How to get that pet love while trotting around the globe.
By Ava Agata Gorecki
Some of us nomads and wanderers want our pet fix, but can’t quite commit to the full-time responsibility pet ownership entails. Luckily, temporary love is just as beneficial as furever love. When you’re in a stationary period, some possibilities for getting pet adjacent include fostering a dog, volunteering at a shelter, pet-sitting and dog walking.
But what about when you’re on the move? Instead of lurking around a dog park on your next sojourn, hoping for a quick grope, there is a constructive method out there that can satisfy your need for the breed. It’s called WWOOFING and it gives you the best of all worlds; traveling to new places and hanging with all kinds of creatures big and small.
What the bleep does WWOOF stand for? No, it’s not dog for “hey girl, hey.” It is World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms.
What is it and how does it work? It is a loose network of national organizations that facilitate the placement of volunteers on organic farms. You register online for the country in which you wish to WWOOF, pay a small fee and create a profile which allows you to search for farms that suit your interests. In exchange for a fair day’s work you get free food and accommodations. Some of the jobs you may encounter on a WWOOF include: gardening, fruit picking, planting, harvesting, small construction projects, cooking, making breads and cheeses, cleaning, and milking.
Did you ever want to own a pony but no matter how much you argued to your landlord that it’s basically a large dog, they just wouldn’t agree?
Since WWOOFING happens on farms, it provides the opportunity to interact with cats and dogs. But here’s the bonus; you may also get to play with so many other animals including sheep, pigs, horses, alpacas, chickens, donkeys, goats and yes, even ponies. Sure, playing may mean cleaning a stable, or bottle-feeding baby sheep every two hours through the night… but they’re so cute and loving you won’t be mad.
WWOOFING is great if you’re traveling on a shoestring budget. The length of stay is discussed between you and your host and is typically between a week or two. Length of stays can also range anywhere from two days to six months, but let’s be real; they’ll probably adopt you if your fruit-picking game is on point. Then you can live your farm animal dreams forever! The great news is you can become a WWOOFER at any age.
If you want to live a fun, alternative and colorful lifestyle full of furry friends, WWOOFING is definitely for you.