A Dogs Tail-Austerity & the Bedroom Tax! (Part 3) by Selkie

Austerity and Bedroom Tax has sadly affected many companion dogs as well as people.

Austerity and Bedroom Tax has sadly affected many companion dogs as well as people. And the numbers flowing into Rescue Centres continues to grow. Vets fees and Food have put keeping a dog out of reach for many people, and they have had to take the sad decision to place their dogs in Rescue; the Bedroom Tax has also taken it’s toll, people having to move out of their rented homes to smaller homes and fewer and fewer rented properties allow dogs; many dogs are entering Rescue confused and anxious, having to leave their homes; some have great difficulty adjusting to kennel life.

Various Rescue Centres are taking in stray and abused dogs from abroad from countries also hit badly by austerity.

On a trip to the Rescue Centre a few months ago, having phoned ahead and asked if our 3 year old granddaughter could meet a child friendly dog to cuddle (it’s worth mentioning that the Rescue Centres always need volunteer walkers), we had a lovely meeting with a beautiful, gentle giant dog. The lovely lass (Bex) who works at the Centre told me about a WAIST BELT. My muscle power waxes and wanes and walking is a challenge but the waist belt is a super invention  the lovely dog safely and discreetly secured to the waist belt by one lead, with another lead firmly clasped in granddaughter’s and off we toddled with granddaughter holding the lead (whilst the other lead was securely and discreetly attached to my waist belt) leaving another ‘handle’ half way down the belt lead ‘in case of emergency’. The belt has other attachments (poo bags; treats bag; etc., even a mobile phone pouch) and more can be attached if required, (I purloined a couple of carabineers from my husbands shop, also another couple of pouches – the carabineers then clip on and attach to the belt ). I use the waist belt to let our large foster dogs out, while the little dog happily sits on my lap and can even use it to walk the one when I’m in the power chair. Apparently sports folk use them to take their dogs snowboarding or mountain biking etc.,


A very useful, low cost training aid, even available in ‘loud’/quiet dual mode.

A fast, simple way to train a dog. Click the clicker and immediately give the dog a treat. In a relatively short time, just a click and they will come running  very useful for trips to the garden and recall.


My husband takes the dogs for a run most days. One of the dogs goes to work with him, so I entertain the other at home. I hide treats under cushions etc., click the clicker and she happily seeks them out. A treat at a time, several times and she’s ready to snuggle up and rest, tired but happy.

The total acceptance, obedience and companionship of dogs is wonderful and very therapeutic. They sense so much, and can ‘pick up’ if I have a migraine, and will snuggle up quietly. They alert me by the type of bark if a caller is known or a stranger. Their company is reassuring and solace in the lonely times of staring at the wall during bad hours/days. Their joy at running around the garden is ‘contagious’ and their ‘quirks’ fascinating (the one hates the rain and runs in and out as fast as she can; the other loves the rain, dancing and prancing around in it – just before he comes in and ‘decorates’ the walls with water splashes.


It’s maybe worth mentioning that for people with a chronic illness or certain disabilities, and from my own experience of raising puppies when I was healthy, the amount of work, chewing, and clean ups involved with a puppy would be beyond me capabilities these days. The sweetest, most eager to be trained in our experience is an adult rescue dog. If the dog has been in kennels for quite a while, then it can take a little time for the dog to ‘settle’ and gain confidence to ask to ‘go out’ (to the loo) gentle encouragement and lots of old newspapers and if possible a lightweight ‘spills’ vacuum can soon get the dog used to the idea. I’ve found a ‘gentle’ positive approach helps best ‘ignore the negative, praise the positive’ particularly with Rescue Dogs. And they can take a bit longer ‘to settle’ whilst they work out the approach of their new human companions.


At times I can’t get outside but want to make sure I can bring them back if no clicker is to hand, several leads linked together and attached to collars mean I can stay indoors and the dogs can have a jolly good walk around outdoors.

Most Rescue Centres seem to welcome dog cuddlers as well as dog walkers, we have spent some pleasant half hours brushing a dog each from the Centre and the dogs seem to enjoy meeting people.

Again, from a purely selfish perspective, as someone whose working life, social life, and most friends gradually slipped away and I am unable to interact with people most of the time, the foster animals have filled a previously empty void and it somehow helps me to feel ‘useful’, gives me a sense of companionship and they accept me just as I am at any given time. As I sit here typing this, the room is filled with the sound of gentle, contented snoring (from the dogs, not the husband ) – in turn I am soothed and quietly content, what a very special way to end the day!!









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