Fundraiser for Lost and Found Pets Toronto

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Fundraiser for Lost and Found Pets Toronto

I hope you've never lived the experience of losing a pet. The not knowing, fearing the worst, the sleepless nights...every pet owner can at least imagine the nightmare. It's no secret that over here at OMD, we're passionate about reuniting missing pets and owners, and very keen on spreading the message of prevention! So please join us and help us help missing pets.

Our group, Lost and Found Pets Toronto, is co-hosting a fundraiser on June 25 with our sponsors Barkside Bistro & Tailspin Petworx. Organized by artist, Sharin Barber.

Admission is free!

The event kicks off at 3:00 PM with a brief seminar regarding lost dog prevention.  After that, it's all about the free food/drinks and the RAFFLE. Check out the event page more information about the available prizes, but to give you an idea, we're raffling off gifts from Nike, Mosher Originals dog coats, a bike tune up from Gears in the Canary District, beautiful artwork, books and MORE.

Why Fundraise?

So far LFPT has raised enough money to purchase a large trap and two trail cameras. Our next goal is a laser printer and several lost pet poster kits. Beyond that, more traps and cameras, binoculars and night vision.

Hope to see you there!

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Advocate & Educate

It’s difficult for us when we see people mistreating their dogs, whether it’s yelling, hitting, or bad/punishment-based training. Advocating for these dogs is crucial, but knowing how to speak up for them can be tricky.Victoria Stilwell shares this post with the goal of teaching us how to step up and “Be A Be A WitnessWitness.” From experience, I can tell you that in the moment, it seems like you’re talking to a wall (sometimes an angry wall), but it’s a slow burn. Say your peace, respectfully and calmly, and move on taking comfort from the fact that you did something, and that you may have made a difference.

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New Safety Protocol

At OMD we're hyper-vigilant when it comes to safety. I lose sleep over the things that could go wrong, and then imagine every possible way to prevent accidents. I've seen it all, kept a great track record, and never become complacent. Accidents can happen to anyone, but at the end of each day, I know I did everything I could.straps Lately I've been feeling overwhelmed by the number of missing dogs in Toronto. Often, the culprit is faulty equipment or a slipped harness.

I've been a huge fan of the carabiner, and still am. But they're bulky, and when you need to carry multiples, in multiple sizes, it's just too much and doesn't work in every situation. So I began the search for "safety straps" that would connect harness to collar. I came up empty many time times in my search, but then it occurred to me that I have this amazing client who cannot only sew, but can also think critically.

lola strapThe result is our very own commissioned saftey straps/connectors. All OMD clients with harnesses will now be sporting one of these in addition to a properly fitted collar/martingale. This way, if a harness ever fails, or the dog manages to wriggle out, he's still attached to the leash via the strap.

Here's to sleeping better!

A very HUGE thank you to Zoe's mum.

 

 

 

 

 

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Meet Mackenzie!

Mackenzie joined the OMD team a few weeks ago, and I couldn't be happier. I had bumped into her in the parks many times over the past year, and was always impressed with her skills as a dog walker. She's gentle, loving and patient. Not to mention very safety conscious. Mackenzie joins OMD in search of new challenges and experiences. She has an active interest in positive reinforcement training, somehthing I intend to nurture and encourage in every way possible.

What else can I say about this sweet, vegan, animal-lovin' girl? She's also an awesome photographer! Follow along with her OMD adventures at @123woof on Instagram.

MCinHP

 

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Lost Dog Prevention

I wish I could find all the missing dogs. Since I can't, I'm trying to help raise awareness. Almost every incident is preventable. They spook/bolt for many different reasons, dart through opening doors, jump out of car windows, break out of their collars/off their leashes, lose sight of their owner on a walk & panic (I could go on). And sometimes, under many different circumstances, for all kinds of reasons, they're stolen. Arm yourself and protect your best friend. Check out this Facebook page dedicated to lost pets in the GTA alone. Heart-wrenching.

If you're part of a rescue organization, veterinary clinic, etc., and would like copies of this postcard to distribute, please email the Toronto Dog Walkers Association.

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Cami the Husky from Attawapiskat: Positivity and Consistency Reign

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Cami the Husky from Attawapiskat: Positivity and Consistency Reign

When I got a call from Jonathan, a potential new client who had just adopted a dog from Moosonee Puppy Rescue, I was a bit skeptical it would work out. Nevertheless, I agreed to meet with them just because he was so nice and Cami, their new dog, sounded like a lovely gal. 

No one is completely sure of what went on in Cami’s past, but it’s believed she lived mostly outdoors, tied to a porch. She was rescued with her litter of pups and that’s about all we know.  Dogs who’ve had this kind of start in life are often difficult to integrate into city living and into a dog walking group, as they often come with a lot of “baggage.” They can be very fearful of loud city noises, aggressive around food, or lack the social skills needed to get by in a dog-park setting. (don’t get me wrong, sometimes they’re perfect.)

Upon arriving to meet with Jonathan, Eryn and Cami, we were all pleasantly surprised that Cami greeted me a the door. Until this time, she was still shy and kept her distance from guests.

We talked for a long time about the structure of my walks and how I would help Cami acclimate to life in the city. All the while she laid between the three of us soaking in the affection and belly rubs. 

After the first week, I didn’t really know if Cami was benefiting from the walks or even enjoying them, but she wasn’t miserable and I knew Jonathan and Eryn badly wanted her to get out during the day and interact with other dogs. I stuck with it. On each walk, she would go off on her own and sniff the perimeter of the park and then eventually plant herself someplace and look off into the distance. I would approach her at least 20 times on a walk and offer her a small treat. She took about 8 out of 10. If there was another dog too close, she refused the treat, or if there was a strange noise coming from somewhere, she would spit it out. 

One day, a couple of weeks in, Cami played with a dog who was not in our group and it warmed my heart. I knew in that moment she was having fun and, there was hope. As the weeks went by, I continued rewarding her for things like making eye contact and just for “being.”  She was however, still completely ignoring me when I called her to “come.” But she wasn’t running away from me and she was happily getting into the car when it was time for her walk … I thought, she can’t be hating this so I’ll keep trying.

Then about 3 or 4 weeks ago, Cami began playing with Gus, a dog from OUR group. My heart nearly exploded. Especially since Gus’s owner doesn’t think he really plays with other dogs  From then on, I made a point to walk them together as often as possible. The first few days was just wrestling and bouncing, but then it really started! Cami began running big wide circles, and Gus couldn’t resist chasing. A week later, Rueben, a 4-month-old Ridgeback joined the gang. For whatever reason, they welcome him into their play sessions, encourage it even. They’re like the three musketeers, still.

Here’s where it gets really good: About 2 weeks after Cami started really enjoying her walks, I thought “this is a good time to start trying out her recall again.” From a large distance, no response. So I began to close the gap. Finally from about 2 feet away, “Cami come” actually worked. I know, you’re thinking “who cares!?” I CARED  

Once I had her happily coming in for a reward from 2 feet, I gradually increased it to 3, then 4, then 5…. and now, from across the park! This process took about 4-5 walks. 

And here’s where it gets totally awesome: Not only is she happy to come when called, she follows the pack as we move around the park and constantly “checks in” on her own. She’s loving it and she likes me and the rest of the dogs! Which is good, ’cause we adore her.

What brought Cami around and gave her confidence? A loving home with loving, patient, calm, owners and positive conditioning. Never doubt the power of positivity. 

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C4P Animal Rescue Amber Alert for Lost Pets

In the past month alone, I've been involved with three lost dogs. If you know me, you know that I'm pretty passionate about this subject. That's why I wanted to help spread this information around. If you are looking for a lost  pet, read this document, or assign someone in your search party to read it and deligate. Don't be overwhelmed by the information, just do as much as you can.

The following is a information is provided by Cause Four Paws Animal Rescue. Any of my own additions will appear in green.

Roughly 10,000 pets go missing in the greater Toronto area each year. And they are only the ones that are reported. 65% make it home.

While in certain cases the rescue community will partner with the owner/guardian and support in a search, these guidelines have been developed to help the average citizen recover a lost pet, by enlisting the help of their families, friends and neighbours.

This list is comprehensive – and we hope, not overwhelming. This list is for the owner/guardians who will do anything and everything to recover their treasured family member.

HOW TO RECOVER YOUR LOST PET: MOVE, MOVE FAST, MOVE BIG

The objective is to obtain a sighting: Any sightings need to be recorded when and where, and which direction the pet is traveling in. Trick is to know their pattern, they will have a pattern. You need to show up there once you know their routine ...start leaving food and shelter ... and set a trap.

The two mistakes most often made are not looking long enough or far enough.

Be sure you have an answering machine or someone by the phone, and encourage callers to convey their telephone numbers clearly, date and time and location of sighting.

Immediate Action Items / Rescue Group Communications:

  • Maintain a core email “rescue” group
  • Stick to point form – facts only.
  • Create a list of all involved – full names, cell numbers, email addresses, general location, noting anyone in particular who lives close to the area concerned and copy all team members.
  • Assign a group leader, who works directly with the family involved.
  • Encourage everyone not to “comment on comments” (emails can be quite overwhelming)
  • Secure a live trap (wildlife centers, local humane societies, local wildlife removal services) just in case.
  • Register with Helping Lost Pets

Immediate Action Items / Flyers

  • Obtain all details for poster including: breed, sex, size, FULL contact information, ie., home phone, email, cell phone, address, cross streets/area gone missing, include 2-3 phone numbers/contacts in bold, recent photo, and advise to call 24/7. Stick “REWARD” at the top!!!! (While jury is out on subject of rewards, money talks, and always has. It may bring out crazies but may also bring out people who need money and have time to scout.)
  • Communicate what motivates the pet/”the style”.
  • Ensure poster states: DO NOT CHASE, animal will run harder - call in sighting only.
  • Print two flyers per 8 ! x 11 page, side by side, using brightest background color possible. Black on white does not stand out. Consider using legal sized paper, printing 3 flyers per page ... saves $, greater reach!

Immediate Action Items / Social Networks

  • Set up Facebook, Craig’s List, Yahoo Groups, Kijiji, Toronto.com, The Eye, Torontoist, listings, and post everywhere on Twitter - on first day animal goes missing.
  • Ask friends to post on their Facebook animal groups, Facebook profiles, individual websites - Check Kijiji and Craig’s list ads looking for any postings on animals
  • Email, cross-posting to as many people as you know and ask them to forward far and wide. - Update Facebook pages as often as possible, ensuring continued awareness and buy in.
  • Post to any breed-specific rescue groups or “umbrella organizations” (like C4P), and ask them to post to volunteers/community groups.

Community Outreach:

  • Put posters up immediately in plastic folders (opening at the bottom so rain can't get in) - use thumb tacks, staples or packing tape, and wrap tape around poles for greater stick factor. - Post in high traffic areas: coffee shops, fast food outlets, convenience stores, ATMs, local businesses, local restaurants, police stations, fire stations, public works stations.
  • Report the lost pet to the charity/agency/shelter/rescue concerned.
  • Advise municipal/local animal control e.g., Toronto Animal Services, Toronto Humane Society, Etobicoke Humane, Mississauga Animal Control.
  • Go to the local animal shelters and do physical checks. Don’t take what they say on the phone as they are very busy, and as good as they are, sometimes the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. Go check the runs and the books yourself every day. Talk to the staff and make sure there aren’t other rescues, animal control, pounds and/or SPCA shelters you don’t know about.
  • Complete “lost reports” and have one regular volunteer call daily to check if pet has been reported “found” at one of the shelters. Note: dispatch doesn’t always know what’s happening at the actual shelters.
  • Check/ask if there are any “cadaver reports."
  • Call every shelter around, and further regional ones.
  • Remember, some person could have the pet and dump them later - notify all pounds in and beyond area. Pounds only have to keep a dog 72 hours, then can sell to research or destroy.
  • Call or fax all local vets and offer to pay for care if he is brought in, leave your #s ...otherwise an injured, unidentified pet could be euthanized if they can’t trace it.
  • Send flyers to “Veterinary Purchasing”, a veterinary supply company, who can distribute flyers to all of their veterinary clients in the area code regions: 416, 905 and 519. There is no (current) charge by Vet Purchasing, just the cost of the flyers (2 per page size: about $300)
  • Local vets (research area - fax flyer to vet offices)
  • Local doggie daycares (dogs are often brought to local day cares when found).
  • Local dog walkers (people often bring strays to them when they don’t know what to do)
  • Contact dog walkers in the area and give them a poster/flyer – they are out during the day and can help search. They may be able to suggest local 'hiding places' too.
  • Note to readers: Project Pet Rescue Toronto is researching / compiling a list of all dog walkers in Toronto. Once complete, we wlll be able to “text” lost pet messages to them immediately. Other municipalities/cities/towns are encouraged to develop a list of their own too!
  • Secondary schools, primarily Principals / Guidance offices, in hopes of announcements as well as for possible volunteer assistance from students.
  • Enlist help of neighborhood kids, who spot dogs much more than adults. Kids love cash.
  • If you're a member of Freecycle, post a 'WANTED: information' ad. The Etobicoke group has over 1000 members so it's a great way to reach a lot of people at one time.
  • Post in local area groups: community centers, ratepayers and tenants’ associations, homeowner groups, animal groomers, trainers, civic associations, youth groups, artists groups, churches, local constituency offices of MPs and MPPs, local Councilors, online pet related sites, community organizations, golf courses, etc.
  • Advise/poster local Police – ask for “Communications” or “Dispatch”
  • Advise/poster local Fire and Paramedic stations.
  • Advise local cab companies, enlist the aid of their drivers. Especially early morning drivers. - Alert regional mass transit ie., Go Transit (pr@gotransit.com)
  • Alert local public transit, ie., Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) or local area transit.
  • Contact homeless shelters in area and put some of their worthy constituents to work on the streets! http://www.toronto.ca/housing/sock/see.htm
  • Check area animal went missing for stores with video cameras. You may get lucky!
  • Check “free to good home” newspaper ads.

Walking “Foot Soldiers” & Drivers

Dogs generally stay in and travel a 12 block area unless they are spooked or chased or taken, but do poster and search beyond as well since on many occasions where dogs have been spooked OR chased, they have ended up farther away.

Cats typically take shelter and hide, locally. Think of their patterns – where do they like to go? Look in trouble/danger areas – any construction? Abandoned places? Broken windows? Sewers, tunnels, under porches, in basements, abandoned houses/sheds, TREES?

Turn Vehicles into billboards with neon glass markers. This will encourage other drivers to be more patient with youa nd is also a good way to spread the work. In large print, include Lost Dog, colour, size, reward and your number.

Appoint a group leader for foot searches and a communications leader for emails. The more people you round up, the better. You need an army.

Obtain maps from the search area over the internet; save maps as PDFs; issue to group; divide up the work. Initially, go beyond the search area and work your way “in”.

Map out areas and have volunteers walk blocks in neighborhoods dropping off a lost pet flyer in residential mailboxes, ensuring people have flyers on hand.

Travel in teams of two – one driver, one surveillance person.

Dawn/daytime are the most likely times for pets to forage; at dusk, they are looking for - - Guide efforts of all foot soldiers to avoid redundancies.

Go out at night, and call pet’s name, kindly and firmly, not in a panicked state. Use the same voice you would use if you were praising your dog. Key is to avoid making the dog think that he/she is in trouble as he/she may not then come to you. Bring another dog they like, if there is a dog companion in the household that they are bonded to. Take a flashlight with you.

Speak to the mail carriers, early morning newspaper deliverers, bus drivers. They notice things; they talk to people/each other.

Talk to all the neighbors, within a mile radius (that’s a lot of houses, but you need to do this) – engage your entire family and circle of friends.

Put plywood signs at intersections with REWARD, PET, PHONE #.

Bus stops (bear in mind municipal workers take posters down)( City of Toronto can force you to take them down and/or issue a fine)

Place flyers on windshields of cars at neighbourhood grocery stores. Local people have to eat. Poster grocery stores first, then perhaps malls or local strip malls.

Consider a Canada Post drop to reach the entire area in one fell swoop (find out how to do this and how much it costs now so you have the info ready).

Use a postering company ... this is different from the one that sends to people's houses. They put up posters all around area:

Media:

  • Local newspapers - keep a list of contacts so you can mobilize quickly.
  • Local television and radio stations – LOCAL is everything.
  • Community television stations (Rogers in Ontario/Shaw out West/Cogeco out East)
  • Many media outlets don’t do “lost pet” reports – as, sadly, they occur too frequently and are not “news”. Large Canadian broadcasters like CTV, Global, CBC do not do stories on lost pets unless there is a major community/story involved.
  • Make the story as compelling as possible. Try to get the attention of media personalities who are known pet lovers. Ask if radio/TV stations might publicize on “quiet news days”.

Trapping:

Please ensure you get the guidance of professionals if you need to trap.

Get a large trap with a drop-down guillotine door and set it in a private place, hopefully somewhere that it can be easily and frequently checked. Around a backyard shed and away from activities in the neighborhood, other cars, traffic. They are usually hiding, scared stiff and very hungry.

Now is the time for you to make this your "feeding station". Pet will start smelling good food, hot food that will send the smells around and draw them to the trap.

Trap needs to be camouflaged - animals are not stupid - having the trap in a dark place, up against a wall, side against a wall, cover the top and front and lots of leaves over thin cardboard and/or towel (or both) in the bottom of the trap, so they don't feel the metal grates underfoot, but be very careful not to block or disrupt the door closing with cardboard or towel. Personally I have found it helpful to use a towel or blanket that lines the bottom and  spills out of the crate so that when the dog steps on it, outside the trap, it's a continous, safe surface all the way in.

Set the trap on a hair trigger and test it so the door will fall all the way down and not jam halfway, before adjusting it so that as soon as she goes to the far end to get the food, it will drop down fast and the trap is big enough that animal will be too far away to make it back before the door slams down.

Trap must be monitored at all times. Do not leave it unattended, so you can see when you trap dog or if you trap another animal you can release etc.

Food: hot roasted chicken, turkey meat, bacon, fried liver, pouring a full pot of bubbling hot turkey gravy over all the meat at the far end. If you can smell it, the dog would smell it too.

Set the trap just as night falls, as the dog would be coming out to forage for food under the cover of night.

If you have the confirmed sightings around a certain, house, enlist the persons who live where the trap is set to check on it for you. Most people are more than happy to do so, especially kids.

Once you've trapped the pet, DO NOT open the trap door to take him out. Lash/tie the trap door shut in case you have to transport the cage sideways. Transport the animal in the trap to a safe location, either at a shelter, or inside the owner's home. Resist the urge to open the trap on site. Trust us on this one!

The time following trapping is crucial and prevention steps must be take as you will likely never be able to trap this pet again. Leave him/her quiet for a few days in a quiet area. Re-stabilization of the animal is key.

Clean Up / Follow Up / Wrap Up

  • - Writing 'found' on the posters is a very nice gesture and builds goodwill.
  • Go through entire checklist and advise or notify anyone who helped – keep relations.
  • Update all social networking sites so people don’t continue to look for the animal.
  • Do follow up stories with media.
  • Celebrate your success.
  • Later, be a good citizen and take down your posters. The next lost pet will need the space.

Additional resources/info:

http://www.helpinglostpets.com

http://www.missingpetpartnership.org/recovery-lostdog.php

http://trackersedge.com

PREVENTION IS KEY!

  • Do not leave pets tied up in public places, even for a minute. They get stolen, or, they can get      spooked by a noise or person, get themselves loose, and run.
  • Use extra caution and secure pets when storms are coming / “firecracker” nights.
  • Don’t leave pets unattended in back yards – they are prey to large birds and coyotes.
  • Have a recent picture on hand, including size relationship (beside a person or object).
  • Always have visible identification on your pet in form of name tag with your direct phone numbers and also city license tag - you may eventually need the City’s help!
  • Always have a back up microchip – and make sure the issuing company has updated information every year. Consider leaving chip info in the rescue’s name, with secondary emergency contact info, not in adopter's name.
  • Make sure pets’ collar and/or harness is snug and cannot slip over its head.
  • Make sure there are no holes under fence; that fences are in good repair and there is nothing against the fence that a dog can jump onto, and then over the fence.
  • With rescues, take them out into yard on leash for the first couple of weeks to ensure they are comfortable. Gradually increase their knowledge of their new neighbourhoods, but keep them on leash until you are absolutely certain they are under “voice control”.
  • Because some of rescues tried to bolt out the door when first brought home, keep the leash attached to them for up to a week. That way if they do get out, there is a leash for someone to grab if they can get close enough. And just as important is if they do get away, a dog at large with a leash attached is going to be noticed so reports of the dog will come in much sooner and you will know that it is your rescue. Baby gates are also great for added security.
  • Door darting training tips here.
  • When walking your (new) dog, have a really good grip on the leash (your hand through the loop and holding on), in case dog bolts.
  • Have a list of sources for live traps and their sizes so you know where to get them quickly. - Maintain a list of vet clinics (address, telephone number, email, fax) by area.
  • Eventually, you will need to go on vacation, be away from your pet. Plan in advance how this will play out. Acclimatize them to a local kennel, or, acclimatize them to your mother in law’s place – wherever you are going to place them temporarily, make sure it is not an “unknown” and therefore threatening environment.
  • Research your pet care providers thoroughly.
  • Consider a GPS dog-tracking collar. System is designed for pet owners to quickly and accurately locate their pets by using GPS technology. It consists of a portable, handheld receiver that displays information received from the GPS-enabled collar on your dog.
  • The handheld device uses a LCD screen to show the location and direction of your pet every few seconds and shows you the dog’s current movements. Some GPS Collar Tracking Systems can also be used to set up an invisible fence. When your pet breaks the barrier the GPS Dog Collar Tracking System will send you an audible alert. This invention is a real savior for owners of those escape artists! Websites for reference: www.garmin.com/products/astro www.mydogtrackingcollars.com

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OMD Grows By One More

A big win for the dog walking industry! Shannon joins the oh my dog! team officially this week, after some extensive training with both Katie and me over the last couple of weeks.Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 8.33.26 AM I first met Shannon a year ago during my feral cat rescue work, and took to her immediately. Many of you will recognize her from Queen West Animal Hospital where she’s been the past 3 years (and will remain part time). Prior to that, she was an animal shelter worker for 4 years.

Shannon fits in so well at OMD because she believes in continuing education and often attends seminars on dog training, body language and behaviour. She’s extremely safety conscious, gentle, and unfazed by the various roadblocks and unexpected glitches that inevitably pop up in a day in the life of a dog walker.

Personally Speaking:

Shannon grew up with German shepherds, Dobermans, pit bulls and she’s madly in love with her Miniature American Eskimo, Lukah. She’s also an avid cat lover and rescuer. To keep her our of trouble with the law, we won’t discuss exactly how many cats she’s currently letting rule her household.

A Note for Xmas Time:

Shannon has a small obsession with Gargoyles and collects them.  No cat figurines, please.

More Stuff:

If you know me personally, or follow this blog, you know how seriously I take this job, and how important it is to hold this industry to the highest standards. So finding people that I trust, who I know will do an excellent job, doesn’t happen everyday. I feel so lucky to have found Shannon (and Katie).

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Langley

It was a somber day for dog walkers today. We were all thinking about Langley. As we bumped into our friends and colleagues on the trails and in the parks, we all knew what the other was thinking. Public scrutiny was heavier than usual. Understandable, I suppose. When the story first came out that the dogs had been stolen from the dog walker’s truck, my heart ached for the owners and the dog walker. Then last night, the news broke that all 6 dogs (including the dog walker’s own) had perished due to negligence. Like you, I was reeling. Never in the 11 years I’ve been professionally walking dogs, have I heard a more horrific story involving another professional. How could this happen? How to find a good dog walker? Many media outlets responded by asking pet care professionals how one choses a good dog walker. Many of answers are fairly generic – dog walkers should have a permit, insurance and references. All true. But any dog walker can provide you with an insurance certificate and a permit, because all it takes to obtain these things is money. If you are looking for a good dog walker, don’t stop there.

Listen to your gut. I can’t count the number of calls I’ve taken over the years from new clients who are finally parting ways with their old dog walker over an incident that was, in their words, “the last straw.” There’s a common element to all of these stories – the client always had a “weird feeling” that something was amiss with their walker. All I can say is this: one of the most important aspects of choosing a good dog walker is paying attention to your intuition about the person.

I often ask people why they waited so long to sack a bad dog walker. Their answers almost always have something to do with feeling badly, and not being really sure if their weird feelings were justified. Listen to your gut. You need to have a dog walker who you trust completely.

Healthy Fear. I am paid to keep dogs happy and safe. Every good dog walker puts the safety of their dogs above everything else during a walk - above fun, above how we look to people in the park, and above our pride. Yes, if I have to swim into a freezing lake to rescue a dog that looks like he’s having trouble, I’m doing it. If we’ve been at the park for only 30 minutes, and an aggressive dog arrives, we’re leaving. I love my job and most of the time it’s happy and joyful. But make no mistake, when you see us at the beach or on the trails, tossing balls and running around and having a great time, I’m always on guard. Because at any second, something could change. I’m constantly counting heads (and tails) and keeping a watchful eye the horizon. Anyone who doesn’t have a healthy fear of the things that might go wrong is not cut out for professional dog walking.

You can find out if your dog walker has this instinct by asking the right questions. Please feel free to get in touch with me if you want to discuss it further.

Relationships with you and your dog. Here at OMD, we’re always in contact with our clients. We bond with the humans as well as their dogs. I know everything about my dogs - what they like, what they’re afraid of, how to recall them, what they eat, where they don’t like to be touched, what kinds of people make them uncomfortable, etc... . Your dog walker should have an active, ongoing relationship with you and with your dogs.

To me, those are the most important factors for choosing a dog walker, and/or staying with your current one.

R.I.P. Mia, Buddy, Oscar, Teemo, Salty and Molly

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The TDWA's First Community Event!

Last week the TDWA held its first community event - Spring Clean in Trinity Bellwoods Park. To say it was a success would be an understatement. Our members worked hard to create an event that would help shine a positive light on the dog walking industry and help make a difference at the same time. We were touched by the support we received:

Our next event will be a bit of a sneak attack, so watch out for us! In the meantime, thanks to everyone who came out. And for those of you who dug into your pockets for change and bills, we raised $145 for T.E.A.M. Dog Rescue! Your support means the world.

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