Introduction to Pawshake
I have been using Pawshake since a couple of years back. For the uninitiated, Pawshake was started in 2013. Pawshake cofounder Dries Coucke's life was turned upside down in 2009 when his father Luc Coucke (who passed away in 2012) was diagnosed at the age of 60 with lung cancer. During the numerous chemotherapy sessions, Dries and his two brothers tried their best to support their parents. Yet, it soon became clear that his parents' labrador Ibeau would need someone to take care of him. Unfortunately, Dries couldn't lodge Ibeau because the dog didn't get along with his dachshund Brownie. Moreover, Dries' two brothers had just become fathers and were couldn't take responsibility for Ibeau either.
Dries knew that somewhere in his community there must be a dog lover who would lodge Ibeau temporarily. Yet, the difficulty was finding this person. And so, in 2010, Dries started the idea of Pawshake with a post on the Facebook page of pets.be, a not-for-profit website to rehome rescue pets, he founded in 2002. (You can still read here the original post).
How I use Pawshake
I use Pawshake in two ways:
So just last week, the owner Emily reached out to me via Pawshake to take care of her two Pinschers, Troster and Talent. Troster is the elder one, already 15 years of age, blind in both eyes, and having difficulty in digesting food. Talent, on the other hand, is the young chirpy one. I did a "meet and greet", which allowed me to meet both Emily as well as the two dogs. After the initial touch-base, I decided that I was able to accept the assignment.
Troster and Talent
While Talent (the younger one) was friendly with me when I first visited, he started to become rather aggressive when I visited on Day 1 (it was a weekend assignment). I quickly cleanup the all the poo-and-pee mess left by the duo, and fed them. As Troster was not able to see his dish, I had to guide him to his food bowl. I was also careful to separate their eating area so that there is a safe space for both of them to eat. Now, Talent, being the younger one and the bully, then tried to bite Troster (!) to eat his share of the treats. Poor Troster then yelped and struggled helplessly. Fortunately, Talent did not continue with his bullying.
It did leave an impression on me though. First of all, I thought about the fact that cat behaviour and dog behaviour is really different. I used to own dogs, but that was a long time ago. I realised that cats are generally cleaner and groomed themselves more eagerly whereas dogs, being pack animals, are okay to leave their mess around as a mark of their territory. Another observation that I had -- was that there's always a pecking order, whether for animals or humans. The strongest always survive and the weaker or weakest ones will ultimately suffer. That's the theory of evolution - the strongest survive.
I am MrWildy and I am trying to journal more about my life and also my travels. Find out more about me here.