Welcome back to our Step it Up Campaign, where our aim is to inspire others to become more active in charity work by sharing stories of social responsibility.
Meet Adam Baxter
Adam is the owner of The Running With Dogs Company, which he set up with the help of dog behaviourist Louise Glazebrook. Adam initially set up the company to help people exercise their dogs, as he is a firm believer that exercise can help improve unwanted behaviour, give good mental and physical stimulation to dogs, and improve the bond we have with our pets. The work he does with the Dogs Trust is in addition to the work he does on a daily basis with his company.
What do you do for charities?
“The work I do with The Dogs Trust is usually split between working with young offenders, who have chosen a project called ‘Take the Lead’ as their reparation option and working within communities teaching the public about responsible dog ownership. The ‘Take the Lead’ project was set up to offer young people in London the option of doing their reparation work with us. It enables us to teach them about different dog breeds and their individual traits and characteristics, the importance of reading a dogs body language, how to properly walk a dog and understanding the importance of physical and mental stimulation for a dog. The work in the communities that I do with The Dogs Trust is to make people aware of the necessities that come with being a responsible dog owner, so there we will offer microchipping, collars and tags, doggy refuse bags and be on hand to answer any questions that come our way. We are on hand for any dog owners to ask us questions that they might have about behaviour, training or general enquiries about The Dogs Trust.”
How did this happen?
“I have always loved dogs. I’ve grown up with them and had a family dog since being 4 years old. I have always been interested in helping them whenever I can whether it be me actually working for a charity, sharing posts on social media or giving people contact details of dog charities. I hate to see mistreated animals and dogs in particular. They have such an incredible bond with us. People often speak of the relationship they have with their dog being one of a silent understanding and I really empathise with that. I wanted to help in any way I could and to offer a voice for the dogs that need one most. So in some way, teaching people about responsible ownership and how much work is needed when owning a dog, only goes to strengthen the bond that an owner can have with their four legged member of the family! The Dogs Trust was an obvious charity for me to help and they welcomed me with open arms when I first approached them. I sent them an email (at the time was working with a behaviourist who worked closely with them) and they were quick to respond and I started working for them almost immediately.”
What have you gotten out of it?
“Whether it’s seeing a dog be re- homed, watching them learn a new trick or simply just seeing someone take responsibility for their dog I know my job is worthwhile. Seeing a dog that you have been working closely with, learning their characteristics and personality, go to a new home is one of the most heart warming feelings I have ever experienced. Dogs are such wonderful animals and can make such lovely family members. It’s lovely to see when a dog you’ve been working with that has perhaps not had the best start in life, walking into brighter, love filled future.”
What’s your advice to anyone thinking of doing this?
“My advice to anyone thinking about volunteering with The Dogs Trust or indeed any dog charity is be prepared for things to take time. Not every dog learns as quickly as the previous one, the same goes for humans. It’s a gentle but wonderful process and when you see a dog with a new owner, or a child taking responsibility for their pet the rewards are huge. I would recommend it to anyone!”
To learn more about The Running With Dogs Company and the work Adam offers his clients, visit www.therunningwithdogscompany.co.uk
Please check back often for more Step it Up interviews,
and get in touch if you would like to share your own story!