- Posted by Emma Witkowski
- On March 17, 2016
- 1 Comments
- dog boarding, dog owners, dog ownership, dog-walking, dogs, pets, Toronto
We spoke with a few dog owners in Toronto to hear what they had to say about life with a dog.
What’s holding you back from getting that dog you always wanted?
The biggest obstacle many people in the city face when considering getting a pet is time. Dogs take time. And there seems to be little of that in Toronto, where schedules are already filled to the brim with work, dating, kids, exercising, and who knows what else.
And also responsibility – when you own a dog, you are now responsible for another living being, who feels emotions, is social, needs exercise, and is probably dying to see you again. It makes it harder to do what you want, when you want.
How do those who love dogs and really want that furry companion manage everything? A common theme that came out was personal flexibility during the day, with help from neighbours, friends, and/or service providers such as dog walkers and boarders.
Kyle is a 29-year-old designer and entrepreneur. He runs pb+j, a ten-person design digital shop, and lives with his wife and Aussie Shepherd in Toronto’s downtown west end. He’s got a busy lifestyle but makes it work by bringing his dog to work as much as he can.
“It’s worth it,” he told us. “Having her around is the greatest stress relief. She’s a good little therapy dog.” Kyle has also built relationships with neighbours he can call in a pinch when he can’t bring her to work. His dog walker, Lindsay from The Hydrant, also helps. “Lindsay is like family now,” he said.
Hailing from Missouri, Ellen Burch moved to Toronto three years ago with her partner and their two senior dogs, Piglet and Montag. Ellen, a 28-year-old artist and picture framer, has had Piglet since her 16th birthday. Her parents made it seem like they got her a car by saying her present was in the garage. “I was much happier with a puppy,” she said. They got Montag later from a shelter when he was already 5, and now “the two dogs are constantly snuggling. It’s the cutest thing in the world.”
Ellen and her partner, a PhD student, are usually gone for part of the day, but the timing works out so that they are either with the dogs or the dogs are home alone napping.
“The only thing we have to worry about is making sure to put away food while we’re gone, or they will find it.” A common struggle for dog owners!
Party time with Piglet and Montag.
Shannon Skinner is an author, speaker, travel writer, and TV personality whose mission is to create change in the world by inspiring others to follow their hearts. She has an 11-year-old Old English Sheepdog, Bob, who she takes on adventures everywhere she goes, riding around the city together in her Smart Car. Shannon describes Bob as a delightful dog with an easy and sweet demeanour.
The dream team.
“He gives off this vibe that other dogs love, he loves everyone. He’s chill at home – it’s just the way he is.” When travelling away from home, Shannon brings Bob to stay with friends and family, sometimes even with the woman who owns Bob’s biological mother – they met through the same breeder. Like many of the dogs that we walk on the streets of Toronto, Bob makes people smile. “He’s a healer,” Shannon told us. Once, a stranger was having a bad day and they said that meeting Bob had changed their life.
What’s certain is that dogs change the lives of all those with whom they live and to whom they come into contact, and the companionship they offer is cherished by hundreds of thousands of Torontonians.
Walk My Dog Toronto offers dog-walking services in downtown Toronto. With easy online booking, we walk your dog while you are busy or at work. We give your dog love, socialization, and exercise, and we keep in touch with you every step of the way with our walk tracker.