Seniors, busy families use dog walking, training & taxi serv

Messenger photos by Dianne Garrett
Kendall Turner with John and Lisa Fulton and their son, Chris Bruegge, at their Bexley home with family pet, Yoshi, and Turner’s dog Takka. Turner, a Columbus resident, walks Yoshi three times a week, and has successfully corrected the dog’s behavior problems with training and socializing him with his own dog.
Chris Bruegge slides along side his dog, Yoshi while Takka waits her turn.  He sometimes accompanies his pet during regular walks and play dates with walker, Kendall Turner, and his dog, Takka.

Sometimes having a dog can be a handful for an older person, or a challenge for a busy family. Then the pet doesn’t get enough exercise, which is a risk to his health, or he develops behavior problems, which is a risk to the safety of others.

Kendall Turner, who has been the kennel manager at Whitehall Animal Hospital for six years, offers walking, training and transportation services that make having a canine companion more manageable.

Turner adores dogs. So it only seemed fitting when a busy family came to him for assistance with their dog, Yoshi.

Bexley residents John and Lisa Fulton and their son, Chris Bruegge, adopted Yoshi from the Franklin County animal shelter. The mixed breed, about 3 years old, had been placed on the schedule to be euthanized.

Lisa noticed that the dog was gaining some weight, because of lack of exercise, and he was a little hard to manage at times. He was great around the family, except for not paying attention or sitting still.

When Lisa or Chris walked him around the neighborhood, he would become aggressive with people and other animals along the way. He wasn’t really trying to be mean, but was more in protective mode.

They noticed that Yoshi got along with Turner whenever he had to go to the vet. So they asked if he would be interested in taking them on as clients to train and exercise Yoshi.

The routine consists of Turner picking Yoshi up three times a week for a long walk as they work on heeling, sitting and other behavior issues that may arise. Then they play.

He introduced Yoshi to his own one-year-old Rottweiler, Takka, for socialization, and they two have become fast friends. One of their favorite pastimes is playing on slides.

Just like kids, they climb up and slide down, and seem to have little smiles on their faces. The pair also gets treated to a swim at Big Walnut Park on occasion.

After about an hour, Turner returns home with Yoshi, gives a report on how the animal behaved, and what activities he enjoyed, as well as other pertinent information. He also offers advice and training tips.

Lisa said that the first time she and Chris took Yoshi for a walk after a workout with Turner, the dog was friendlier and better behaved.

"We got more than we ever dreamed. In just less than a month, there were huge improvements," she said.

John added that Yoshi used to wander around the house when the family was trying to watch a movie or relax. "He used to just walk through the house getting into things. Now he lies down and joins us."

Turner also drives the pet taxi that is offered by the animal hospital. Anyone who has transportation difficulties can get a ride for their pet and themselves to the vet or to a groomer in the areas of Whitehall, Bexley, and east Columbus for $15, round-trip. Outside the area is a slightly higher price depending on the location.

The service is utilized by many seniors who no longer drive, or who have trouble handling an animal that may not like riding in a car.

Turner can be contacted at 517-7836 for his personal dog exercising services. For the pet taxi, call him at Whitehall Animal Hospital at 235-9164.

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