Wednesday, 30 October 2013

The Cinnamon Trust

Back in the summer I signed up to volunteer with The Cinnamon Trust. In their own words, the Trust is a charity that "seeks to relieve the anxieties, problems, and sometimes injustices, faced by elderly and terminally ill people and their pets, thereby saving a great deal of human sadness and animal suffering" by offering short and long term fostering and extra practical help with day-to-day care of pets such as dog walking services. Pets are a great source of comfort and companionship, especially to the elderly so the idea is to keep them together for as long as possible.

The Trust takes the vetting of their volunteers very seriously. I had to provide details of three referees, all of whom were contacted. I then received an ID card along with a comprehensive volunteers guide and waited for a call but a few weeks ago I was contacted and asked if I could help out with some dog walking. A lady a couple of miles away had fallen ill and was no longer able to walk her two westies, Bertie and Polly. I was unsure about how much help I could offer but was reassured that the Trust try and find two or three people in the area to help share the load. I had a chat on the phone with the owner and arranged my first walk. I was a bit nervous on arrival. Would the dogs like me? Would I like them? What would the owner be like? In the end Polly and Bertie turned out to be very sweet little things who took me on a walk rather than the other way around. They have their route and know it well, happy to trot along and keep to themselves unless another dog shows up. 
Polly and Bertie. I'm only just learning to tell them apart.
Half an hour later and I returned two much less energetic dogs to their owner and made a plan for a next walk. Although I offered several times and days we settled on a week later. We agreed that we wouldn't be tied to a particular day or time, but arrange each visit at the end of the next and this is what we've done ever since. 
They're strong! We go at a fair clip through the woods.
Given that my lifestyle isn't suited to dog ownership, this is a lovely way to pretend I have a dog (or two in this case) and provide some much needed help at the same time. It adds a bit more exercise into my week and gives me an excuse to explore the woods nearby. 

If you're a wannabe dog (or cat, or horse...) owner or just want to do a good deed, consider signing up to volunteer with the Trust. It's a wonderful cause with benefits for you, the owners and their beloved pets.


  1. This is such a lovely idea! I would love to own a dog but it's just not feasible at the moment so this would be ideal!

    Maria xxx

  2. There's also a website called Borrow My Doggy that isn't a charity but does try and put you in touch with dog owners in your area to share dog walking duties and holiday dog sitting. Maybe check that out as well!