10 things I loved about Thailand

I got back from my holidays a few days ago, however I still find it difficult to get back on top of my life after such an amazing time I spent travelling around Thailand with my best pal/boyfriend Corey. As dog sitters, we naturally went to this breathtaking country to look after a lovely dog named Luna. We were also house sitting a beautiful home in Chiang Mai of 2 beautiful people who traveled to Scotland to visit their families. I felt the way I have never felt on holiday before – I felt like home! This sense of comfort was probably caused by the fact we lived in this gorgeous house, we were looking after a dog, making food in the kitchen, travelling by uber, cleaning up, watching movies, ordering takeaways – basically everything that we do back home. When we go on holiday, we usually stay in hotels, so the environment and atmosphere is slightly different to what we’re used to at home.

Anyway, I can’t say one bad thing about this amazing holiday, it felt great, we managed to see quite few different things and places in Thailand so I am excited to share 10 of them here.

  1. Elephant Sanctuary
    Some experience! Definitely huuuge number one of all the Thai adventures. Among so many animal-cruelty touristy attractions, it’s very refreshing to see places like elephant sanctuaries. They gather animals from cruel riding camps in order to provide them with labor free, friendly environment, where they can eat, bathe, relax and live! the way they want. It is still a major touristy attraction, but the only thing we were allowed to do is feed fresh bananas to those gorgeous animals and spray some water on them when we went to the river for a swim. The elephants are not forced to go to the water, they go there for as long as they want and leave as soon as they want. It’s great to see them doing so well.

If you go to Thailand or anywhere else in Asia where they offer such stupid attractions like elephant riding: DO NOT GO! It’s cruel, they get beaten up with hooks, forced to work ridiculous hours and get separated from their families/babies.

Avoid also tiger resorts, where you can take photos with the animals. Tigers are naturally dangerous. They have to be drugged and forced to stay calm for you to be able to take a photo. It is not going to be an impressive photo but just the proof of you supporting animal cruelty.

Sanctuaries all the way!!

2. FOOD FOOD FOOD

Literally I can not express enough how much the food in Thailand blew my mind. No matter how much I try to cook something similar here in Scotland, old Thai ladies laugh in my face. The same, fresh ingridients as the ones they use in Thailand are very difficult to be found. The skills are a pretty far reach for me as well. Plus the food just wont taste the same eaten in the West End, Glasgow apartment as the one eaten on the plastic chairs, on the streets of Bangkok or Chiang Mai.

3. Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai was definitely my favourite city I visited in Thailand. It serves you everything you expect from a big city – great nightlife, great food places, loads of things to do (pleeeenty and more touristy attractions), breathtaking temples, great shopping markets and UBER (yep, that saved us in many situations)!. But it’s very local, not as cramped as Bangkok and not as polluted. Both me and Corey felt like home there – could easily move!

4. Thai Massage

This was something else! Not in a weird way.. I was trying to choose the right salon to go to for a while. I ended up in a lovely wee place in the old town Chiang Mai. Ladies working there were really nice, event when they realised I was close to being too tall for the beds they were using. Anyway, I had no idea what to expect, went there without researching too much (on purpose). It was basically as training yoga, but with someone else stretching your body. It was intense, sore at times and I didn’t know that bones in my body can crack so loud. The masseuse literally walked on my back, elbowed my neck and cracked my spine. All in all it was an experience, but I felt great and refreshed afterwards.

5. Chicken coconut soup

I know I already talked about food, but this soup deserves a separate point. It is absolutely delicious! I ate about 5 of them, in all different places around Thailand. You can tell the small differences between them in each area, but the overall awesomeness is always there. I tried to make one at home, and it became my personalized version.

6. Tuk Tuk

Rides in Tuk tuks are one of the most fun thing ever. Once you overcome the awkwardness of communication and language barriers, you are in for a treat. They all drive like nutters and you feel like you’re just about to fall out. But after a while you realise the drivers know what they’re doing (kind of) and you start enjoying the refreshing feeling of wind in your hair.

7. Songkran

We were very lucky to visit Thailand during Thai New Year – Songkran. Apparently, Chiang Mai is the best place to be on that special day, so that’s where we stayed. It was absolutely nuts. I have never experienced anything like it in my life. It’s basically just a huge water fight all over the city. This kind of tradition was developed from much more subtle ceremony, of pouring small bit of water on each other’s backs for blessings and good fortune. A lot of people still did that to us, and that’s when you know you can’t follow this by pointing your massive water gun at them, but you pay them respect with the similar act. The street party version of Songkran was definitely a lot of fun though. Locals, mixed with tourists were just releasing their inner kids, having a blast. At some point I went a bit too crazy and ended up with a cut eyebrow (ooops). It can be dangerous at times, but as long as you are looking after yourself, you will have the time of your life.

8. Monk Dogs

I definitely did not love the fact that there are so many street dogs in Thailand. This position relates to my appreciation for them and hate for people who mistreat them. Unfortunately, there is a lot of them in Thailand. Dogs are the most beautiful, loving creatures in the world and it was difficult to watch them struggling to find food and love from people. The street dogs are almost like different species. However, monks are some of the nicest people in the planet when it comes to looking after dogs. In every temple we passed, monks adopted, fed and loved pretty much every dog that was hanging around the area. Thank you Monks!

9. Live music

Literally in every pub or restaurant, there was a band playing live music, starting around midday. The bands were not always great, but when you’re on holidays feeling the festive spirit, you really don’t care. I personally loved them all.

10. Muay Thai

This is some sport. We had a chance to watch it in Chiang Mai, a daily event which wasn’t too crazy busy, but significant enough for us to experience the real deal. Starting off with kids (8-10), moving on to older kids (12-14) through to teenagers (15-16), females and adults (18 and above). We got a leaflet with names of each boxer and as it turned out, they all seemed to be related. For many, Muay Thai in Thailand is an escape from poor, rural areas into cities in the search of better life. Unfortunately, this is usually done at the expense of children who are being forced to fight. Of course, some kids might have always wanted to become Muay Thai fighters – good for them! It is definitely an unforgettable experience to watch. I don’t know much about Muay Thai, but even the youngest kids seemed to be very professional. Overall – something not to be missed!

It feels likes ages since I came back from Thailand! The memories still feel very fresh though and I know already, I definitely want to go back!

 

10 ways to find exciting job after graduating university

 

This issue touches pretty much every young person getting close to finishing their university degree. It’s one of the natural worries that is almost impossible to avoid. No matter how well you did in the class, and what a great mark you got on your dissertation – it can always be a little scary when entering the world of unknown. For a lot of people, coming out of university means looking for the first ever office job (read about what I experienced in my first office job here ), first ever full time job, and first ever ‘serious’ job.

After school, many of us automatically go to do a degree in a chosen subject, without thinking too much about what comes next, because we ‘still have time’. At the end of the day, University degree lasts 4 years or more in most countries, so we are focused on progressing from one year, to the next. But then, all of a sudden we hit last year – it comes faster than expected – and we start freaking out about the lack of any professional experience. Well, you’ve made your bed, now lie in it.

Fair enough I personally am a bit too much of a planner. I was lucky enough to know what I wanted to do, and I was consequently progressing to achieve it. Not everyone knows that straight away, which is perfectly natural. There is no excuse not to try different options though.

I wanted to share with you my 10 ways of getting a job after graduating. I don’t have one, gold solution for everyone, but I hear too much complaining from people who are not working where they want to, yet they don’t do anything (or very little) to try and change it. I hope my 10 ways will inspire some of you to come out of your comfort zone and try yourself out in new environments. You might get surprised with what you’re capable of!

  1. Make a list of potential jobs that you would like to doThis is a fun and exciting way of building up your potential job portfolio. The most important thing is to list positions that you would actually enjoy doing (but be sensible and don’t write that you like playing xbox, hoping that you can make a huge career out of it, unless you are planning on moving to Asia soon) or the companies that you would want to work for. If you’re good with children or with elderly, why don’t you list positions like care worker or nanny. If you just graduated with Business degree, why don’t you look for exciting positions for your favourite car brands? Then you can scan through the positions that are relevant to your education and skill set – the opportunities are endless!

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  2.  Start gathering experience from your very first year at university!During studies, you have plenty of spare time. You probably work part time and still want to have time for social life and studying. Well, try to sacrifice at least one day per week for volunteering opportunities that relate to your studies. Treat it as part of your course! From experience I can ensure you that only good stuff can come out of opportunities like that. Of course you build your experience on the practical basis of your industry, but you also build connections with people working in this field. And contacts are one of the most valuable thing when progressing in your career. Not because someone is your great pal and can sort you out with an amazing job, but because you meet new people on the professional level, you build trust in your skills and you strengthen your opportunities for someone to recommend you to your future ideal job. Excuse me the language, but – fuck all comes to those who wait. You have to stop waiting and start fighting for what you want.
  3. If there is no offer for a job in your dream organisation – create one!I am speaking from experience on this one as well. When I was looking to gain experience in the events sector, sometimes there was no offers available, even for voluntary roles. In this scenario, you just go and create one for yourself! My system was to approach companies, presenting my skills and dedication to developing my expertise in the industry, happy to work voluntarily in return. This system definitely benefits both parties! That way, I became events coordinator for Breast Cancer Care, creating and pitching my own fundraising fashion show project to the management. I have also been a stylist and marketing assistant for the independent designers shop or events planner for the Community Centre. All those voluntary roles led to my future employment with a small fashion company, through building my ‘events portfolio’ next to the CV.

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  4. Become your own bossIf you are looking for a very specific role, why don’t you try freelance for a bit? You don’t have to get yourself involved in owning a huge company, but going freelance and building your work portfolio through different clients, is a great way of starting your career after graduating university. It also teaches you how to handle different people and situations.

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  5. Apply, apply, apply!Seems like a no-brainer, but believe me, 5 job applications is nothing. Send 50! And if that doesn’t work, send another 100! We all know the story of Anna Wintour being sacked from Harper’s Bazaar before making it big in Vogue? First ‘Harry Potter’ by J.K.Rowling was also rejected before making billions. So persistence is the key!
  6. You probably won’t start off with your dream job – the main thing is to start!Don’t worry about not being invited to the Boardroom in the first months of your employment. Well, none of us go there at the beginning of our career’s journey. It would be boring if we did to be honest! Learning is a long process and you need a few mistakes on the way. No one would appreciate the high positions if it wasn’t for the hard work that is required to achieve it.

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  7. Attend Career FairsGreat way to get yourself familiar with the companies in your sector is attending career fairs. You can have a chat about the organisation and potential employment opportunities in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
  8. Being outgoing and showing that you care helps at interviewsSaying that you’ve applied for hundreds of positions this month does not guarantee you a job, especially not at the interview. More important is to show that you care about the career you’ve chosen. You can achieve that through getting engaged with events in your field, staying up to date with the news in your sector and showing genuine interest in the subject.

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  9. Nurture your personal hobbiesIt’s not as irrelevant as you might think. Your hobbies might have zero connection with the job that you want to do. You might be looking for a career in journalism, but you can’t wait to work on your sewing machine in the spare time. And that’s great! Our passions are something that makes us interesting. It’s important to be really into your work field, but work is not everything. You still have after work time, that you should use for something you simply enjoy doing – it can be watching great movies, building lego houses, working out, cooking, or anything that makes you feel special about yourself! Potential employers are looking not only for work robots, but for interesting personalities!
  10. Be confident and don’t give up!You might get a fixed term position that is not extended after the initial 6 months – who cares? Or maybe you are still persistently looking for your first position? Don’t worry, there’s plenty of opportunities out there so get up, head up, and after one job is complete – repeat! (The last bit was a bit cheesy, but let’s take things easy).

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10 things my mum taught me

 

This post is very special to me as it will be about the most important person in my life. My mum, of course. Feeling inspired by the upcoming celebrations of mums – Mother’s Day (Sunday 26! Don’t you dare forgetting!), I thought it’s a great chance to show appreciation for everything my mum managed to equip me with to face life challenges. I hope most of you are able to say the same thing about your mums, as I can say about mine – best in the world, undoubtedly. Usually, as a child you don’t appreciate it enough, but luckily, we grow older and wiser (well, most of us), and we start understanding the value of parent’s contribution on our personalities, confidence and life choices. I might not be perfect, but my mum certainly did a great job of teaching me how to be a good and strong woman.

I would like to share with you 10 of the most important things (among many, many more) that my mum taught my since I was a child. These lessons have helped me deal with many difficult situations. I hope it will make you think about your amazing mums and what you would like to thank them for.

  1. Positive energy! – Don’t let people with negative energy pull you down

    That’s such a significant lesson. Through many difficult days, my mum managed to keep her cool and stay the most positive person I know. It’s important to be mindful and aware of who we are letting into our lives, as other people can strongly influence our emotions. Of course this does not relate to our close friends/family having temporary issues they need our support on – do not separate yourself from them so easily! Negative energy comes from people who are lazy, have ‘nothing is possible’ attitude and prefer to moan than look for a solution.

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  2. Be strong – Happiness can be hard work

    No matter what happens – it’s important to remember we are all just humans and we have our weaknesses. We also have strengths which build the foundation for the life control. Our happiness depends on us and sometimes it requires hard work to be happy and to reach our goals through all the obstacles. However, that’s what forms our personalities and makes us valuable beings.

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  3. Appreciate your loved one’s passion

    We all have things we care about – passions, interests, hobbies. One of the things my mum was always keen on sharing is to be engaged and have genuine interest in our loved one’s passion. It might not be something we are into, but appreciating the diversity in people’s hobbies broadens our horizons and helps us to learn something new. It also shows our loved ones, we appreciate their personalities to the tiniest detail. You never know – you might get really into your boyfriend/girlfriend/best friend’s weird hobby, whatever it is!

  4. Follow your passion

    As much as we should appreciate other people’s passions – the most important should be our own. If you feel the desire to ride a bike, cook, do yoga, build plane models, dance flamenco – and you always want to come back to it and do it more – so be it! Make sure you nurture your interests and keep developing them, keep getting better at what you do. At the end of the day, our hobbies are something that makes us interesting and unique. They also build our confidence levels and help us be more social.

  5. Appreciate diversity

    In Poland, it is not always easy to be different. My mum was very consistent in teaching my why I should never discriminate against people who are in some way different than me, no matter if it’s a skin colour, sexual orientation, country of origin, language, looks etc. I am very grateful for that lesson, as I believe most forms of prejudice against other people come from our home/family environment. As kids, we tend to pick up the views of our parents/grandparents/uncles and not everyone is able to filter information they soak in. Remember to always keep yourself at distance to what others say and have reflections and mind of your own.

  6. Cook healthy

    My mum has always been an amazing cook and she’s been teaching me how to create amazing, healthy, home made meals. As a child, I wasn’t really paying too much attention, I was quite happy to eat something quick. Everything has changed now! I’m crazy about cooking and I phone my mum whenever I have trouble with making traditional polish dishes – which is a lot. Should have listened when I was a kid!

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  7. Work out

    My mum is super healthy, works out about 100 times a week, attends loads of different fitness classes and she spreads this fitness-freaky happiness wherever she goes! She definitely inspired me to take up my yoga classes in the first place – now I’ve been going 5 times a week for over 3 months and I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon!

  8. Remember to look after yourself

    This relates to beauty and fashion. My mum is one of the most beautiful and fashionable women I know. She has a very classy style and always leaves the house looking flawless. We tend to pay attention to detail at work or at home when cleaning/cooking, so why not to put effort to how we look like? At the end of the day, our appearance is something we, and people around us, deal with every day. Looking flawless, being healthy and focused on our bodies pays off with positive energy and confidence.

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  9. Be assertive

    Assertiveness is an important feature of any strong woman. We are lucky enough to be able to fight for our rights and appreciation of our work. Saying ‘no’ can be difficult sometimes, but it builds the strength of our personalities. We do not have to agree with everything just to please other people.

  10. Be independent

    This is a magic trick my mum has done over the years. She has never pushed me out of the nest herself. It all came to me naturally – I finished my high school, it was time to move on, started my university degree, got a bar job and slowly started my independent life. I have been financially independent since I was 19 and that has strengthen all of the above points and made me feel more confident about shaping my own life. She always had strong trust for my maturity and whenever I had issues, she would always be there to support me without judgement.

    I am currently waiting on my mum with her favourite sunflowers, little fruity cheesecakes and freshly made bed. Her flight is coming in to Glasgow in about 2 hours and I can’t wait to spend this weekend with her and my sister. It will be a great Mothers Day, which means I won’t have time to write this post then, so I decided to share it a bit ahead of time. Hope you will all have equally amazing weekend!

    I wanted to wish all the amazing mums out there a great Mothers Day!!

     

10 things you experience in your first office job

All of us who currently work in the office jobs – no matter if it’s 9am-5pm or 3pm-11pm or whatever time frame you’re on – had our first, awkward days. Doing anything for the first time is usually quite an experience – and I think first office job is an interesting one to look at, because most of us have been there, or will be there at some point.

I was one of the lucky individuals who always knew exactly what I wanted to do in my life as a job. Events industry has been on my list since my early days at high school (when I was around 15 y.o). I guess I was quite good at observing my natural skills set/personality traits and what made me happy and excited to form the conclusion of my ideal future job. And so I followed this goal since high school – passed my exams, passed my IELTS (english language exam) and pursued my dream all the way to Glasgow to study Business with Events Management. 2 months after graduating, I’m sitting at my desk in the College – working in Marketing Team – Events department. Whoop whoop! First goal, achieved. Now I’m on track to grow my expertise in this area, and I genuinely enjoy every minute of it (well, most of the time).

But what I want to focus on today, is the things you experience in the environment you work in – open plan office and set hours. It was really something for someone who was used to student jobs – bars and boutiques – so lets get started.

  1. First day – you feel like you’re in the danger zone

    It’s weird enough to walk in to the room full of people who know each other, being the new member of staff. But to walk in to the room full of people who know each other, sit in front of their laptops, doing mystery things and don’t really acknowledge each other’s existence is pretty strange.
  2. You quickly develop a routine

    Regular 9am-5pm jobs certainly teach you how to create a routine around your day. Mine is setting up the alarm for 5.45am every morning – shower – getting dressed – getting a train at 6.49 – getting second train at 7.09 – and getting my breakfast at work at 8am!17453540_10212717809086444_900678957_o

  3. You need two separate wardrobes – one for work and one, well…not for work

    This point will probably not relate to everyone. Some people enjoy the smart/elegant outfits on the everyday occasions. I do sometimes as well, but certainly not enough to have enough smart clothes for 5 days a week. It was certainly fun to fill this gap, though!

     

  4. Open Space office makes you much more productive

    As weird as it felt at the beginning, I quickly got used to sitting next to people knowing that they can look in my laptop, and see my every step of work. That actually helps me to be more productive and prevents from getting distracted with sales on asos, or updates on my favourite travel blogs!

  5. You feel the urge to become healthier.

    That happened only when I started working in the office. I was always relatively healthy with my food (well, maybe not on my first year at the university when I stopped being vegetarian after 5 years and discovered bacon). When you are in the siting position most of the day, and your team has their own sweets cupboard (yep!), then you start thinking you need to find alternative ways to become healthier. Not something you think about when you’re running mental around the bar and come back home from work totally exhausted!17409724_10212715348784938_441592977_n

  6. You get creative with your lunches

    Again, this doesn’t apply to everyone. I like to cook so I make a ‘thing’ out of my lunch boxes for a full week. This relates to the point 6. I always prepare lunches for full 5 days on a Sunday afternoon. Some people get free lunches at work – but it still makes you celebrate this special moment of munching!

  7. Time can speed up and slow down (mainly seed up)

    We all know that, no matter if you work in the office or not. But the time issue at work can definitely define our stress levels.
  8. You get to know people in your office very fast.

    At the end of the day you spend 70% of your day with them. It’s mainly a good thing, as you can create friendships quite easily and effortlessly.

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9.Work makes you more self-confident

This is the most valuable point out of all of them. And I believe it to be true in most cases. Of course certain jobs can make us feel the opposite. But this is usually down to people we work with – in this case, you should probably rethink if you want to be there. But for most places, work can actually strongly contribute to our confidence levels. It can be stressful sometimes, but nothing makes us feel better than successfully finished, challenging task, delivering a great presentation, appreciation from your boss or just simply knowing that you’re an expert in what you do.

 

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10. Having nothing to do after work can be stressful!

This definitely does not apply to everyone. But if you’re similar to me – it will. After first week of work, coming home to find myself having nothing to do, no specific plans, started freaking my out. Obviously I could just chill and watch TV, but this just isn’t enough sometimes. Work is usually full of things you HAVE TO do, therefore you want to be able to come home and do things that you just WANT TO do. Because planning events is my job, planning my week and scheduling in all the activities, might just be the part of who I am!

One of my favourite ones are bikram yoga, dog walking and baking!

10 things you experience as a dogsitter

This is my first post on my brand new blog I’ve started while seating on a couch with two lovely staffies we look after this weekend. I thought to myself that this is the perfect way to set it off! By appreciating the creatures that have filled my life with joy and excitement for the past few months. I have started dog-sitting business with my boyfriend in summer 2016 and we’ve not stopped till today. It’s definitely kept us on our feet 24/7 but also, brought loads of fun memories to our lives!

Since I started working full time in October, my part in the doggy business became limited to evenings and weekends, but I still try to contribute to helping Corey (boyfriend, as you can guess) as much as I can. I’ve started online Dog Training Course to better understand the psychology and research behind certain canine behaviours which certainly helped in better communication with our doggy visitors.

I wanted to show the appreciation of these gorgeous creatures by writing a list of my experiences of the past few months of being involved with dogs. So if you’re thinking of becoming a dog-sitter or if you’re simply interested in how this job looks like – check out the list 🙂

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  1. Main thing is to focus on the attention to every dog that comes through the door! 

    Dogs coming to our home can sometimes be nervous about being left behind by their owner in this new environment. It is crucial for us to focus on giving them all the attention in the world (and a treat or two) to make sure they know we are their friends, and they’ll have a great time with us. At the end of the day – it’s their holiday too!

  2.  Dogs need time to relax in a new place 

    That relates to the previous point – we try to keep dogs occupied all the time, to help them with the separation issues. Most dogs need about one or two days to completely relax and get used to being in a new place.IMG_2608

  3. Each dog requires personal approach

    That’s probably one of the best things you encounter as a dog sitter. Dogs are like humans in terms of personalities – they are all very different to one another! Some of them are introverts (we looked after the cross once, who was found by their owners in the cave in Hong Kong as a puppy – they decided to adopt her and she’s been with them for 10 years now. She’s lovely, but there is a reason why we gave her a nickname ‘Ghost dog’…) and extroverts (can’t get enough of staffies!).

  4. They’ll always try to steal your food 

    No matter how many treats they get, most dogs are on the hunt for food 24/7. Me and Corey have a system of watching out for our food. If one of us needs to get a drink, the other one is guarding. Sometimes even that doesn’t work!17409579_10212689139169714_2102804816_n

  5. You need to be creative with play time 

    Some dogs are quite bored with their toys, or for some reason don’t want to play with them here, so we had to come up with out own games. Our favourite one is hide and seek. If you stand behind the door and don’t move – you can play this game for hours. I also go as far as baking dog friendly cupcakes!17393038_10212689169850481_2076631366_n

  6.  At some point, one of them will shit on your carpet 

    That’s just the way it is, guys. So deal with it.

  7. Weekend mornings are the best thing ever 

    My favourite thing about the dogs is when they jump around you all happy when you call their name in the morning. Few minutes of snuggles and walk time!17393006_10212689186050886_980666699_n

  8. Walks – sometimes great experience, sometimes just a duty 

    As everything that ‘has to be done’ it’s not always great fun. On a horrible day (and there’s a lot of them in Scotland) it’s not easy to force yourself to go outside, but otherwise, you will have to go back to the point 6. However when you pick up the lead and you see the excitement the doggies are spreading around – you don’t mind!IMG_2670

  9. Dogs learn your behaviours faster than you learn theirs 

    That’s true. All dogs we had so far learned the pattern of our lifestyles way faster than we figured out anything about theirs! After the first day of me getting up at 5am during the week for work, they know this is not the time to care – because they wont get food or walk until  Corey gets up around 9am.

  10. Seeing dogs reunited with their owners is the most beautiful experience! 

    That’s when you see the real true love between the doggies and their owners. It’s amazing how dogs can smell their owners even when they’re just coming up in the lift! It’s such a heart warming picture when you see how deeply attached dogs can be to their owners and what a strong bound they can build together!17350918_10212689274773104_694052230_n