By Sophie Thirkell
We’ve got an idea for your weekend but when we say it involves messaging strangers online for animals, stick with us.
The Caledonian Spectator loves dogs, that is a fact, and we know you do too. We are a whole nation of pooch lovers who loves sharing dog videos and ‘awwwing’ and internally screaming with joy every time one passes us on the street.
Rikke Rosenlund is an entrepreneur who had the wonderful idea of letting busy pet owners put their dogs online for verified borrowers to get in touch and take their pups out for a stroll.
Scrolling down her little known website, borrowmydoggy.com, is like flicking through the best shopping catalogue ever. There’s dachshunds to labradors just a few clicks away.
“Students and young people usually don’t have the right living facilities to have a dog, the time commitment required or the financial support. Then at the same time, one of the mutual benefits is that you get out and about exercising. They can de-stress before exams,” said Rikke.
She continued: “We even have students where they’ve had a bit of a hard time getting up in the morning without their old routines they used to have at home when they had a family dog. So by borrowing one, they have some help getting back into their routines.”
For only £12.99 a month, borrowers can become verified members who get to enjoy insurance, 24/7 vet line and video tips for bonding with dogs.
It works the other way around too. One of the team members at the borrowmydoggy office is a student and the person who borrows her dogs is an elder woman, affectionately called her honorary granny. She takes care of the dogs when she has to do revision for school. Other times, the dogs come into the office. “You help make another person happy in the community,” beamed Rikke.
In the news this week, it came out that 58% of dogs in Glasgow are unwell. Will this hurt Rikke’s business?
“No, because too many dogs are spending too much time inside and this leads to depression. Dogs are like people in this way. They could potentially lead a better lifestyle.
“We get feedback from owners who say their dogs are much happier because they get four or five new borrowers. They get new smells, play new games, get more exercise. Borrowers get a new friend to take care of, they can lose weight and get help going through difficult phases in their lives. I think that’s fantastic, I don’t see how that could be a disadvantage. Love and happiness can be found through the love of dogs.
“Also what we try to do in working with vets, is to provide friendly recipes for dogs online. I’d be very interested to find out why there is an issue but at the same time I think lots of dogs and people could do with getting out more.”
Here are some dog friendly parks and restaurants in Glasgow:
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