The dog library?

May 19, 2011

I had the most brilliant idea when walking around the park this morning. Well, I thought it was brilliant, see what you think.

There were lots of dogs with their owners, on a perfect early summer’s day, with blue skies and a slight breeze. It was just a lovely day to take a dog for a walk.  The trouble is that I don’t actually want a dog all the time. I want one, occasionally, when I’m in the park. And I’m not even always sure about the breed. Sometimes I see a very cute little long-haired dachshund and think how lovely to walk him. Then there’s a pug I’m rather taken with. Or sometimes I see a spaniel which is just so in love with life that he’s nearly irresistible.

What I definitely know is that I don’t want a dog full-time in my house, being muddy on a wet day and smelling, dare I say it, like a wet dog.

Soooo …. how about a dog library? It would be a bit like Boris’s blue bikes, which are parked around London and can be borrowed and put back to help poor old London commuters get around the congested city. The dog library would work in parks. There would be a kennel, with a range of dogs from the RSPCA or from Battersea Cats and Dogs home, which you could borrow for an hour, and then  take back. This might persuade reluctant dog owners, like me, to take the plunge, or it might enable those who don’t have the space or time to have a permanent dog to get a taste of dog ownership. Above all, it would be fantastic for parents who are being nagged constantly to get a dog, when they know that they, and their lifestyles, are not really dog-compatible. We could call it Park Pooches.

What do you think? Could it work? Doggone it, I think it’s a bit of a brainwave.

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  • Domestic Goddesque May 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm

    I have often thought, after making complicated holiday arrangements to ensure the dog is taken care of, or in the pissing rain when the children are crying and I really don’t want to walk the bloody dog, that it would be nice to rent one. Just for curling up by the fire (I’d have to rent one of those too.)

    • Dulwich Divorcee May 19, 2011 at 1:20 pm

      Now you’re tempting me to rent a whole family-plus-dog – polite teenagers, devoted hubby, tail-wagging non-smelly dog, fire of course, I can see it all now …. no I prefer chaos, honestly I do *nose grows ten feet*

  • Kate May 19, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Brilliant idea! My 7 year old daughter has been really hassling us for a dog for a while now, and I keep saying, “if we move to the country” (which can’t imagine getting around to) so this is genius.I suppose though you’d have to get which ever dog was ready for a walk, which is a little scary, or all the sweet dogs would get overwalked and the ugly mugs in kennels all day.

    Also should include old ladies dogs, who need to walk at a faster pace.

  • Dulwich Divorcee May 19, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Ah yes, I’ve been working that ‘if we move to the country …’ excuse for years. We are NOT moving to the country … I think we’ll have to have a wide range of dogs available, so there’s always something to go with your/your child’s outfit. I was working on the assumption that all dogs want to go walkies 24/7, but I may be wrong 😉

  • Addy May 19, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Yes, in theory it is a brilliant idea and, like Domestic Godessque says, would work in reverse, where owners want someone to look after their pet. I have twice used a service where someone sleeps in the house and looks after both cat and dog for me while I am away for a few days. It saves putting the pets through unnecessary upset in taking them to boarding kennels, so they can still enjoy their familiar comforts. A friend of mine, whose dog recently died and is getting withdrawal symptoms, is taking her neighbour’s dog for walks at the moment as the neighbour is at work all day. You could either try asking working neighbours or put up a note in a doctor’s surgery offering to walk a dog for the sick or elderly. The trouble is, you’d then have to do it, come rain or shine, and not just as the fancy takes you!

    • Dulwich Divorcee May 23, 2011 at 10:29 am

      Ah, I am strictly a fairweather dog owner, I am running a million miles from a real dog commitment …. an hour when the fancy takes me is about as much as I can promise. Shocking I know. I have used a pet sitter for Mme Bovary, but only once. When we left for the weekend, we had a hamster and a cat. We came back to just the cat. Enough said.

  • Sara May 19, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    My westie doesn’t like walks in the rain and I am sure there are many dogs out there awaiting their own ‘forever’ home, who would just love simply being with you, and fit totally into your life like mine did. I got my dog after a bad break up with a man 10 yrs ago – he was my rock (the dog) and still is the best boy I’ve ever known!

    You could always foster?

    Nice blog, will visit again, thanks.

    • Dulwich Divorcee May 23, 2011 at 10:30 am

      Your Westie sounds adorable! I must admit a bit of doggy devotion would be lovely sometimes. Maybe fostering is the way! Thanks for popping by 🙂

  • Mel (MilkChic) May 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm

    Love it. We would adore a dog but with a small garden and both working, it just wouldn’t be fair. I have heard that trainee police dogs have foster families… – you have them after work Monday-Friday (no walking required as all exercise is during the day) and at the weekends. Almost a perfect arrangement!

    • Dulwich Divorcee May 23, 2011 at 10:31 am

      Oooooh that is a brilliant idea, Mel. Why have I never heard of this before? And presumably these are really responsible dogs that can tell you the time and help you if you get lost, not to mention bite burglars ….

  • M May 21, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    I used to live near Dulwich Park…this sooper idea could bring me right back again. Membership form please!!!

    • Dulwich Divorcee May 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

      I’m working on it! Park Pooches here we come …. just got to make sure the powers that be at Dulwich Park are on side ….

  • Jane Alexander May 21, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    Fecking brilliant. I’m packaging ASBO with one hand while I type with the other. Thank you SO much!!

    • Dulwich Divorcee May 23, 2011 at 10:33 am

      Erm, I think we may have had a small misunderstanding …oh, but there’s the doorbell. The postman has a wriggling parcel in his arms … but I’ve just remembered an urgent appointment on the other side of town *runs off*