Tales of Teddy

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Teddy Loves: Happy Dog Time

Pre-Teddy, I never anticipated how all-round good walking a dog could be. Of course there’s the exercise, the fresh air, the people you talk to, the dog you get to watch doing it’s unique, doggy thing, but the best bit is that somehow the whole package combines to make an effective therapy (and it’s free!). Even in the rain, even when I’m tired, even when I’m cold, once I’m out, I love walking this feisty little fella. No wonder BorrowMyDoggy, a website that matches dog owners with local dog lovers who like to take care of dogs, is proving so popular.
“Two years ago I took care of my neighbour’s dog, a beautiful Labrador called Aston,” says Rikke Rosenlund. “I thought, ‘Why are people spending so much money on dog walkers and kennels or just leaving their dogs home alone when there are people like me who would just love to take care of them?’” With that in mind Rosenlund and co-founder Les Cochrane set up BorrowMyDoggy.
“It’s a community of dog lovers,” says Rosenlund. And it appeals to a variety of people. “We have retired dog-owners who want to travel and would like someone to look after their dog, we have retired people who aren’t able to have a dog but want some happy dog time (seventy per cent of our borrowers used to own a dog),” says Rosenlund. “There are some Australian students who grew up on a farm and are missing their dog-time while at school in London – they are on BorrowMyDoggy. Then there’s the man who got back into shape when he borrowed a dog to go running with. And the five-year-old boy whose father has dog allergies so couldn’t have a dog of his own. He linked up with a new mother with two small dogs living two streets away and now, with his mum, he regularly walks the dogs after school.” It’s a valuable support network whichever way you look at it: “It’s a win-win scenario,” says Rosenlund. “When you borrow a doggy the owner gets to do what they need to do, the dog gets more love and attention, and the borrower gets some happy dog time.”
It’s all very feel-good. Helping a dog enjoy life is something BorrowMyDoggy have in common with the canine welfare charity Dogs Trust, and they have linked-up to raise awareness about the responsibilities involved in looking after dogs (heart-warmingly, there are a fair few canines on Borrow My Doggy that have come from Dogs Trust Rehoming Centres)
“We are both about giving dogs the best life possible,” says Rosenlund. “So we both want to share the love and knowledge of our furry friends. A lot of people get a dog without realizing the commitment required. If you are not sure about committing to owning a dog, then start by helping out someone locally, that way you can see if it works for you.” Happy dog time: works for me.

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