By Kate and Stephen
“I would, but I’m just so tired when I get home from work.”
“We’ll make up for it when the weather gets better…”
“I want to, but I just don’t have time.”
There are a lot of excuses that people use for not taking their canine companions for vigorous daily walks. Certainly, in a fast-paced world, where many jobs require extended travel and many more require extended (or unpredictable) hours, it makes sense that people are putting in a lot of time into their job(s).
But those excuses don’t really make sense to the faithful friends who stay at home when their owners go to work. And for many of those dogs whose tails wag the hardest when their owners come home, a little bathroom break and a sliver of yard time just don’t provide enough of the exercise that dogs want and need.
Millie Jones saw that a lot of dog owners were feeling bad about putting pet exercise on the back burner. As the owner of two dogs, she knows that dogs simply need to get up, get out, stretch their legs and get the blood flowing.
“I see many people who work a lot,” Jones said. “They might have puppies that need some attention while they’re away all day. Or just an adult dog that needs to be checked on, get a walk, have the food and water topped off.”
A massage therapist on weekends, Jones is working on her masters degree at AUM and launched Happy Paws Dog Walking on New Years Day. It’s primarily a dog walking service, but she also said she’d be willing to check on a cat or other pets while owners are on vacation or out of town.
Growing up in Montgomery, her family always had Collies. And as the owner of two 130-pound Great Danes, Honey and Mister, she’s confident that she can handle anything.
“Animals need companionship and attention. That’s why I got a second dog. Dogs really appreciate it when you pay attention, but there’s also a training element where a lot of owners, especially of younger dogs, might want someone that can see them during the day and reinforce basic commands.”
At rates outlined on her website, Jones will set up an initial meeting with the pet, get to know them, and learn any needed details, such as favorite hiding spots or particular commands. She also carries special “pet sitter” liability insurance.
“We’re always on a leash, and there’s no doubt about it that I’d love to get as many clients in Midtown as possible because it’s the best area in the city for walking dogs. There are wide streets and some sidewalks and a lot of pet owners in these neighborhoods.”
For more information about Happy Paws Dog Walking, contact Millie by phone at 334-202-2426 or by email at millieannjones[at]yahoo.com.
Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with a dog, a cat, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.