An Application For The Health Of Our Loyal Friends: Dog Walking Service

Doggo is An Organization That Brings People Who Love Their Work And Animals With A High Potential Together. There Are A Total Of 400 Doggo Walkers in 7 Districts.

“The friendship of dogs is permanent. They don’t talk behind you and they never know how to let you down.” said the famous theatrical writer Bernard Shaw. The friendship between dogs and humans is so old that it is possible to talk about this relationship at almost every stage of human history. The reason they are described as “best friends or most loyal friends” is due to the strength of the emotional bond between the dogs and their owners. In this relationship of loyalty, the only expectation of the dog, who acts convivially and knows to eat a bowl, to settle for a little attention, is a genuine and lifelong emotional contact with his owner.

No One Has Enough Time
Today, the busy business life, the peculiar chaos of the big cities, causes urban individuals who spend a long part of the day in offices to devote less time to themselves and this true friendship. One of the biggest problems of dog owners, who live alone, cannot spend time at home because of their busy work life, is that they cannot find time to walk their dog friends regularly. However, they need a minimum of physical exertion daily, both mentally and biologically, and walk for at least 45 minutes in open spaces. In this way, they can balance their energies and meet their socialization needs by moving away from the four walls of the house. While our best friends needed this activity every day, the fact that we do not always have time for it created a new business line.

Dog Walker
“Dog walker”… This business line, which is quite common in big metropolises abroad, has become popular in our country in recent years. The people who perform this profession, which is usually performed part-time and attracts attention among young people, especially university students, are called “walker”. Walkers are coming to the rescue of animal lovers who do not have enough time for their dogs. Even on-line systems, which include walkers with the necessary equipment and training to offer this 45-minute walking service professionally in the morning or evening, have started to form. DogGO, providing dog walking service to pet owners safely and professionally and establishing Turkey’s first professional mobile application infrastructure in this area, is one of them. Dog walking service through the mobile application is the favorite of many dog friends since it offers easy access as well as the possibility of monitoring at any time. With this service, the initiative gives animal lovers the opportunity to buy something invaluable today, time. Dog walking is also a brand new understanding that aims to develop dog caring culture, adoption and supervision awareness for our animal friends we share our world with.

Cansu Tokuç, one of the founders of DogGO, tells the beginning of the story of making dog walk culture an online venture with a team of several high school and university friends.

“DogGO is a multi-partner initiative and we all have different contributions to this organization. For example, I took charge of the marketing department. This is a formation where seven friends from high school and university put their collective mind, labor and experience together. My friends Mehmet Gürsoy and Ömercan Dede who came up with the idea, Barış Karan who is in charge of our software applications, Cem Doğancı, who manages our financial unit, Cem Elibol leader of our operation services and Ilgım Kılıç, the head of our recruitment department, manage DogGO as a result of a synchronized teamwork. Emir Çağan, another partner who works in London and helps the team with ideas and development, is also part of the team.”

Changing Lives, Changing Needs
Modern times may have brought many various convenience in technology, education, health and social life to people, but at the same time it has put people in a vicious circle. Our routine daily life has taken away the freedom of the autonomous individuals. Not being able to do what they wanted when they wanted to, and their obligation to catch up with them, kept them away from nature, animals, art and their essence day by day. Formations like DogGO stand out as creative works that have seen the timelessness of modern people in their social life in certain or long-term periods and find suitable solutions.

Cansu Tokuç says that the success of their businesses starts with getting to know the urban people well.

“DogGO initiative, developed on the idea of ‘People do not spare enough time for their pets’, started with Mehmet and Ömercan’s determination of the lack of corporate, professional, accessible and reliable walking service in Turkey based on their own dogs during a conversation. It took us only a year to examine the world’s examples, to talk to the people we know to be animal lovers and dog-friends, then roll up our sleeves and establish the order we have so far. We know that dogs need to walk at least 45 minutes each day to be healthy and to discharge their energy, and the process we perform is to fulfill this need on behalf of the animal owners. The main objective of the initiative is to provide animal lovers with the reliable service they seek and to make it accessible”.

When one thing leads to another, we understand that the dog walking process has responsibilities and benefits beyond having short walks to our dog friends in various routines, and that it is not just a walker who tries to restrain the dog of any kind with the tens of leashes we see in Hollywood movies.

“45 minutes one-to-one walking service is provided in our application. I can say that this service is grouped into three categories: instantaneous, planned and package. On our instantaneous service, we can direct the walker within an hour. Our packages are made up of options that suit every animal lover’s needs. In our application, dog families can follow their friends from the map during the walk, request photos from the walk, receive notifications about the toilet status and see the distance covered. At the end of the walk, they receive a report with the comment of the walker. We are also putting walkers through the internal evaluation and orientation process of this organization. We support the applicants’ prepared start in theoretical and practical ways.”

For Dog Walking You Need To Know The Dogs Well
The most important part of the application is the professionalism of the specialists who performs the dog walking process, their understanding of the language of the dogs and their love to them as much as the owners. We understand from DogGO’s walker selection and training activities that carry the dog walking business to one of the most important metropolises of the world, such as Istanbul, require seriously equipped personnel in practice.

“We created this application based on our own dog friends. We first know each of our walkers face-to-face, then orient them with the support of our dog trainer and first aid team. They start by learning every situation about walking our dogs. This orientation training is also one of our most important security measures for our walking service. Each of them walks with a first aid kit on each walk. The ability to follow from the map is an important issue for anyone who naturally wants to know where their dog is. We inform dog owners how the dog is, the situation of the toilet with photos and feedbacks. In addition, we take a detailed profile of their friends and assign the most suitable walkers to the weight and characters of the species they belong to. By offering free introduction walk, we provide them experience the walker’s service; this contributes to our process of identifying them in the most appropriate walking choices we will assign.”

Cooperation With Municipalities And Non-Governmental Organizations
In this sense, Cansu Tokuç also mentions the activities carried out with the municipalities and various non-governmental initiatives.

“This issue is a top priority for us. We know that it is our duty to provide a more livable environment for our animal friends. We are trying to develop sustainable projects with municipalities. Our aim is both to ensure the well-being of our friends in the shelter and to make the city more suitable for living with our pets. We are open from heart to work with new and well-intentioned entities. Apart from that, we try to participate in the places and activities that dog families like to do and like to go to. We even have a practice that I can give as an example. This is a collaboration work with Kadıköy Cinema. We offer free walking opportunities to dog families who come to the cinema and watch movies.”

Dog Owners And Walkers Are Telling The Story

Doggo Dog Family- Neslihan Yilmaz (Çaki)
Hi, my name is Neslihan, I am 36 and I work for a pharmaceutical company as a manager in the finance department. Dog walking might not mean anything for people who do not want to live with a dog inside the house or people who do not work in shifts like me but if you are a person who is in love with dogs, and you have to work every week day, I can say that this is the greatest support for you to achieve your dreams. Not only is my dog taken for a walk and led back to home, and hence I feel at ease while I am at work, but also when I do not have enough time in the evenings and at weekends, the closest DogGO walker rushes to help.

Walker –Yiğit Kaykaç
Hello, I am Yiğit KAYKAÇ. I was born in Istanbul in 1997. I am a student in English Language and Literature Department in Doğuş University. It can be described as being a psychologist for me.  We actually provide a training process for our doggies. Throughout an entire week, 45-minute-long walks both in the morning and evening times during a day with a trained walker allow the doggy to be more peaceful after a month. In brief, we constantly contribute to them and it primarily makes me happy as a volunteer. DogGO is an ever-growing company. I think they have really nice projects for the future. I am pretty sure that this will be useful for all of the DogGO walkers in various aspects. Thanks to trainings, volunteering Works, events, etc. They provide many people employment. I make an income that I can easily afford my expenses with almost 4.5 hours of working a day.

NOTES

A True Friendship Story
Many of us have seen the film “Hachi: A Dog’s Tale, which was adapted based on a real event to the cinema. It is about the love, compassion and friendship relationship between an Akita-type dog that a professor on his way to his university finds by chance at the train station. Hachiko welcomes the professor, whom he sends off from the train station each morning, at the same station in the evenings. Hachiko kept waiting for his owner for 9 years after professor passes away. As the story is inspired by a real event, the monumental statue adjacent to Japan’s Shibuya Station is visited today by those who want to witness this true friendship.

Dog Walkers
The vast majority of people who apply for dog walkers are young people who studying at university and want to earn extra income. And the female application rate is too high to be underestimated. Another group that applied was animal lovers and housewives who wanted a quieter job.

Orientation Training For The Walkers
Although it may seem like a simple and not requiring experience job, every possibility is taken into consideration in the dog walking service. Walkers are given orientation training consisting of two stages. One is a video curriculum prepared with dog trainers and first aid teams, and the other is a practical orientation. The training is completed with a short exam and practice.

Pet Culture
Dog walking, which still has very limited recognition in our country, has an important place in urban and urban awareness. Since pet culture is a way of life that can be seen mostly in urban, we also have various duties. We have a variety of responsibilities for our best friends with whom we share life, neighborhoods, streets and houses.

By: S.Bahar Alban

*This article was published in the September-October issue of Marmara Life. 

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