlord does not allow for dogs to be kept on the premises, people on low incomes, because these days pets don’t come cheap do they... and it hardly seems fair does it that such a simple luxury be denied? However there is a very simple answer to the problem, that of becoming a Volunteer Dog Walker. Animal rescue centres, the RSPCA, older people who are no longer able to get out as much, people who are too ill to walk a dog and yet benefit greatly from the companionship – my own mother fell into this latter category when she had to have major surgery some time ago. If it hadn’t been for a very kind neighbour, she would have had to make the heartbreaking decision, to let her dog go to another home. Strange thing is, now she is better the neighbour still walks the dog. The only difference being, that my mum and she now go together. When they come back they share a coffee too, before getting on with the rest of their day! Says it all don’t you think? 3 Very Good Reasons As To Why Volunteer Dog Walkers Are Not Only Welcomed But Needed:

  • Due to the sheer numbers of dogs that currently reside in animal shelters throughout the country they need to be confined to cages for the most part of the day.
  • This prolonged isolation and lack of activity seriously impairs a dog’s health and well-being.
  • This also leads to behavioural problems – which in turn makes the dog less easy to re-home.

Becoming a volunteer dog walker is easy. Ring your local dog rescue centre or contact the RSPCA – details can be found in the telephone directory or at the click of a button by using the internet if you have it. It doesn’t matter that you don’t own a dog or that you don’t have dog handling experience because full training and guidance is given to all volunteers as a matter of course. It is also a very flexible arrangement – there are no set times you just fit in around your own timetable. More benefits:

  • Life as a volunteer dog walker is, in some ways, like having your cake and eating it too – all the fun without the day to day responsibility.
  • You get to develop a fun and loving relationship with a dog.
  • You have that special sense of satisfaction every time the dog greets you in the only way he knows how – like a long lost friend returned!
  • You will make friends with other volunteers – believe it or not I even know someone who met their future husband at a rescue centre
  • It costs you nothing except time and perhaps, travel expenses.
  • Apart from all this any kind of volunteer work looks good on your CV and in today’s climate that has to be a plus.
  • Volunteer dog walking or indeed any kind of animal related volunteer work is a great way to get a foot in the door of an animal related career.

There is only one word of warning that should in fairness be added here. When you volunteer to work with animals in whatever capacity you will find that you become emotionally involved. And inevitably there will always be a time to say goodbye. Sometimes the goodbye is less happy than you want – but, if we are to make a difference and to pay back some of the love that dogs give us so readily then these are the facts of life that we need to accept and to prepare for. In my mind though, there is no doubt, that it’s a very small price to pay.


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