Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Dog Time, with BorrowMyDoggy!

As some of you may know, I had to give up my dog, Robbie, when I moved house two months ago. Don't worry, he's perfectly safe - my previous housemate and I were his joint owners for four years, and as she works normal hours and was buying a new house whereas I work shifts with no potential for buying whatsoever, it just made way more sense for it to be him who kept him.

However, I have been very sad without my doggie time, and though I of course miss Robbie very much I wanted something there to fill the void. And that's where BorrowMyDoggy comes in! And before I get started with this, I figure I should mention that I'm in no way being sponsored to make this post, nor have I been asked to. I've just been using the website and decided to give them a mention!

BorrowMyDoggy is basically a site where busy people who own dogs allow other people to borrow them. There are all sorts of different arrangements there, but in the vast majority of cases in my area at least, the people that want their dogs to be borrowed are looking for people like me - basically, people who work unusual hours and are therefore there to give their dog some attention during the day while the owner is at work. Again, this probably varies by area, but in my area at least there are also a surprising amount of puppies where the owners want the pups to be well socialised, and a significant majority are small dogs. There are really a bizarre amount of labradoodles and smaller breeds in my area, apparently!

Basically, how the site works is simple. There is a small membership fee to pay which covers the cost of your insurance. Then, you make your profile, and you start having a look at what dogs are in your area and take a look at their profiles. Profiles include some information about the dogs, what the owner wants, and when the owner wants you to come and borrow the dog. From contacting multiple owners, there's a real variety there - in the case of my dog, the owner would like me to come on a particular day each week. Some are happy for you to come as and when, and some specifically want people on certain dates that they're not around.

Then, there's the awkward bit. After exchanging some messages, off you go to meet the owner and their dog. I was worried that this would be super awkward and it felt an awful lot like I was preparing to go on a date with someone, but actually it was completely fine. We went on a walk together and it really wasn't awkward at all as we had a very obvious thing in common - we both really liked dogs. Therefore it was really easy to talk about the dogs I had owned, the dogs I used to look after when I worked at a dog shelter, etc etc. And luckily, me and the dog got on too - so this is your little introduction to the very beautiful dog that you can see in the photo up top, the lovely husky that I now borrow!

For me, one dog is enough to borrow. She's 11 years old, but still a husky, so still an active and stubborn dog! In my case, the owner has neighbors look after her a couple of days a week but doesn't have anyone to look after her on Wednesdays and Fridays. I would struggle to commit to both days but borrow her on most Wednesdays when work allows it, and if the owner is going to be late coming back on a Friday she will ask me if I can pop in to see her or to give her her food which is fine by me. In my case, I also have a key for the house but this is probably largely because my hours are completely bizarre and because it specifically makes more sense in my case for me to look after her during the day, especially being a big and active dog.

It's great having some animal time in my life again. It sounds very silly to people who don't like dogs or who aren't used to having them, but I really look forward to my time visiting my borrowed doggie - especially now the weather is getting nicer and I'm happy to have an excuse to take her for a long walk or to come jogging with me!

If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, take a look at BorrowMyDoggy.com!

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