So what are we?
Well, it's simple, we are a small group of dog lovers, a dog psychologist, one or two dog behaviourists, volunteers and dog rescue centre owners, and a host of everyday folk, ranging from psychiatrists, police officers, counsellors, lawyers, teachers, to engineers, mechanics, cleaners, and many others.
My idea to start this community driven activity, started when after years of helping rehabilitate dogs, I was forced to stop, due to my Mother being very ill with Cancer. The experience left me in turmoil, and without my dogs I simply wasn't the same person. Everyday I watched my Mother suffering, and was unable to fix her, left me more and more sad.
After 20 plus years of working, I was lucky enough to be able to take some time off, as financially I was equipped to be able to sustain myself, and not having a family of my own, my overheads were pretty low.
So I moved permanently back to Birmingham from the South Coast, and concentrated on my Mothers well-being.
I spent each day with my Mother, mainly just taking care of her needs and giving her moral support. As her health improved, I found I had a little more time on my hands. My Mother said to me "you're just not the same with your dogs, you're not happy".
For a crazy Irish woman, she's got great instincts, and I knew what I had to do!
After 4 years without a dog, Echo came along...and the world changed.
This magnificent creature changed me back to who I was, his calmness, his natural leadership skills, and his ability to always make the right decision, was exactly what I was looking for...and he became my right hand man!
Walking with Echo created amazing reactions from people whose dogs misbehaved. The comments are still constant today. Not a week goes by when you don't hear these kinds of comments;
"how do you get such a calm dog"
"why does nothing bother him"
Well, it's simple, he is a natural born leader, and all I had to do was stop any bad habits, and nurture and polish his natural way of being...he just needed guidance, and a few rules...it really wasn't that hard.
Of course, if you don't know what you're doing, then this can be a really different story.
As we walked together, my natural inclination, if I see someone struggling with their dogs, is to would stop them, and give them advice. After a few weeks of doing this, I was getting calls and emails asking for my help...then people started to come looking for me!
As I didn't have much spare time, my supposed 1 hour walks with Echo, had now turned into 4 hour walks, because people kept stopping me...this became a bit of a problem.
So, I decided, that the best way to help these people, was for us all just to go for a walk together each week, and I would show them how to manage or fix any issues.
Today, our pack walks have helped many dogs and their owners with their issues, and without any serious injuries. In fact, we've seen nothing more than the odd scratch or nick from over exited play, or just clumsy dogs running into something! One or two humans have fallen on their asses, but that's not the dog's fault!
Each dog owner is responsible for their dog, and any dog that misbehaves. As a group, we supervise and manage the dogs together, and each person learns more on every walk. This way, they not only help themselves, they can help other people when they are out in the week.
There is no chairman, director, or individual leader...everyone is a leader.
This is where community shows how powerful it is.
If your dog misbehaves in our community, we will not shout and scream at you, we will not judge you, and we will not punish you...we will help you.
Whatever walk of life you are from, your sexual orientation, your race, your religion, or whether or not you watch reality TV...makes no difference to us...we simply don't care.
What you do have to be...is responsible.
We can show you how to improve your dog handling skills, and we can give you a non judgemental, safe place to help balance your dog...but you have to listen, put in some effort, and stick to our rules.
Safety is our number one priority, and our track record, is fantastic...and it will remain that way.
Apart from that, it's simple, we have a small, manageable, and knowledgeable community, that helps one dog at a time, will never grow large, and has no interest in money, fame or fortune. We support a couple of local small rescue centres, by helping them with their dogs without consultation fees, dog training costs, or asking for anything in return.
The people in our community have families, jobs and responsibilities. They give their time, effort and donations voluntarily because of their love of animals.
We have not affiliated with any associations, we have no commercial sponsorship, and we have no products to sell...and I doubt we ever will.
This community is about helping...and we want to keep it that way.
It's all about community.
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