Holidays 4 Dogs recognises in dog ownership the strong bond between human beings and dogs and the special partnership created which surpasses the bounds of age, gender and creed. The dog looks for and welcomes social leadership and interaction and if we, as responsible owners provide this in our dog ownership, we secure the link and the bond flourishes. Those that understand this, know the pleasures that dog owning can bring. They are constant and non-judgemental, they absolve loneliness, they protect and comfort and, indeed, it is well documented that the close presence of a dog reduces stress (Centre for Human-Animal Bond: 2000).
These qualities in pets are recognised perhaps more profoundly by senior members of society where the ownership of a pet provides invaluable companionship, acting for a catalyst for contact with other people and places. Research suggests that the way in which we regard animals’ impacts on the way in which we both create ourselves and construct ourselves in relation to others (Arluke and Sanders; 1996). The human-animal relationship plays a pivotal role in building a sense of social identity and is of significant importance to human well-being.
Many of Holidays 4 Dogs carers are themselves retired, or semi-retired. Perhaps they may have had dogs all their lives but now feel the full time commitment of dog owning does not fit so well with their lifestyle, since they may perhaps, wish to have more opportunity to travel for example. Becoming a Holidays 4 Dogs carer works very well for such people, since they are able to welcome family dogs into their home at times to suit them, yet still gain the pleasure of having dogs around and enjoying all the benefits this brings.
For our Holidays 4 Dogs clients, this means they can rest assured that their dog is not only being loved as it would be loved at home, but also brings immense pleasure to many of our retired carers who miss having a dog around the house. Many Holidays 4 Dogs carers regard their guest dogs, especially those on regular repeat stays, as surrogate pets and clients see their carers as stand-in doggy aunts and uncles!
The modern pet dog is integrated into family life more than ever and they really do become extended family members who are accorded the same regard as one human to another. Holidays 4 Dogs regularly encounter both carers and clients who feel uncomfortable about leaving their beloved companions in conventional boarding kennels and more and more people prefer to leave their pet with a devoted dog lover in a family home with all the associated home comforts.
The idea of our pet dogs being extended members of our family, isn’t surprising since animals have always been constructed, for instance, as verbally expressive subjects through the medium of literature and film, from Black Beauty to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, in which animals often have far more to say than their human counterparts !. Holidays 4 Dogs You Tube contributions also bears this phenomenon out! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3vnm8P0SiA&feature=channel
The nature of the human-animal relationship highlights the fact that we live in an ‘interactional community’ (Sanders: 2003) which incorporates both human and non-human participants, both of which impress upon the other. Furthermore, research suggests that the canine-human bond is reciprocal in nature and there has been extensive research into the canine species and its ability to read human cues, to the extent that some claim they are better at signal recognition than chimpanzees (Kaminski : 2008).
It is certainly no surprise, therefore, that clients favour home boarding with Holidays 4 Dogs where the dog receives a continuum of care on a one-to-one individual basis, and where the dog is able to fully interact with the carer family all the time, rather than been left in a kennel for extended periods.
All Holidays 4 Dogs carers are meticulously selected with the above philosophies and understanding in mind. Guest dogs are treated as individuals, and are matched carefully to one of our many approved, highly regarded and sought after carers.
Our network of carers appreciate how dogs impact on our lives in many positive ways, what each dog means to their owner and how important, and rewarding it is, to provide exceptional care for clients pets.
Andrea Gordon – Holidays 4 Dogs area coordinator East Midlands