When 10-year-old Riley found out about PAWgust, he was determined to put his best paw forward for Guide Dogs.
“My problem was that I didn’t have a dog, so I asked my school community and my home community if I could borrow their dogs to take for walks,” Riley said.
Riley’s innovative idea received such a wonderful response from the community that he decided to launch his own dog-walking service called Creature Cadets.
In just 30 days, Riley has raised an incredible $525 for Guide Dogs, walking 15 different dogs on 36 walks over a total of 51km.
On his dog-walking adventures, Riley has had the chance to meet a number of colourful characters, including Nugget the local pug, a 15-year-old golden retriever called Moose, and even ex Guide Dog in training Alfie, who joins Riley for weekly walks.
“Moose was the slowest PAWgust walk. While we were walking him, he would just lay down – like, ‘I’m tired already’!” Riley said.
Riley’s Dad, Mark, also commented on how incredible it has been to meet members of their local community.
“Riley has had such a great response from the community and we’ve met so many people. They have stopped us in the park and asked us if Riley is ‘the dog walking boy’,” Mark said.
Creature Cadets has been such a hit that Riley intends to continue his thriving business after PAWgust, offering dog-walking and pet-sitting services to pups in need of a stroll or a place to stay.
“I never expected to become the PA to a ten-year-old,” Mark joked.
Riley couldn’t pick his favourite part of PAWgust, but visiting Guide Dogs headquarters to show off his dog-walking skills with seven-week-old Guide Dog Puppy ‘Lenny’ came close.
While ‘Lenny’ may not be quite ready to venture out into the community, he certainly gave Riley plenty of love to thank him for all his hard work.
With Riley’s big dreams for the future, Creature Cadets will be getting paws to the pavement for a while to come.
“I started dog-walking because I want to be a zookeeper when I grow up,” Riley said.
To donate to Riley’s PAWgust fund, click here or to find out more about Creature Cadets on instagram @creaturecadets.