Winter and Rose on holiday in Exmoor with a stunning coastal view

Rose and Winter

14 June 2021

Hearing our members speak about BorrowMyDoggy and the benefits our community has brought to their lives it’s truly heartwarming. This wonderful testimonial from Rose, who has not only been a member for 7 years but has been part of the BorrowMyDoggy team for over 2 years. Read on to hear more about her BorrowMyDoggy experience.

“Hi, I’m Rose! I’m Senior Product Designer at BorrowMyDoggy and I’ve been here for two and a half years, but I’ve been a huge fan for a lot longer than that. I’ve been borrowing dogs for 7 years.

I first joined BorrowMyDoggy in June 2014 - so excited to get some time with dogs as I’d never had my own pet (still haven’t unless you count raising tadpoles in a tank). I’d been getting more and more obsessed with dogs, always wanting to go say hello to them in parks and pubs but usually being too shy to speak to the owners.

With a few messages sent I met my first borrowed dog, Biscuit. She was a gorgeous and unusual mix with a fox-like look.

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We went on adventures on Hampstead Heath whenever I had a day free at the weekend. I got interested in dog training from my experiences with her and started reading loads of dog psychology and training books. We moved house after a while (much closer to Hampstead Heath, as my partner and I really love it there) and lost contact with Biscuit’s owner.

Our next dog friend was Nyima - a flat-coated retriever with a glossy coat and taste for mud (I don’t think the two things were related though).

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We had some lovely walks with Nyima, but were also busy renovating our garden at the time so found it hard to find the energy for spending a lot of time with her. By the time we finished the garden we contacted her owner again to find that they’d moved to Switzerland!

So I started the hunt again and this time found the gorgeous Phoebe. A large, elegant lurcher (Greyhound/Saluki cross) who always drew admiration wherever we went.

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When I first met Phoebe her owner said he’d really like a borrower who would see her at least once a week and build a bond with her. When he said that I realised that was something that I really wanted too, and that moment really changed the concept of borrowing for me from an occasional walk to a real connection.

For over a year we saw Phoebe every Sunday for a walk on the Heath and chillout time back at our flat. We took care of her when her family went away, when she’d come into work with me and sleep beside my desk while I worked. I adored her and really built a relationship with her. She was always very excited to see us and still is to this day when we occasionally bump into each other.

In between borrowing Phoebe we were also cultivating another friendship. Sarah, the owner of two 11 year old Jack Russells with separation anxiety, got in touch. I wouldn’t have chosen Jack Russells to hang out with but they lived just a few doors away and Sarah needed someone to keep them company when she was heading to the gym and as they were no trouble at all we were happy to have them round. We grew very fond of the little ones pottering around the flat and even fonder of Sarah - a great friend and neighbour. We miss them all now that they’ve moved to Grand Cayman (we promised we’ll come visit when COVID craziness is over!) and Jack has sadly crossed the rainbow bridge.

Our next borrowed dog, and the one we still see regularly to this day (two and a half years later) is Winter. Another lurcher (by now I am a huge sighthound fan and an even bigger lurcher fan), this time with a scruffy coat and the most magnificent beard.

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I started borrowing Winter shortly after joining BorrowMyDoggy where dogs were more than welcome in the office so we soon fell into a routine of her coming to work with me every Tuesday (when her owner had to go out of town) and taking long walks on the Heath every Sunday.

Winter is just the sweetest character, she’s a bit anxious at times but so am I so we understand each other. She’s gentle and loving and watching her run is just amazing, we just beam with pure joy when she has a good run, seeing the freedom and power of her speed. She gives the best cuddles on the sofa and just melts my heart.

Whenever her owner is away she comes to stay with us, whether that’s for a few hours or a couple of weeks. We always love to have her. She has come on three UK holidays with us so far (and we have another coming up) and those are our favourite times with her. Out in the countryside she’s so excited to explore with us and having her with us makes our walks so much more rewarding.

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She’s the perfect dog for me - the only downside is that at some point she always has to go home. So I’m on the lookout for my own dog now, but I could never stop seeing Winter. My hope is to find another lurcher like her who can be her best friend, can run as fast as she does and maybe help her to be a little more confident. She’ll still come and stay with me whenever she needs someone to cuddle and my dog will stay with her if I’m heading somewhere she can’t come to.

My time borrowing dogs has meant that I really know what I want, which breeds suit my lifestyle and I have the confidence that I know how to look after them well and how to deal with difficult situations.

The rescues have all been inundated with requests over the last year so I’ve put my search on hold, but I’m hoping that soon I can find the right dog - a gentle soul who loves to cuddle and runs like the wind.”

We hope you enjoyed hearing Rose’s experience as much as we did! To share your feedback or to ask us any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.

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