A SELKIRK woman is giving residents the chance to dog-sit the furry friends while their owners are on holiday.

Barking Mad Selkirk is offering dog lovers across the Scottish Borders who would love a pooch, but can't look after them full time, the opportunity to take it temporarily.

Last month, Donna Macauley, a former teacher of the deaf for 30 years, swapped teaching for tail wagging to fulfil her dream of working with dogs.

All organised by Donna, residents can become a host by looking after someone else’s dog whilst their owners are away. The rent-a-dog service is made fully safe, insured and easy to take part in without costing a penny.

Those who take part also have the option of becoming a member of the Barking Mad family of hosts, which meet periodically at organised events.

Donna said: "As a dog holiday host, I provide a loving home environment where your doggy visitor relaxes and feels at home. Regular exercise and companionship is your part of the deal, the transport is dealt with by me.

"There is no need to worry about paperwork or dealing with the customer yourself because I take care of this. All you need to do is meet up with me and we agree together; the type of dogs you like and when you are available to look after them."

The practice has been known to help combat loneliness, which many Barking Mad branches located across Scotland, England and Wales.

Donna's first ever dog was Fergus in 1977, a black Labrador stray, ignited her lifelong passion for the four-legged friends, after he followed her home and she eventually persuaded her parents to let her keep him.

After marring in 1986, she was 'found' shortly afterwards by yet another stray. He was a puppy abandoned at the school where she worked.

The Collie Cross named Basil was soon trained became an integral member of the family and was much loved by everyone.

Donna currently lives in Selkirk with her two Collie crosses Oreo and Benjay and her British Blue cat Gatsby. Near to her home, her favourite local dog walking places are along the River Ettrick, the Eildon Hills, the Three Brethren and Tyninghame Beach.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Barking Mad Host and our Community, call Donna Macaulay on 01896242096 or 07437594842, or email donna.macaulay@barkingmad.uk.com