Tazz speaks with Spencer Hodgetts, the founder of Reboundog.He believes that every person can bring about goodness. He created the social group Reboundog to bring together the people that practice what they preach in the world of animal welfare and human welfare.
A little about who Spencer is...in his own words:
"I believe that undesirable dogs & disadvantaged people have the right to belong in society!
So I help pet advocacy & therapy professionals create the social-impact they desire.
About four years ago someone on social media in the US shared a video about a “prison dog program”. That video touched something deep down in me about listening, real deep listening….without pre-judgement. I’ve been in too many situations from very young childhood on where I or others around me have not been listened to.
When I went to secondary school in Holyhead, N.Wales in ‘68 I was one of only half a dozen English kids in a school of 1900+ so one learnt pretty quick to fight your ground. An old school friend, now in Norway who has kept in loose contact with a cousin, commented recently that she remembered me as standing up to speak his mind on environmental issues. I’d grown up there on a beach with a rescue English collie as my friend. So I’ve been standing up with my head above the parapet for over half a century!
My working life falls into two blocks of landscaping big stuff such as motorways & logistics truck driving which included union representation of 7k UK employees with the Global Board in Europe. So working with real people who don’t give a proverbial. Oh! 3 years in the middle for a national group for small business owners which lobbied MPs & MEPs based on referendum surveys (great for developing listening skills without your own opinion).
I’ve spent the previous two decades+ since the passing of my brother learning about personal development (not the happy clappy crap), so could see this thing about people & dogs that have never been listened to. In 2015 after the completion of a Medicine Walk my business coach concluded “you have a deeply relational gift of listening to and learning from a living sensate world. That is who you are. Go use it well in service”
So when this video popped up it made so much sense and about which I could see so much potential not just in the prison sector, but in all situations where we have disadvantaged people from the homeless & those who belong to gangs, the lonely, the elderly to veterans with PTSD. Rather than just have ordinary people train therapy dogs which are given to the disadvantaged let’s train the disadvantaged to be the trainers!
Plus surely such collaborations must create a regular solution to a lot of the rescued dogs that aren’t cute….the underdogs.
Of which we’ve rescued several over the last four decades+.
Now I use my listening & networking skills to bring people together who can make social-impact happen locally, nationally & internationally. From my earlier botanical background I see networks as potential symbiotic relationships rather than a social hierarchy."