Samantha is a young energetic world traveler who also happens to be my son's tutor.
She was finding that living alone in the lockdown has been very difficult being so isolated. Her friends, knowing how much she loves animals, suggested dog walking.
She has a boatload of experience caring for animals but hasn't officially joined an agency, or advertised. She joined Rover, a dog walking service and placed ads around the neighbourhood. Soon, she had three clients.
Getting to be with animals again, has brought her so much joy. She says “It's that thing I look forward to everyday. I'm outside, walking, enjoying a very mild winter. It forces me into ravines, and to take more notice of squirrels, raccoons, and the flora in my neighbourhood.”
What has been really special, is she merged her dog walking with her tutoring. Her students will ask for updates, "So, do you have any videos of Mozart today? Did he learn any new tricks?" Particularly for her English Language Learning students, speaking and listening is a learning goal, and getting updates of her furry friends brings explosive language learning opportunities!
Although many people are working from home, there are still people who need help with dog walking. Leonor's parents, for example, are nurses, and they need someone to take Leonor out for squirrel-chasing adventures. With her little orange jacket, she has become a popular member of the local dog park :)
Mozart, her new German Shepherd best friend, is enthusiastic on their daily walks, and often leads the way! With only a few days of training, he has become so responsive to her voice and commands. Once, while walking in the David Balfour Park trail, Sam got her foot stuck up to her ankle in mud. She let go of the leash, and Mozart stopped, turned, looked at her, and waited until she recovered, before carrying on. Best friends don't leave each other behind, after all!