Let me show you why Rove is more than your average local dog walker.
Coronavirus has been an eye-opener, and I have to say? All of my clients have been fantastic and hearing things like “Of course we’ll support you, we couldn’t have our dog without you.” is incredibly touching, and goodness knows I love them all so very much.
But, I was walking with a client on my first Unleashed session, and I’ve had the feedback before, but, I sometimes forget how helpful a Dog Walker can be. The emphasis here is can be. Can. They can also be utterly useless. So, I wanted to remind myself (and you guys!) just how important it is to pick the right dog walker, and how I’m not just a dog walker – and how Rove is more.
Now, the most typical blog you’ll ever get out of a dog walker is “x reasons you need a dog walker” or “x questions to ask your dog walker” and … yeah, they’re necessary, but it’s more than a butt load of questions, it’s more than asking what (if any) qualifications your dog walker has – and don’t get me wrong, you should ask questions! But a good walker is more than what’s on paper, or social media, or their website. What you’re seeing from your walker on Facebook or Instagram should be a fraction of what your dog walker does.
It’s more than that! It genuinely is!
A good dog walker is a member of your family. They’re there for you when you have questions about your dog. They’re there for you to guide you through an issue. They’re someone you can depend on their knowledge and experience to understand your dog – even when you don’t.
They’re someone who shares your love of your dog and doesn’t treat your dog as work but as a matter of passion. And, that’s easy stuff to say right? But here at Rove, that’s what we do. That’s who we are.
Want proof? Here are five awesome stories that deserve to be heard!
Brody the Labradoodle
Brody… is just the sweetest, most sociable dog. He’s an absolute darling.
Brody gets anxious when he’s left and can show said example by making sofas explode… yep … plural.
Now, Brody is such an important part of my little family, and I hated walking in and having to text Brody’s mum like “*picture* Sorry, the sofa appears to have exploded again… Brody said it was the cats!” (I add humour to most things to soften the blow) but after a small incident of me locking my keys inside Brody’s home, we found out what was causing Brody to chew so badly.
When we found the reason? I quickly came up with a bunch of ways they could help Brody to stop chewing the sofas. Those ways? Along with a few others, can be found in our 19 Ways to End Unwanted Chewing.
And so far? The progress has been great!
Bella the Lab
Bella is adorable she’s a total goof who loves (and I mean loves!) her food. Consequently, at quite a young age, Bella was carrying a little too much weight. It was affecting her too, she was so young and the other puppies would go running off to go play, and she’d bound a couple of times and then stop… and she was such a playful girl. The weight was affecting her… so I approached Bella’s Mum and just asked if there was anything I could do to help.
After a bit, I pulled together a list of ways they could help Bella shed some pounds and this spawned another blog! My Top 10 Weight Loss Tips for Dogs was born! And, it’s been used successfully not just by Bella, but for some of my other clients too!! And that? That makes me so proud!
Tofu The Chihuahua
Tofu came to me with a worrying rap sheet. I have to say. And his Mum knows! I walked into the house on the meet and greet, and my nervous little fella bit my toes… Now, if that had been anything cocker spaniel size or larger? I likely would have gone “Nope! Sorry!” as I made my way to A&E, but I could see something there that was nervousness and fear. Which wasn’t surprising given that he was a chihuahua and that is something their rather well known for. But beyond that, I was told he slipped his harness and had nipped a previous walker, hence he was now being restricted to private walks with them – which wasn’t what Mum wanted.
I knew we’d have to get Tofu some space because in amongst my big dogs, he wasn’t going to enjoy being so small and tethered to me constantly – it wouldn’t give him the flexibility that he needed to feel safe. Why? Because that was this little guy’s biggest issue. Safety!
So, with caution, we took on little Tofu. And goodness knows it wasn’t without its challenges… he used to hide when I came in the house, he pooped in the van on a few occasions. But. He was a good dog. Now, Tofu gave us every step on the ladder of canine aggression, so, you knew when he wasn’t happy, it was just a case of going easy and understanding his need for space.
Worked on his recall, hard, and left him on a long line for a long time.
And guess what? He nailed it. Now? Not only is this little guy more confident around me, and other dogs? But he’s doing awesome off lead! It took time, patience, a lot of love, and understanding, but he got it! Which is such a huge reward in itself – and if you had told me that I would adore a chihuahua as much as I do? With my penchant for big dogs? I would have called you a liar! But gosh I adore him! He’s so strong and he’s done so well!!
Ollie the Labrador
Another one whose parents gave me a list of his worst habits on walking through the door. Don’t get me wrong, some of them were right! Like his pulling on a lead? Wow! Helluva puller! But that could be worked on! And even after one session, we got it.
I find it so heartbreaking when people give me all their dog’s bad qualities because it means that the puppy’s parents are in a dark cloud. I hate seeing that! Dog’s are meant to be fun. We’ve all been there though, that much all dog owners can agree on! Goodness only knows I’ve been there with Indie, and occasionally? You just need to have someone help you see how great your dog is.
Sometimes people get a puppy, and their dog turns out not to be the dream scenario they had envisioned, that it takes work, understanding and a butt load of patience.
That is no one’s fault. Dog ownership is hard! And sometimes you feel like you’re doing everything right and it still isn’t going the way you want it to. The good news is that I knew I could help!
Sometimes it’s simple problem. Sometimes, like with Ollie, it’s a really easy fix.
A little training/homework for some things (like walking on a lead), and a little fixing of equipment, then a lot of structure and some awesome friends to go run with! And all of a sudden, Ollie was a different dog – the dog his Mum & Dad had been looking for all along.
Good stories, huh?
They’re more than just stories though, in each case, I’ve helped. I’ve managed to help these wonderful parents of dogs help their dog move forward for one reason or another! I’ve helped them overcome a stumbling block. It’s a wonderfully satisfying part of my job. I’m not just taking your money and giving your dog an hours group walk (or whatever the current story is, like, go check out Rove Unleashed! Our new service whilst Coronavirus is still a thing, Yuck!). I’m here to help. I’m not going to let your dog pull me whilst he or she is on a lead. I’m not going to let your dog pick up worryingly bad habits whilst out on a walk, and I’m not going to let them be wild and unruly.
It does come with a drawback though!! I am happy to help – but sometimes it may mean that you get homework… yeah sorry, folks!
Homework aside, what I want you to understand is that there are so many ways a dog walker can make your life easier – way beyond just taking your dog around the park to break up the day. So, please make sure you do your research on your walker! Talk to them when you meet them, and make sure they’re the right fit for you because your dog deserves the very best.
And if you are looking for the very best local walker? Give us a shout at Rove, don’t compromise on dog care, become part of the Rove Family and you’ll never look back! I mean… there’s a reason we’re a top 3 walker for Basildon 2020 – even though we’re massively the youngest business there!