On two of the four days* a week when Gail is out at work, I am taken for an hour long walk at lunchtime by one of my lovely dog walkers. I would like to tell you more about them, even post some pictures, but they are internet-shy and Gail says we have to respect that.
I only bring them up 'cos I thought of them with gratitude when last week I overheard our neighbour Kirsty the vet telling Gail a really scary story involving a dog walking/sitting service.
Kirsty related how a couple had brought an adult dog into a veterinary surgery (not hers, but elsewhere in Scotland), having recently purchased the dog over the internet. It turned out that the dog was microchipped and when the person named on the microchip was contacted, she said, that can't be right, my dog is dead.
Further enquiries revealed that the previous owner had gone on holiday and left the pet in the 'care' of someone who offered a dog walking and pet sitting service. Who told her that the dog had run in front of a car when out for a walk. Who handed her a jar of ashes upon her return saying that was all that was left of poor pup.
Except for none of this was true. The wicked pet sitter had made the whole thing up and, through an intermediary, had organised the sale of the dog.
The story had a happy ending in that dog and owner were reunited and the miscreants prosecuted. We hope that the unfortunate couple who were duped out of £200 found another genuine rescue dog to bring into their home and love.
Gail and I feel so lucky in having a dog walkers whom we trust completely. (They are a husband and wife team, a retired prison officer and schoolteacher, so I do have to mind my P's and Q's…)
Oh but if only everyone understood and respected the precious bond between us dogs and our humans.
*On the other two days, Gail comes home for lunch and walks me round the block.