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