So, I volunteered to be a dog walker for the Cinnamon Trust. This was over a year ago now and apart from nearly having a cat to look after over Christmas, they hadn't got in touch. Basically it was a chicken and egg situation. No one knew about the charity in my area and so there were no requests for help and as there were no other volunteers for miles around, I was reluctant to start publicising the charity because there would only be me available to do all the walking!
Anyway, I have finally got a dog to walk. Here is Brith. His name means "speckled" in Welsh and even though these are not very good photos taken with my phone, you can see why he got his name. :)
I have been to help with Brith before. Brith's owners are three delightful elderly ladies who live on the other side of our little town. (I don't think they would object to the word "elderly", seeing as they are 94, 88 and early 80s.) Brith was a rescue and when they first got him, he had lots of Issues. (He still has a couple, but he's ever so much better than he was.) They paid for a trainer to work with him and they did some simple agility and also taught him some tricks like bringing the correct toy when requested. He is very bright, being part collie. Due to his Issues, he didn't go out for walks, but they have a large garden and he got plenty of exercise running around there, chasing balls, jumping over jumps, running through tunnels etc.
Sadly, the youngest of the three owners has Alzheimers and recently she has deteriorated a lot. Officially Brith is her dog, but she can no longer throw the ball or play with him. So this is where I come in. The dog trainer (a lovely woman) now takes him out a couple of times a week and he has come on really well with her, so he is now walkable. He no longer reacts to cars, though he still reacts badly to other dogs, hence the harness plus collar and two leads. However, there are plenty of places round here that are not frequented by dog walkers and --unlike his rather frail owners -- I am strong enough to march him firmly past the occasional dog in a garden.
Anyway, last week I went out with the dog trainer as she walked Brith and this week I took him out all on my own. :)
If this works out well, it should ensure that I get two long brisk walks very week at least. Plus it's more fun walking with a dog than on my own.
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