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Old 27.02.2011, 18:02
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Child wishing to do dog walking / sitting?

Hello,

One of our children (12) is very keen on having a pet... We've had small pets (most recently a fancy rat) but what she really wants is a dog. Unfortunately given the amount of travelling we do, that wouldn't be terribly practical.

Having grown up with dogs (we had 3 full-grown St. Bernards at one point!) I do wish she could experience having a pet, but it would just be too complicated to have a dog of our own right now. At 12 she's probably too young to do volunteer work at an animal shelter so that's probably not an option. One thought I had was that perhaps she could do a bit of dog-walking or dog-sitting as a way of being around dogs, however she has very little experience with what caring for a dog involves. I don't think that's something you can just "do" without any experience or at least rudimentary training.

Any pet owners out there have any insight into how she might be able to pick up a bit of experience? We live in the Zurich Nord / Oerlikon area -- any pet owners in our area willing to teach her the basics in exchange for a few dog walkings?
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Old 27.02.2011, 18:14
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Re: Child wishing to do dog walking / sitting?

I assume either you or the owner would have to be with her the whole time? If she has never spent time around dogs then leaving her in sole charge of one - whether dogsitting or walking - is probably not a brilliant idea.

Maybe go with her to a shelter one afternoon a week... you volunteer officially, and just bring her along to 'socialize'. That way she gets to walk some dogs, learn to read doggie body language, etc. without being in over her head if something doesn't go according to plan.
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Old 27.02.2011, 18:28
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Re: Child wishing to do dog walking / sitting?

Thanks Mathnut -- yes, I would be with her for as many times as necessary until she had the confidence / experience to do it on her own.

I'll try checking into the shelter option -- do (or anyone else reading this post) happen to know of an animal shelter in the Zurich area which accepts volunteers?
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Old 27.02.2011, 18:34
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Re: Child wishing to do dog walking / sitting?

If she (and you as her driver) wants she can accompaign me and Fraser on one of our school walks.

PM me and we set up a appointment.
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Old 27.02.2011, 18:42
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Re: Child wishing to do dog walking / sitting?

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I'll try checking into the shelter option -- do (or anyone else reading this post) happen to know of an animal shelter in the Zurich area which accepts volunteers?
I think most of them - probably all - accept volunteers. Here's one in Zurich- Honggerberg:
http://www.tierheim-surber.ch/

In fact their website specifically mentions volunteering as a good option for people who can't own a dog for some reason, but still need their doggie 'fix'. It also says children are allowed as long as they are accompanied by an adult at all times.
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