Facebook Can Do One!
I'm not going to lie, I was a bit pee'd off when Facebook enticed me into the whole avatar thing with a profile pic of a friend's looking gorgeous and a 'try me' button next to it. I clicked on it hoping for a 'snapchatesque' transformation to appear, only to find that Facebook had been spying on me! Data protection must be out of the window because this daddy of social media knew that I had put on 8lbs during lockdown and aged three years in 7 weeks. Whilst everyone else emerged flawless and looking amazing, my pre-formed (zero editing by me) avatar looked like I had the shortest legs, a huge ass and and wrinkles in all the places I do actually have wrinkles, I can only assume that FB have scanned by pictures and come up with their own conclusion that I've given up on myself! I was quite pleased with my hair though so the accuracy there was hopefully spot on (always a silver lining).
So despite being disgusted with my even more rounded figure and face of lines, I had to hand it to FB, I HAD let myself go somewhat recently and they knew it. When you're in lockdown with two young children there isn't much motivation to impress, and with a house full of more food than ever before it's easy to give in to temptation. The issue is further compounded by the fact that I am still writing my book. I'm now on Chapter 10 and even though the book is quite short in relative terms to others out there, to me the writing process is taking an age. I am finding that I am working in the business all day, looking after my children, trying to keep them entertained and fed and organising their digital social lives ( you would not believe the zoom calls a seven year old can have in a week), so I'm not getting down to any writing until 9pm at the earliest and of course when I hit a wall, usually at midnight....I like to hit the fridge too! It's a sad state of affairs after getting on top of my diet and reaching a good weight for me, I can only hope that once I'm done, I can get back into my usual healthier routine and improve that avatar of mine.
It'll be interesting to see how people have changed post lockdown, particularly with beauty salons and hairdressers being closed. I know its only been 7 weeks but as my own experience has told me, that's a long time if you usually get 'groomed' every couple of weeks. Perhaps we will realise that none of that really matters, our eyebrows and nails.....who is all that for? The man in our life or our own self worth. I had my first EVER salon hair colour just before lockdown after doing it myself for years (hence why I was at least pleased that the FB Avatar got my hair looking swell at least). Sods law that now I will have to do it myself again to cover the grey roots....or maybe I won't bother. I may not be the only one to emerge heavier and a bit rougher looking than before.
The main thing is, is that we are all OK. I have taken this time to really plough into all the business ideas and routes I've been trying to go along for a long time, the time away from walking has given me a little window of opportunity to really bare down on those things that I really must get done, writing the book being one of them. The list is long, but I am determined to make this time count, and even though my grey hairs show, my wrinkles have deepened and my ass has grown....I'm making progress and am ticking off the to-do's and right now I feel that that is what really matters. If you have achieved any goals during this time, give yourself a high five and congratulate yourself.....it's tough to keep going when you feel like hibernating under the duvet some days. And if like me, the odd snack or treat keeps your chin up, well that's not such a bad thing either......just don't expect your FB Avatar not to notice!!
Until next time, keep snacking....I mean smiling.
Writing A Book Makes Me Dog Tired....especially as I've only given myself 2 months!!
As you can tell by the date, I'm writing this post during lockdown in the UK. I should infact be writing my book as I've put myself under a bit of pressure. I have been wanting to write a book for ages and thought I may have time to finally get one under my belt whilst the world stood still. With this is mind, when I was interviewed by Woman and Home magazine a couple of weeks ago, they were asking me about my business journey. They were doing an article about how women of my age have launched successful pet businesses in the last five years. My story was about how I launched my dog walking business with very little investment and what it has now become within three years. During the interview they said my story was inspirational (which was lovely to hear) and when asked what my next steps were, I proclaimed that I was writing a book. As I say, the idea had been in my head a while and I thought this was the ideal time to put it in motion, after all the magazine was coming out in July 2020.....I had plenty of time right and anyone reading the interview would perhaps go on to buy the book if they too were inspired?!
As I hung up from the interview, I felt excited that I had given myself some accountability at last, to get my ass into gear and start churning out the chapters. I'd also put myself under immense pressure to get it done in 60 days. When I say done, I mean drafted, re-drafted, proof read, edited, formatted, cover designed, printed! Not only did I now need to write the bloody thing, but I had to learn all that stuff too.
It was a bit of a reckless decision considering that in lockdown I am still running my business (even though we are not actually walking), I have other projects that need my attention, and more importantly I am home schooling my two primary school aged children (aged 6 and 7).
So I'm posting this blog as a bit of a marker of an experiment: Will the accountability make me get to this goal in record time (in time for the magazine feature), or will the pressure get me down, add to the gloom and stress of the situation and cause me to fail (with me finishing after the magazine deadline).
Time will tell, but time is the enemy and yet time is what I've been given as lockdown continues.
I'm excited to see if I reach the goal post and anxious to see myself fail. Let's see how this strange time pans out. I'll be back to update myself (and therefore you) through regular posts but in the meantime rejoice in the fact that at least I have a working title: From Poor To Paw ( and then a bit more ......that I've not decided on yet)!!
Ps. Additional pressure loaded on by offering you a chance to win a copy in the ......no pressure! ( and GOOD LUCK) xx
Easter Sunday's Message of Hope in these uncertain times.
These are uncertain times for sure, a time of unprecedented global upheaval and worry, a time of great sadness. Some may be grieving, some may be lonely and scared and some may be apprehensive about their future, not nice feelings at all. We have not experienced anything like this in our lifetime.
But today is Easter Sunday, a day when re- birth, and the healing of humanity is celebrated all over the world. Today we come together to celebrate this special day and even though we may not be with our loved ones, not be celebrating in exactly the way we would hope, it's a day when we need to remember that the world will heal, nature will renew itself and things will return to normal eventually.
The sun will rise on a better day.
Hopefully not too far in the future we will feel better about things and feel better about the future. Whether you're religious or not, Easter Sunday will always portray hope. It's very symbols reflect the springtime, awakening and the renewal of all that was lost through the winter months. I hope today for my 'Paws for Thought' you can find comfort in the message of Easter, find comfort in those around you, find comfort in the un-floundering love of your dog or pet, from those in your household, your immediate family. Let's hope today is the start of things getting better, the start of brighter days ahead.
Happy Easter to you all and good health to all I know and love.
The clocks have sprung forward, robbing us of an hour today and usually this would be a bit of an inconvenience on a Sunday evening, but as we're in lockdown, the loss of an hour to British Summer Time is neither here nor there. Tomorrow is the same as today, today was the same as yesterday, each day we wake up and my children ask me what they are doing today? My answer is the same, we're spending time together. I've no job at the moment, I'm not a key worker (huge shout out to those that are ♥️) and my day to day role now is to home school my two young children which is trickier than expected but is going quite well considering they're of a similar age but with very different personalities! Instead of having to juggle my parental duties with running my business which usually proves stressful and leaves me with zero time to myself, the balance of work/ home life at present is much easier. We can't leave the house except to shop for food and take one walk a day so once home school has closed for the day, I'm finding myself with time on my hands and loving it! I've been listening to audiobooks, reading books, researching new projects and catching up with family and friends over the phone. It's been nice to do nothing, to sit in the garden and just listen to children playing, birds singing and doing a bit of gardening. It's been nice to clear out the cupboards and re-arrange my clothes drawers. It's been nice to have some head space, to put some order to my thoughts and plan things which have been on my to do list for ages. So even though the circumstances in which we find ourselves are unnerving, worrying and we may feel apprehensive about money, food, loved ones, health and how long this 'staying home' will last, let's embrace this opportunity to press pause, to take our foot off the gas, to do the things we've usually never got time to do. Let's also hope that when we get through this period of history, we'll remember that doing less was actually ok and perhaps full speed ahead wasn't that good for us after all. Sometimes it's ok to 'Paws for Thought' and although we'd like normality back, we can also hopefully make the most of right here and now. ♥️
The first thing I want to say is that I understand that we are in unprecedented territory with the outbreak and spread of the novel Coronavirus or Covid-19, and as a business we take the implications of the virus very seriously. Over the next day or so, I will set out the changes that we are making to help combat/ slow down the spread of this virus, but firstly, I wanted to start with YOU, and set out 6 easy ways to try and keep yourself well.
I'm no medic or health worker, I humbly walk dogs for a living, and in addition to following guidelines, I think we need to take a common sense, panic free approach and the process should start with looking after ourselves and protecting our bodies from attack, so here's a few ideas of just how to do that:
1. Get your immune system in tip top condition- this seems like a no brainer to me, surely improving our immune system by eating vitamin rich foods particularly Vitamin A and C is a sure fire way to help ward off any virus. Eating lots of fresh fruit and veg particularly super foods like brocolli, kale, blueberries, oranges sweet potato, butternut squash, beetroot are full of these essential vitamins while grains, seeds, pulses, oily fish, tumeric and ginger for example will get your body in tip top condition, making it more able to fight off infection and viruses. Probiotic drinks and yogurts are also beneficial in keeping your gut healthy and ensuring your bodies natural defenses are fighting virus's, colds and flu.
2. Water! Wash your hands in it (often), drink it (often)- being properly hydrated enables your body to work properly, all your internal functions slow down and become less effective if you are dehydrated so water is a key component in fighting off any viral attacks. The recommended daily amount is 2 litres.
3. Walk your dog- now of course I would say that, but dog walking DOES actually help you ward off poor health (don't have a dog?...go for a walk anyway, it'll do you the world of good).....why?-
* Fresh air is good for you, it makes you feel better, fills your lungs with clean air rather than stale, recycled indoor air more likely to contain viral droplets etc.
* Being outdoors reduces stress, stress can suppress your immune system leaving you more open to catching colds, flu and viruses ,so being less stressed improves your immunity naturally.
* Even moderate exercise improves your immunity and reduces stress so dog walking naturally boosts your endorphins which in turn improves your feel good factor.....its a win- win!
* Being outdoors boosts your Vitamin D intake, an essential vitamin that stimulates the release of peptides which are our bodies virus fighting substances.
4. Get enough sleep- being tired reduces the bodies natural defence mechanisms, so try to stick to as normal a routine as possible, going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, enhances the quality of sleep, regulating our internal functions and in turn improving our immunity.
5. Tune out- easier said than done when the tv and radio are constantly forecasting doom and gloom. Would you feel better if you took a break from tv, social media and newspapers? Perhaps read a book, do some drawing, phone a friend and get some positive vibes back in your daily routine. Constantly listening to the news as it unfolds isn't going to change the outcome, but taking a few hours for yourself, a bit of an escape from the constant Covid noise may just lessen your stress. Stress is not good for our bodies, it makes us feel tired, depletes our defenses and makes us grumpy......a perfect reason to switch off and chill out for a few hours I'd say.
6. Help someone in need- lending a hand to someone worse off than yourself, actually improves your own health! The feel good factor of doing a kind deed has been proven to release endorphins into our blood stream, which in turn lowers our blood pressure, regulates our heart rate and breathing, what's not to love about that. As long as you are symptom free, your hands are clean and you are following guidelines, our community is relying on people to do the right thing and round about NOW is the right time to perhaps be helping out a neighbour or loved one.
I've just got back from a weekend away, and as always like to take a bit of time to think back over the week for Sunday's 'Paws For Thought'.
As the picture shows, I did a bit of walking with my lovely someone special (you may remember my post a while ago about dating, well shortly after that post I struck extremely lucky and I am now in a relationship with a wonderful man who has far exceeded my expectations ♥️)!
So, this week I've been getting stressed about things that might happen, things that could go wrong and things that I'm needing to hand over control of, which has made me feel uncomfortable when in reality all my worries came to nothing and things turned out far better than I could have ever anticipated.
Similar to my family life, I've had lots of worries about my business in the past that never came to fruition either. I worried I was too expensive, worried staff wouldn't deliver the service as well as I could and recently worried that I was getting so busy that I could no longer juggle things effectively.
The idea of the business first came to fruition in the Lake District many years ago when I lived there, and I decided I wanted to offer a service that catered for the clever, intelligent beings that dogs are and offer a more enriching experience rather than just provide a walk around a boring bit of local grass! Nowadays that vision is well and truly playing out and I'm at the point where I now need to hand over more control for some parts of the business to my staff, freeing up time for me to concentrate on some bigger plans. It's going to take trust and communication and luckily I've good people waiting in the wings to step up. In every aspect of life it's ok to worry, but it's also essential to break through those worries and just do it....feel the fear and do it anyway (to quote the infamous Susan Jeffers book).
So I'm moving forwards in many areas of my life and taking a leap of faith. I'm excited to see where it will lead me, but most of all I'm going to enjoy the journey it takes me on. While the year is still young, perhaps see if there are areas where you can do the same and let's see where 2020 takes us.
Welcome to my first 'Paws for Thought' of 2020 and my reflections of the New Year so far! I ended the year on a high with a fantastic video of our achievements at PAWS in 2019 and seeing how far we'd come in just 12 months was a proud moment for me and one which has spurred me on to achieve even more in 2020. However, despite my hunger for success in the year ahead, and making plans for moving forward, I always like to look at the past week on a Sunday and see what lessons I can gain through spending time with our four pawed, furry companions and my family.
As the new year begins, it's a natural time to think about fresh starts, new routines and starting over. It struck me this week that dogs have a natural ability to have a 'fresh start' mindset and rarely bare a grudge (except in extreme cases). They take each moment as an opportunity to gain something, experience something, do something new. They rarely dwell on the outcome the last time they tried something and are always hopeful of getting what they want.
Take Maisie here in the picture, she's looking at me with her nose twitching trying to smell treats, she knows that if she does a trick or pose for me that treats will follow but possibly remembers that I had none to give her moments before as she did the log run as I had run out. She doesn't realise however that my daughter has remembered that she some left! Despite knowing she got none last time, she tries again....a fresh new chance to get a treat, no grudge for not giving her one at the last attempt. And that's what's so brilliant about dogs.....their mindset of always trying.... just in case. Always being hopeful of a positive outcome, always willing to give it a try just to see if they win!
So as you start your new year, try to let go of any previous fails, disappointments and frustrations and make an effort to try again, just to see if the outcome improves. This time you might get lucky, you might just get your timing right and get the reward you seek. Don't let the previous niggles and worry stop you from giving it another shot. Just like Maisie, your next reward might be creeping up on you ready to make your day.
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' January 5th 2020❤️🐾
As midnight passes on Sunday and I think about this weeks 'Paws for Thought' one thing strikes me as my motivator, my fuel and my reason for doing what I do week in week out: my family ❤️!
My mum is visiting this week and she's helping to look after my children during half term week. She's 82 years old and has seen a lot in life. She knows that I work hard and I love the work I do but questioned my motivation on why I'm putting in such effort for sometimes, very little gain. She watched me work this weekend when I could have spent the day relaxing, and watches me work all week and well into the evening time when others are perhaps watching TV or chatting to friends. In response to her question, I had a think as to why I work so much and decided that my reason for building up my business faster than I possibly need to, isn't just financial reward although that of course is important, but it's more to do with building up a 'thing' that I'm proud of and enjoy. I want my children to see me accomplish something from nothing, to teach them that it's possible to have a dream and make it come to life, to have an idea and with a lot of dedication and hard work watch it grow. I'd like them to be proud of my achievements some day and understand that their Mummy engineered a life for herself centred around doing something she loved and enjoyed. It's taken me a long time to find my 'thing' and now I have I'm going to keep working until this vision comes to fruition. Some people will try and stop me, knock down my confidence, make things difficult and try and improve their own positions off the hard work I put in. Others will encourage me, support me and show me the patience and I understanding I need to get me to where I want to be. I'm on a mission, and I've a solid motivation fueling me and that is the fire within my tummy; love for my work, love for my ideas, love for my family. It's wonderful to be fuelled by this, rather than a financial goal. It gives me a freedom to follow my heart and do what I love and be true to myself. The rewards will follow, of this I'm sure and I'll be proud I got there through my own dedication, good character and strength.
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' post October 2019 ❤️🐾
This Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' is a bit of a shout out to how great we are! It's not often I draw attention to the mission of P.A.W.S. but this week, as I muse about the dogs we've helped and cared for this week, it's clear that we really focus on the dogs and how we can best service them, rather than our bottom line!
It's obvious that our name P.A.W.S is an acronym of Paws Adventure Walking Service which describes us as a Dog Adventure company pretty well, but the name can mean so much more when you look at HOW we deliver this service. You see, we don't just bundle as many dogs as we can together and ignore their well-being on the walk. Our mission as a company is to ensure that the dogs are teamed with other SUITABLE dogs that not only get on, but compliment each others personalities, and are able to support eachother positively. Our groups are tailor made to solve an issue that the owner is experiencing and in turn get the best outcome for the dog.
Take paddy (pictured) for example, he's super nervous of other dogs and didn't even want to walk on our first time out together, and now within a few weeks of patience and determination to overcome his barriers, he now joins Willow and Maddie out on an adventure twice a week. Then there's Maddie, another nervous one who used to shake and snarl in fear, now zooms at top speed with a group and is loving life. Last week there was Ozzy, who wouldn't walk either, but is now starting with me to try and get him integrated slowly into a suitable group.
There's lots of dogs who we work slowly and steadily with to improve their confidence and get them achieving their owners goals. We do this through positivity, encouraging them to achieve a favourable outcome, by improving their well-being and providing a service that offers specialist support, suited to the needs of the particular dog.
We are ALL about the needs of the dogs rather than the needs of the company, and that is what I believe sets us apart. Our groups are individually crafted to keep the dogs happy. I'm proud of that fact and strive to deliver a service that is Positive, encourages Achievement, promotes Well-being and is Special!
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' Post- October 2019❤️🐾
I usually have a think about the weeks events and formulate them into Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' and this week was mainly about Cockapoos work wise and dates, on a personal level. In complete contradiction to a recent article in the Daily Mail I featured in about how I prefer dogs to men, I have actually started to think about trying to find myself a man, a partner, an other half, a fella.....and that process starts with a date and the mutual sussing out as to whether this person is possibly a potential mate. I've been on a few recently and funnily enough, it got me thinking about Cockapoo's. After the initial excitement wore off and I was alone, my over active brain started working out all the good bits and the not so good bits and it dawned on me that perhaps what I'm hoping for doesn't actually exist! So why the link to Cockapoo's. Well this week I had the pleasure of spending time with a whole field full of these beautiful dogs and it got me wondering why the mix of breeds even exists. Surely the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle are sufficiently good dogs to fill the needs and desires of dog lovers? When did the personality traits and physical appearance of each breed become 'not enough' for us? Yes the Cockapoo is an absolutely gorgeous dog, and has the intelligence, beauty and vivacity of those two breeds combined but I do wonder why we 'needed' it? Was the Cocker Spaniel too 'shedding' and lost too much hair and was the Poodle not cute enough? The combination is of course a complete success and hugely popular, and they are infact now one of my favourite breeds, but they are also a victim of their own success with alot needing to be rehomed once folk realise how high maintenance they actually are . My point is that we must have sought perfection, traits that satisfy our every need with no compromise. Is this how I am with men? When actually I'm just looking for a bit of company and affection! So after reflection, I've decided to be a bit more laid back, not so judgemental, and embrace the Poodle in it's natural state and not demand a perfect mix of all the best traits. So with that attitude (and a natural love for poodles) let's see where we are by Christmas!
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sundays 'Paws for Thought' post- Sept 2019❤️
With the Autumn Equinox being today, This week's 'Paws for Thought' is a day late. Autumn is my favourite season, she never disappoints in her delivery of sunshine, blazing through vibrant colours. Even in this country, the beauty of the season is breathtaking. The equinox in signifying the equal measure of day and night is so neat, so simple and so inviting to embrace.......it's a chance to renew, start again, regroup, reflect and start a new cycle.
As a dog walker I really feel connected with nature and the local environment in which I walk. I've been walking through the seasons for many a year. I remember when I first moved to the Wirral with my beloved dog Bebe, I felt like I was on holiday. I couldn't believe the countryside surrounding me. We walked for miles, learning new routes, figuring out which lanes lead to where, visiting every little patch of this majestic landscape until it was etched into mind forever. Now I walk these same tracks for a living, no longer with my beloved dog, but with your dogs, always remembering the time when we visited these places together. As the seasons change, I always notice and find pleasure in seeing the changes around me. The smell of the earth in spring as it erupts into life, the pop of the gorse bush pods as they burst open, the excited chatter of birds in the trees planning their families. In summer the sound of the buzzards overhead, circling in triplicate looking for food. In Autumn the scent of the berries ripening in the hedgerows and the low slow hum of the bees frantically collecting before winter closes everything down. I see and feel, and smell and notice all the changes with acceptance and excitement. Every season bring good things if you get out there and look for them. I have to agree with Emily Bronte, it is a delight to see the falling leaves. For me, it's not the end of sunshine or the signaling of death, but moreso nature taking stock, shedding weight and refuelling. We all need to take a rest, recharge and let things go that weigh us down. Embrace the seasons, they are part of the cycle of your life and have their own delights to offer. Enjoy your autumn- Mrs Paws
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' post- Sept 2019❤🐾
So the school summer holidays are nearly at the end and we've survived the six weeks without too much stress. A few glitches here and there but essentially it's been A- OK. The great thing about this business is that to a degree, you can combine the day job with the job of being a Mum and to me that is worth it's weight in gold. Having the flexibility to be there for my children, as well as build a successful and growing business centred around the things I love: being a Mum, dogs and nature is a blessing which I'm thankful for every day. From their perspective having a Mum that's available (to a certain degree) for all the important stuff in life is great for them. I get to do the school run and be there at all those critical steps along the way. They also see me working hard to achieve my goals and provide for them as a family, which can only serve them well in the future and of course they get to spend time outdoors, in all weathers with both dogs and nature, and both those things are elements that in my opinion, no childhood should be without.
So even though at times, I did get ignored when I told my children to stop doing something, and I did have to carry human bribes as well as doggy treats on the adventures, and I did have to console my offspring when a dog stole their best den making branch (Bella I'm looking at you here 😁), the joy I get from seeing them all play together, learn together and have fun is worth the extra patience needed to get through.
So this Sunday's 'PAWS for Thought' is this; no matter how out of sync, time consuming, patience testing your little family team can feel at times, the fact that you're together experiencing the outdoors and a sense of adventure as one unit.... is all good!
Time goes so quickly and the time will no doubt come when my children won't want to be by my side so much anymore, and even though our dog adventures have lasted double the time with them in tow and the den building caused a few tears and frustrations, in the end it was lovely just to be together and I've cherished those moments very much. Happy Sunday and enjoy your own little team ❤️🐾- Mrs PAWS
I ventured out last night to a lovely garden party of the owners of a dog that I adventure; Roscoe. I've not seen him for a week as I've been on holiday and the welcome he gave me on arrival was tremendous, he got super excited to see me and barked and made a huge fuss. He thought I was taking him out for a walk, but I showed him my heels and explained the situation and eventually he understood and calmed down. He kept checking in with me just to double check that I hadn't changed my mind and even followed me to the toilet and whined through the door at me. He was besotted and I watched him work his way around the garden checking out all the other guests, deciding which ones were likely to pet him and give him a fuss....he was seeking out the 'doggy people' and approached each one, sniffing out their dog friendliness, but he always returned to me, having evaluated that apart from his owners, I was the next best bet for a cuddle and a bit of pizza!
Watching him got me thinking about how I myself interact with new people. I've recently started to date after a period of not going out and now I'm having to meet new people and I'm finding that I guage whether I'm going to like someone based on their opinion of dogs!
It's often one of my first questions upon meeting a new person, the conversation going like: 'so dogs......are you a fan'? The answer to this gives me great insight as to whether it's likely we'll get on. Like dogs themselves, I can usually sense alot about a person based on their ability to like, love, show kindness to dogs. If they are not a dog person, there's not much else I want to talk about and through past experiences, if a dog dislikes a person it usually follows that I will too.
So my 'Paws for Thought' this week is this: be guided by your dog, by all means work the room (or in Roscoe's case, the garden) and be open to conversation with people you don't know, but once you've found ones that reflect kindness, make you feel comfortable, give you positive vibes and make you feel like you can be yourself......stick with those ones and quickly move on from those who do not reaffirm your views.
Enjoy your Sunday- Mrs PAWS ❤🐾
With the final minutes of Sunday to pass, today's 'Paws of Thought' gets me thinking about the company a dog provides to so many people, without words our furry best friends give us comfort, warmth, love, protection, loyalty, fun, friendships and reassurance just by being there....a silent partner who watches our every move, feels our every emotion and always has our back, no questions asked. Dogs really do GIVE so much to us that the very experience of owning one is not only a privilege, but possibly the most unconditional relationship you'll ever have in your life. Embrace their love each day, as the only downside is that theirs is too short and the love outlives the life itself.
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice- July 2109❤🐾
In an industry where competition is rife, passions are high and standing out from the crowd seems impossible.....focus on your dream, dedicate yourself to what you truly love, stand by your beliefs and others will follow but never lead. In this Sunday's 'PAWS for Thought' I'm reflecting on what makes greatness, and I think I've found it; being able to give and serve without ever expecting anything in return. Whatever life throws your way, rise above and be the more generous person, be a giver not a taker, a lover not a hater, have generosity of spirit not resentment. Walk your own path and never be afraid to stick to your route, even when others try to knock you down. To give is to receive....and that's an inescapable, universal truth- you WILL be rewarded ♥️🐾
Taken from @pawsadventurewalkingservice instagram
Every Sunday I post to Instagram and Facebook my ramblings and observations about my week immersed in my doggy/ child centred world that is P.A.W.S.
According to the Russian physiologist Pavlov, dogs have the ability to learn conditioning reflexes, which are behaviours that are predicted and learned in response to a set, repeated pattern of stimuli. In Pavlov's case contrary to what you were taught at school, his dogs responded by salivating to the sight of him in a white coat (rather than the sound of a bell as was once believed) as they had learned to associate this visual stimuli with getting food, hence they would salivate. Once the dogs learned that when Pavlov entered the room in his white coat, they would be fed the sight of him promoted the response every time.
Basil the Greyhound pictured, also salivates and licks his lips every time I get my phone out and point it at him, he also does it when I ask him to perform a task. In fact alot of my adventure dogs are so clever and switched on, that they often perform the task without me even asking and salivate in anticipation of the treat. They know the routine, they've learned the behaviour and they expect the reward. Their ability to learn linked sequences of events make them an extremely trainable species, enabling them to be trained to do pretty much anything.
I recently shared a post on Facebook about the rescue Staffie who has been trained to sniff out drugs and cash for the Police. I work with a dog who is an Assistance Dog for a young lady in a wheelchair, he helps her around the house doing domestic chores for her, and last week I met a dog who alerts her owners when her blood sugars are high or low. Dogs are such amazing creatures who love to learn, have the mental capacity to work things out and can use their super scenses to save lives.
So for today's ' PAWS for Thought' I'm asking you to view your dog as more than just a cute fluff ball (although they are of course that too). I want you to recognise their huge potential and mental capabilities, they will get bored if you don't stimulate them, they will develop issues if they are not interacted with and they will get depressed if they're left alone, getting frustrated all day. Give them what they deserve and teach them to reach their potential...it's huge! Enjoy your Sunday.
Sarah Marles a.k.a. Mrs PAWS- Owner at Paws Adventure Walking Services.
It was only a couple of weekends ago that I settled myself down on the sofa and enjoyed the grand final of one of my favourite shows, Britain's Got Talent 2019. Ever since Pudsey the dog won the show in 2012, I've always hoped to see another dog reach the final, and so this year was a treat. To see such a beautiful, heroic and loyal animal get so far in the competition was amazing, and Finn the police dog brought me and the nation to absolute tears with his incredible bravery and amazing magical talents. Finn was stabbed whilst trying to protect his handler in 2016 and suffered almost fatal wounds, the assailant received a mere slap on the wrist with only 8 months in a juvenile offenders institution. Finn's runner up position in the show, did nothing to diminish the effect he and his handler Dave Wardell had on the nation and the knock on effect was that hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition to demand that police dogs were given protection and recognised as serving members if assaulted in the line of duty.
After months of delays as the proposed bill slowly passed through the system, the petition undoubtedly added more pressure onto the government to act and thankfully on June 8th 2019 Finn's Law finally came into force. This means that it now a criminal offence to injure or kill a service animal, which carries a heightened sentence and gives added protection to service dogs and horses.
So this got me thinking about a police dog related theory that I have had in my head for a number of years. I've always found it fascinating how dog breed popularity goes through trends. Round my way, when I was young the dog to have at the end of a lead was a Doberman Pincer or Rottweiler if you had a score to settle (in your own head) or a property to defend, and the everyday family dog was what we used to call a Mongrel or a Heinz 57 dog, (nowadays these cross breed dogs are called shitzapoos.....I kid you not, or springerdors or labradoodles), and today, the dog to have at the end of a lead if you've a score to settle is a Staffie or Bulldog cross. Now before all you Staffie/ Bull breed lovers jump on my words with venom and tell me that you have a Staffie purely because you LOVE the breed...... I hear you! I was a bull breed owner myself who doted on my beautiful strong, amazing dog. I loved her look, her beauty and her strength and she lived a blissfully happy life with me into her old age ( I still miss her 3 years after losing her....the love never fades).
My point is, that unfortunately nowadays, because this breed type has strength and agility, a muscular build and unending loyalty to their human, this type of dog often gets into the wrong hands and often sadly get abandoned or becomes unwanted, with only the lucky ones ending up in rescue centres up and down the country. This mixed bull breed of dog now makes up more than 80% of dogs in animal shelters nationwide and the numbers are not slowing down. It's highly unlikely that all these dogs will be successfully rehomed due mainly to their sheer numbers, and many are unfortunately destroyed to make room for the never ending stream of strays. My thoughts therefore, to help improve this situation and to help these dogs being so attractive to the 'wrong type of people' is for the police to start training and using bull breeds as future police dogs. They would certainly make amazing partners in anti-crime; they are strong and athletic, fiercely loyal, clever and agile but the huge advantage for the dogs themselves is that if the police force were to roll out a national Staffordshire Bull Terrier police dog training programme, this breed would soon fall out of favour with the riff raff, and they would no longer be 'the breed' to have if you want to look tough.
My friends in the dog world will tell you that I've held this theory for many a year and have never been sure how to get momentum behind the idea, and so have been pleased to see recently that in some areas of the UK this notion is coming to fruition, with some forces taking Staffie's under their wing, rescuing them from shelters, and training them up with success. The first success story being ' Cooper' who now works for Staffordshire Police as a sniffer dog. He was rescued by Staffordshire Police after spending 7 months in a rescue centre unwanted and facing an uncertain future. Now he works as part of a dedicated team, serving and protecting the public and thanks to Finn's Law now has increased protection and recognition as a serving animal. I think that is a brilliant outcome for Cooper and hope that in the next 10 years we will see a rising trend in Staffie/ Bull breed police dogs and a lowering trend in so many of these beautiful, loving and super clever dogs ending up in rescue centres.
Just for the record, my bull breed cross Bebe was a rescue and an amazing dog through and through, she brought love into my life on a daily basis and back then, the situation in her rescue centre was similar to now.....full of similar breeds looking for love and being overlooked. I adopted her in 2005 and Copper the police dog was rescued in 2018, that's very slow progress for a breed that deserves so much more credit and recognition.