Going away for the weekend but don't fancy leaving your pedigree chum in a kennel? Neither do the folks at housemydog.com?which was set up by two Dublin brothers who hated the thought of leaving their beloved Holly in a bunkhouse when they went away. They wanted a cage-free environment that would give her individual attention and care- a real home away from home.
With a little (funding) help from Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Timothy and James McElroy launched the site in January and already have 250 users and over 1000 dog-loving followers on facebook. So how does it work? In an airbnb type fashion, owners create a free profile and start searching for a minder. Minders also create free profiles and, after being vetted (pardon the pun), can immediately start choosing which dogs and when they want to host. The beauty of the service is that Owners can also become Minders; giving them the opportunity to make money doing something they love.
We sent young Arnold to test it out. ?He's a demanding fellow- he loves long walks, more or less constant companionship, plenty of treats and being fed by hand. And he absolutely loved his setup- we have the photos and texts to prove it. He had as much of a holiday as we did. If you're Dublin-based, chances are good you'll find a match but Cork and Limerick are also expanding quickly and there are plans afoot to include day spa services such as walking, grooming, and training soon. Check it out here.