Remember when you were a kid and everyone would huddle round the TV on a Saturday night?
At our house, Mum and Dad would usually get a take away on a Saturday and then we would eat whilst watching whatever gameshow was on or maybe a film but definitely every week there was Casualty and Match of the Day before bed.
As I got older the one thing on a Saturday night that’s never changed is my want to watch Casualty. A mix of nostalgia as well as loving the programme.
That was called into question during a recent episode however and it goes like this……..
I’ve been a professional dog walker now for over a decade, as well as building up my own business from scratch, I’ve invested £1000’s in my own education in animal handling, psychology, everything I need to know about dogs and dog training and then business school.
I’ve spent countless hours learning so that I could be the very best I could and have worked hard.
Back in 2009 when I started my business, dog walking was not a “thing” people thought I was crazy after having spent 6 years at university, I was giving up my career to walk dogs!
Now a days sadly it seems trendy to want to be a dog walker and anyone and everyone thinks they can do it, as long as they love dogs then where’s the harm.
To hell with all the education, qualifications and experience. It’s like saying you like planes, therefore you can just fly them. Sod it with the learning how to do it part, just give it a go and see what happens yeah?
That’s how ridiculous this notion of anyone can be a professional dog walker is.
During this recent episode of casualty Luke was struggling with his emotions as he feared he may be Bi Polar like his Dad.
During a Judo session he took his frustrations out on his coach and injured her arm, resulting in a trip to Casualty.
David, Luke’s Dad is a nurse within the ER dept, thus ensued a conversation confirming Luke’s fears and bringing everything out into the open.
As the coach was being discharged, David apologised for his Son’s behaviour and stated that he would be better in their next lesson; to which the coach replied:
“it’s fine, I’m leaving the coaching to the professionals from now on and I’m setting up a dog walking business”
Ugh and therein lies the problem with our industry! It’s viewed as easy, something anyone can do.
I can assure that having done this for over 10 years, dog walking is anything but easy!
Yes it’s enjoyable but it can also be the most stressful job in the world not to mention how physically demanding it is.
There is so much to learn and get in place before you can actually start walking dogs and education is something that is lifelong as there are new policies and procedures, new laws implemented and new breeds of dogs popping up all of the time. It’s a constant learning curve!
So to say I was utterly disappointed at the flippant attitude towards the dog walking industry that was shown in this episode of casualty is nowhere near close.
Until society and the laws that govern us accepts that dog walking is an actual profession, we must self regulate. This in itself can be troublesome as varying differences of opinion can cause friction between one supposed professional and another.
Sometimes it can lead to unfair witch hunts and liable gossip on social media, which not only damages a persons reputation but privately off screen mental health and families can suffer as a result, yet these keyboard warriors don’t stop to think of the unseen damage they cause.
I suppose what I’m saying is that we must work harder to be recognised as a profession, so that everyone has the same knowledge, qualifications and skills before they “set up a dog walking business”
Something to mull over……….
See you in the next Blog