Dog-shar­ing scheme a hit with re­tirees

Rodney Times - - OUT & ABOUT - MATTHEW CATTIN

From walk­ers, to dog walk­ers, a new dog-shar­ing move­ment is en­rich­ing the lives of re­tirees and pooches alike.

Its aim is to find ev­ery dog a new best friend.

Founded by Wai­w­era’s San­dra Walker in 2016, The Dog Share Col­lec­tive is a com­mu­nity-led ser­vice that brings dogs and hu­mans to­gether on­line for a mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial com­pan­ion­ship.

Users will cre­ate pro­files for them­selves or their pets to en­joy the ben­e­fits of the col­lec­tive. which will in­clude dog walk­ing, dog sit­ting and net­work­ing.

The col­lec­tive is pre­par­ing to launch of­fi­cially in Novem­ber, but has al­ready achieved suc­cess con­nect­ing dogs with the el­derly.

Res­i­dents at May­grove Rest Home were this week vis­ited by four furry new friends; Bax­ter, Sooty, Molly and Bis­cuit.

So thor­oughly en­joyed were they at the rest home, the res­i­dents started plot­ting a dog­nap­ping.

‘‘This week we have been con­nect­ing with su­per-an­nu­i­tants, re­tirees and rest home res­i­dents to ad­vise them of our new on­line match­ing ser­vice which can find them lo­cal lonely dogs who would love a short walk to the park dur­ing the week­days,’’ Walker said.

‘‘Dog own­ers whose dogs have long days at home while they com­mute, can con­nect with our re­tired peo­ple com­mu­nity who can have long days to fill and qual­ity time to share.’’

Walker knows first hand the im­pact a dog can be in some­body’s

‘‘Our aim is to find ev­ery dog a new best friend.’’

San­dra Walker

life.

Years ago, she en­joyed four years of dog shar­ing with a lo­cal bor­der col­lie - an ex­pe­ri­ence she calls ‘‘life giv­ing’’.

‘‘Life was so busy with my ca­reer that I couldn’t have a dog. I felt like my soul was dy­ing,’’ she said.

The Dog Share Col­lec­tive is as much for peo­ple as it is for dogs, Walker says.

‘‘When peo­ple get busy, they’re not pro­vid­ing their an­i­mals with enough com­pan­ion­ship, and if they choose to be self­ish, the dog can end up ef­fec­tively ne­glected at home all day,’’ she said.

‘‘Our aim is to find ev­ery dog a new best friend, our mis­sion is to make the in­tro­duc­tion, our vi­sion is to im­prove the so­cial lives of dogs.’’

The col­lec­tive is not just for re­tirees, and Walker en­cour­ages those in­ter­ested to reg­is­ter for early ac­cess to­day at the­do­gsharec­ol­lec­tive.com or find out more on Face­book.

MATTHEW CATTIN/STUFF

The May­grove Rest Home res­i­dents pre­pare to walk, from left, Molly, Sooty, Bax­ter and Bis­cuit.

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