There's only one way to fill that dog-shaped hole in my heart. A dog! Or two!
I lost my soulmate Sheltie some years ago. I never once imagined living without a dog for the rest of my days. But chronic ill health, enforced early retirement and the financial restraints that brings had other ideas. I can no longer afford to give a dog the life with me that faithful friend deserves.
Instead, I dogsit.
Just for friends, for family, sometimes for charity.
The owners are people who know me, trust me totally, share their precious pets with me while they go on holiday.
Like me, these friends would never put their furry family member in kennels. So they bring them to me. I never ask for payment. The dogs' company's reward enough for me! Yet owners often insist on payment in kind, or whatever the going rate at a kennel might be, or a donation to my favourite charity, like INVEST IN M.E. RESEARCH.
My long garden's big and secure enough to let dogs run and play to their hearts' content. The woods and walks are round the corner. I still have my old lad's toys and blankets to supplement their own if needs be.
Sometimes I'm just too poorly for a while and have to turn down prospective dog-sittings with regret. Of course, the various special regulars in question understand. But at times when I'm not house-bound or bed-bound, I take this delightful opportunity to put a little bit back into the doggy community, put a little piece of my heart back in place for a while.
This is one of those blessed times.
Here they are! My special VIP guests! (see pictures)
Mustn't keep them waiting.
As author Dean Koontz says:
"Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished."
|Me and my own Sheltie lad, |
Pinch Mill Beck, South Yorkshire c 2004.