Taking a walk on the wild side

Ashley Thompson
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Local woman sheds confines of office, creates outdoors experience for dogs

Linda Townsend’s rescue pooch Charlie inspired her to chase her dreams.

Linda Townsend’s new job is a far cry from the Halifax-based, 9-to-5 corporate marketing gigs she held for 20 years. And, she’s loving every minute of it.

Townsend, the former marketing director for the Park Lane Shopping Centre, traded a downtown office for the backwoods of Hants County when she founded Muddy Paws Adventures, an off-leash dog walking service she started last month with her seven-year-old lab/beagle mix Charlie in mind.

“He’s really the inspiration behind all of this. I hated walking out the door every morning and leaving him behind and seeing those big sad eyes,” the Rawdon resident said in a recent interview at the Hants Journal.

Primarily what we’re trying to do is offer owners some peace of mind in knowing that their dogs are getting exercised.”

Canines treated to Muddy Paws Adventures will be picked up by Townsend, and Charlie, and taken on an hour-and-a-half long hike in a serene rural setting.

“I was working in an office environment before and this keeps me outdoors, which is what I was really looking for [and] I love anything that’s four-legged and furry so now I get to spend time with dogs and nature.”

Townsend, an associate member of the Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog trainers who will be certified in pet first aid in November, says she is able to take five dogs, plus Charlie, at once. She will make exceptions and walk dogs on a leash when possible, if necessary, but the objective of the hikes is to allow pups to explore.

“The idea is that the dogs get out in a natural environment where they can really use their noses and just really be dogs.”

A hike generally costs $25, but special rates apply when a dog is penciled in multiple times a week, or the hike is the result of a referral.

Townsend, who is servicing Mount Uniacke to Windsor, will be hitting the trails year-round, and she suspects her pack will grow as the winter months draw near.

“I have a feeling business may pick up then,” she joked.

While the business may be dubbed Muddy Paws Adventures, Townsend promises her walking pals will return home with clean feet.

To learn more about Muddy Paws Adventures, visit: muddypawsadventures.com or call (902) 790-1490.

Organizations: Park Lane Shopping Centre, Hants Journal, Canadian Association of Professional Pet Dog

Geographic location: Hants County, Rawdon, Mount Uniacke

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