“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” goes the old saying by Confucius, and he could not be more correct; welcome to the writings of a 26 year old girl, with one of the luckiest jobs in the world.
What do I do, you ask? My job title is a Welfare Officer, and I am fortunate enough to be one of the lucky people who are able to work with dogs, day in, day out. But not just any dogs, dogs that change lives, and these dogs belong to a fantastic charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
This charity provides hearing dogs for deaf people, so as you can imagine, it is a truly rewarding and beautiful charity to work for. I’m going to dip in behind the scenes and tell you a little about my role in all of this.
I moved to Buckinghamshire, where the charity is based, nearly 2 years ago and have the hands on responsibility of caring for these special dogs whilst they are in their training stage, before they go off to their deaf recipient. These clever dogs require health checks, haircuts, vet trips, medication, enrichment, walks and all the love we can possibly give them. All the dogs have amazing characters and no day is ever the same. Of course it’s rude to have favourites and I don’t! But at the moment one of the dogs I care for is a gorgeous black Labrador called Frankie, and I must admit she has an extra special place in my heart!
The majority of my day is spent outdoors come rain or shine; therefore wearing the correct attire for all weathers is definitely useful (thanks Toggi!) Working outside every day and doing plenty of walking with the dogs means I need a pair of hard wearing boots that don’t let me down, therefore my uniform would not be complete without my Toggi Columbus boots, which are nearly 2 years strong now, I wear them every day and they are as comfortable as slippers to me! As of last week, I am now wearing my recently gained Toggi Aspen boots, waterproof and warm – what more do I need?! Perfect choice for my job! Not only are my feet dry and warm, I also now have a really warm coat too, which is the Toggi Ned coat, super cosy and what makes it extra amazing, is the cute dog print on the inside, perfect for dog lovers like me! I recently took this coat for a cold, beach walk in Norfolk (when I’m not looking after the dogs, this is where I spend my free time with my family & partner, enjoying the country side, cooking or riding the horses) and it was perfect for the windy seafront!
At work, keeping our lovely dogs fit, well and happy ensures they are enjoying their own working life. All the love and affection we give to them; they are sure to pass on to their new family and really give someone the confidence they need. So to keep the dogs happy, we ensure they are confident too by practicing grooming them. This also helps to bond with the dogs, alongside playing games with them and socialising them with other dogs.
When the time comes, our beloved dogs we have grown so fond of leave us to start their new life with their recipient. Yes, it is heart breaking having to say so many constant goodbyes, however knowing I have contributed towards this new life-changing relationship will always keep a smile on my face.