I haven't posted on the blog for a long while, it's been a manic few months as the business has taken off and gone from strength to strength! Now that a lot of the day to day work has calmed down I plan to be a LOT more active on here and get the blog thriving, just like the business is. Thank you so much for all of your support.
As it's been a while, I thought it would be a good chance to do a post that lets readers get to know me a bit better. I'll follow this up with a Q&A of things we get asked a lot about our services and how they work too.
If you have any further questions, please get in touch and I'd be happy to answer them!
Okay, let's begin..
What was your first dog?
I grew up with two Irish Wolfhounds, so no size of dog bothers me at all! We got Conan and Lough when I was around 6 years old and they were such gentle giants. As they had fantastic breeding, I spent most of my weekends growing up at large dog shows up and down the country - I think this is where my love for dogs in all shapes and sizes grew! I would LOVE to get the opportunity to walk another Irish Wolfhound.
What animals do you own now?
Too many! I have my own greyhound, a cat, 14 horses and ponies, hens and a bachelor flock of cockerels! I also see the family dogs that I grew up with, which include a jack russell and two big mastiffs.
What did you do before becoming a dog walker/pet sitter?
I previously worked as a Project Manager for a social enterprise focused on raising the aspirations of young people. My main interest was encouraging young girls to consider STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) careers as there is a huge skills gap in the industry and far too much gender stereotyping going on! I still feel passionately about this work and loved my old job, however I was ready for a new challenge and was desperate to own and run my own business. They say never work with animals or children and I've done both - in my experience, they are the most rewarding jobs around!
Why did you start the business?
I have always wanted to be a business owner as I like to challenge myself and I'm quite ambitious. Animals are my biggest passion in life but I honestly thought I would start a business focused on female empowerment in schools as this was closer to my previous career - working with animals was the dream, but I didn't realise it could come true. When I took on Blackie, an ex-racer greyhound, he changed everything. Blackie doesn't like to be left alone for too long, and when I was looking for dog care services for him I struggled to find any I deemed suitable as being a greyhound, he has quite specific requirements. At this point, I started to research starting my own dog walking/pet sitting service and I realised it was a perfect fit! I have so much experience with handling animals, and by combining my animal experience with the business and client relationship skills developed in my previous role, I knew it was going to be a success and that I could offer a great service to pet owners. The risk has paid of greatly and setting up Pooches Unleashed was the best thing I ever did!
What do you do in your spare time?
I spend most of my spare time with my animals! I take Blackie and the family dogs on long dog walks, and also spend a lot of time at the stables with my horses, as well as horse riding. I spend more hours outdoors than I do inside!
Does the wet weather bother you?
As I've owned horses since I was 10 years old, I'm so used to being out in the rain and cold that it no longer bothers me. Of course I'd rather it be sunny and dry when out walking, but in the rain I just put on my waterproofs and the brisk walks keep me warm! I've learnt you can only get so wet and then you hardly notice it!
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
I have been in Buckingham Palace! Probably up there in my proudest moments of my life! It was very exciting walking through the front gates.