Hi, my name is Caroline and I am a dogga-holic, if there is such a thing. I have had this obsession for all of my *cough* 42 *cough* years. It all stems back to when I was a toddler and my parents used to lock me in the dog kennel, our Springer Spaniel Jim would keep me warm and offer love and affection.
Edit: My mother would like you to know that I would put myself in the kennel and that it was a bugger to get me out. Meh, potayto-potahto. Either way, I spent more time in the kennel than was usual for a 2 year old human.
Growing up there were always dogs in my life, family dogs, friends dogs, neighbours dogs, strangers dogs (I had many lectures off my mother on that last one), generally if there was a dog within my eyesight, it was now in my life. If personalised t-shirts were around back in the early 80's, I would have had one that read "can I tickle your dog please?" and my mother would have one saying "I apologise for my daughter, it all started when I locked her in the kennel... ".
When I grew up and bought a house with my now husband, there were a few years where we were both working and so we had cats, I call those the dark years. Nothing against cats but....well...they just aren't dogs are they.
Eventually we were in a place where we could get a nice little dog. Hooray!! So, we went and got ourselves a St Bernard, go big or go home I say. We called him Doofus and he was our baby, our very large, very hairy, very slobbery baby. Our house was never clean again, visitors would leave with a complimentary roll of sticky tape to remove the fur. Sadly like many large dogs, he left this world far too soon.
Our current two dogs are the non shedding kind, Maisie 6, is a Tibetan Terrier, lover of food, chaser of squirrels, defender of the manor, she may be small but she is mighty. Bruce 4, Is a Standard poodle, lover of cuddles, chaser of his tail, loudest bark award (whilst peeping from behind my legs) he's an all round good boy. Smarter than he lets on.
So that sets the scene for my love of dogs. I have worked on the railway for 20 years, part time for the last 12 and now that my children are older I find I have more time to myself and can take on more work. Mark Twain said "if you find a job you enjoy doing, you'll never work a day in your life" so here I am, i'm just a girl, standing in front of a dog owner, asking you to give me your dogs. Not literally, not to keep, just to walk and cuddle and play with for an hour and a bit. Can I tickle your dog please?