Waggy Tales - Owner Sarah and Skype, Swindon
Press and news7 April 2015Waggy Tales - Owner Sarah and Skype, Swindon

Waggy Tales - Owner Sarah and Skype, Swindon

Sarah and her husband are both veterinary professionals who joined BorrowMyDoggy with their Dogs Trust rescue dog, Skype, as they were looking for occasional daytime help with him so he could go on more walks and meet new people. Almost straight away, they matched with borrower Sharon, who now looks after Skype once a week. As Sarah says, “it’s like leaving your dog with your Mum.” Here’s their wagulous story.

How did you hear about BorrowMyDoggy and why did you sign up?

A friend of mine also uses BorrowMyDoggy and likes the page on Facebook so when it popped up on my feed, I went onto the site. We both work in the vet profession so are privileged to be able to take our dogs to work. We live in Swindon but my husband recently moved jobs to work in Surrey so is away during the week and can’t look after our dog, Skype. Although I can take Skype to work, sometimes I have all day meetings which are quite boring for him and he would rather be out enjoying the fresh air. Occasionally, I also need to stay away too so I need a bit of ad hoc doggy day care.

Tell me a bit about Skype…

We adopted Skype from the Newbury Dogs Trust in January 2014, at the grand age of 11. He had been taken to Dogs Trust as his owner was taken into care. He’s a collie cross, predominantly border collie with some Red Setter, German Shepherd and apparently even Shih Tzu! We wanted a dog who was a bit more mature as our busy schedules made it difficult for us to consider a puppy.

Skype lives with a cat, who definitely bosses him around. He’s the most well behaved dog I’ve ever had, that being said, he still chases squirrels and would steal food if he could! He is very, very ball orientated, so much so that I cannot take him for a walk without a ball. When I recently cleaned out my old car, I found 12 tennis balls in the back!

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Was there anything specific you were looking for in a borrower?

I was looking for someone who could do the occasional weekday during the day and in the evening. The other thing I was after was someone who was relatively near and someone I felt very confident with.

How did you go about finding a local match for Skype?

The signing up process was very simple. Once that was completed, we very quickly had contact with a borrower who had added Skype to her favourites. Her name is Sharon and she has turned out to be the best borrower ever. We messaged back and forth on the site then we arranged to meet at a local park.

How was your 'Welcome Woof' and how are you getting on now?

We all hit it off immediately. Sharon is very confident and, as part of her RAF training, has done dog handling in Argentina. I could just tell instantly that she was a great match. She has a Chocolate Labrador at her family home and has had dogs all her life so she’s very comfortable around them.

After our ‘Welcome Woof’, we arranged for Sharon to take out Skype for a walk on a day that I was working from home so if there were any problems, I was available. There were no problems and our relationship has just developed from there. She’s had Skype overnight a few times so he has a bed and a bowl at her place now and of course, a selection of balls. She’s even taught him some new tricks too. We have a very ad hoc arrangement. She is in the RAF so when she’s not posted abroad, she works irregular hours, may have leave to use or has some time off during the day. If I have something come up at short notice, I know I can call her.

I’m very comfortable when I leave him with her. It’s good for him too because as Skype is with me all the time there is a risk of separation anxiety.

How do you get on with Skype’s borrower? How does she get on with you and Skype?

I get on really well with Sharon. Even if I didn’t have Skype, I know we would stay friends. Sharon knew very quickly that she would have a pal for life in Skype if she threw his ball and he very relaxed and easy in her company. I don’t worry about him when he’s with her at all.

We see each other around once a week and our friendship is definitely developing. We even walk Skype together when we are both free.

Do you have any funny stories about Skype?

Skype was actually used for our marriage proposal! My husband had asked me to marry him several times previously and each time I had said no because I didn’t want things to change. However one day something clicked and I thought “I do want to get married!” but the chances of him asking me again were quite slim! I decided to have a driftwood sign made saying ‘marry me’ and I hung it around Skype’s neck and send a photo of it on a card. Fortunately, I got an email back saying yes!

What has been the biggest benefit in joining BorrowMyDoggy?

Being able to have that lovely comfortable feeling that your dog is being looked after as well as if you were looking after him. I get pleasure knowing he is comfortable and that he’s giving Sharon some quality ‘doggy time’. It’s also made me a bit more outgoing as I’ve been able to meet more people through the site. I don’t worry about him when he’s with Sharon. He gets ridiculously excited and does silly barks when he sees her so I know he’s happy too.

Describe your BorrowMyDoggy experience in one sentence.

A wonderful thing! I feel very confident when he’s with Sharon and I don’t have to worry about him when I have a busy day.

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