Dog Walkers

Now we all know and hopefully appreciate how important exercise is for both us and our precious pets. Not only does it promote a healthy cardiovascular system leading to less chance of obesity and other fat-related problems for them and us, but each will benefit from the social aspect too; the chance to see, and more importantly interact with others – two and four-legged – who are also enjoying being out and about.

Couple this with our increasingly convenience 24/7 culture, longer working hours with less disposable ‘me’ time and there can only be one sad lazy outcome: declining exercise leading to a higher probability of health and social issues. And when I’m presented with an overweight pet, the story’s always the boring same “I just haven’t got time to walk my dog”.

Well these days there’s still really no excuse as more and more of us proud and responsible dog owners make sure our four-legged friends don’t go without, by using one of our city’s few professional dog-walkers. 

Numbers of these local dog-walkers and pet-sitters are certainly on the increase, presumably as a direct result of these lifestyle changes, and I was intrigued as to what kind of service they actually provided. So I arranged to meet Karen one sunny morning in the countryside near Brighton to find out.

Now Karen is a professional dog-walker. She adores all dogs, is finely attuned to their complex canine behaviour patterns; and come rain or shine does this every day for a living, not a hobby. Karen arrived promptly and shortly after pulling up in her purpose-built dog-transporter (which incidentally has no cages so all passengers ride together stress-free), out leapt five extremely happy dogs that immediately proceeded to sniff around in the long grass and explore their beautiful new surroundings.

Ladies and gentlemen please welcome to the stage: Millie the Bearded Collie, Bella the Golden Retriever, Badger the Lurcher, Reggie the Collie cross and Chelsea the Lhasa Apso! Now there’s nothing nicer to witness than animals behaving like animals; and these dogs were so relaxed, excited and most impressively, all lolloping around off the lead, socializing with each other at will, their tails wagging like crazy.

Karen has established herself as pack-leader meaning that they all have their freedom off the lead but she is always in control. And within one fun-packed hour, each dog had swam, played, exercised and gained even more confidence; helping to build social skills thus making them all happier healthier dogs.

And if you can’t tell by now, I was so impressed by the quality and passion shown by Karen that I wanted to tell you all about it right here!

Karen runs South Coast Dog Walkers, for more info call 07932 020605 or contact karen-kirkby@hotmail.co.uk

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