Think of your favourite activity... and then imagine life without it. That's what our dogs constantly feel.
To a dog, a walk is everything. It's a time when they go out into the real world, sniffing every inch of the grass, every tree trunk and lamp post, communicating with dogs who have come and gone. During that short fifteen to twenty minutes, they are no longer confined within the four walls of the shelter. The world is theirs to conquer and they trot about like the most important creatures on earth.
In good months, the dogs at Gentle Paws get a walk once a week. In bad ones, some go without walks for up to three weeks to a month. This probably explains why the moment we so much as hold a leash, our entire clan starts barking their heads off, as if to say... Take me! Bring me! Iam the dog who deserves a walk!
Very often, we have had to disappoint. But we hate to do so. You see, a dog wants a walk... but more importantly, a dog needs a walk. How much exercise can a dog get being cooped up in the shelter? Sure we feed them well, but how are they going to work off all the pent-up energy they build up without a good long walk?
On a good weekend, we have about 6 volunteers come down. 3 remain behind to wash the rooms, mend the flooring, do the dishes and sometimes shower for the dogs. The remaining 3 are left to walk as many dogs as their stamina allows them to. The less experienced can only handle one excited dog at a time. Even the more experienced can only take up to 3 dogs at a go. We are shorthanded in this area and we confess... we need some help.
This is why, after much reflection, we are introducing our Pledge-A-Walk (PAW) Program! You don't need to be rich or have cash to spare in order to lend us a helping hand. We just need you to be there at Gentle Paws, ready for a walk or two. The PAW Program involves pledging a regular walk for a particular dog (or more)... It might be once a week or once a fortnight... or if you are busy, even once a month.
We have a dream, a great big dream that our furkids are able to go for long satisfying walks and come back so exhausted they go straight for their water bowls and then flop down on their belly for a snooze.
Visitors to our shelter sometimes come down to our shelter looking a little lost and feeling a little helpless. So let us tell you, this is where you can make a world of a difference. Fulfill a dog's dream... fulfill our dream... Pledge a walk today!
If you're interested in making making a pledge to our furkids (of course we won't hold you to it if you can't make it sometimes!), do drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not meant to sound preachy... it's something we truly believe in... Regular volunteering is good for the soul. If you haven't tried it and you feel like your life is a little empty, please! Come on board our PAW Program and make a friend for life!
(All photos are credited to Sebastian and other volunteers who have uploaded their photos one time or another.)