I’ve been passionate about animals for as long as I can remember and cannot remember any point during my childhood when we didn’t have one dog or another. (There may well have been short periods between dogs but I don’t remember them). The first ever dog in my life was Glen a lovely Golden Retriever. I think he must have been a strong boy on the lead as my mother claims one of my earliest sentences was “I want to pull Glen!”. He could also catch fish! After Glen came string of loopy but lovely natured Flatcoated Retriever girls Sally, Morven, Tessa and Millie. We also had our lovely Fell pony, Rosie with whom I had many adventures. There were also ferrets, hamsters, a bossy cockerel and an even bossier cat, Max, who had “thumbs” on his front paws due to polydactylism.
Despite being from an animal loving background, a career working with animals hadn’t seemed a viable option and after university I worked as a Speech and Language Therapist for 3 years. After this I re-trained as a paralegal, working part time after our daughter was born in 2006. When my son was born in 2011 I became a stay at home parent but kept busy with my new hobby, playing rugby!
In 2012 our Newfoundland, Boo, came into our lives at age 4. She had lived with a loving family, who were forced to give her up following a change of circumstances. She is a lovely sweet girl and generally very obedient, with a slight stubborn streak and a tendency to be a little lazy. It soon became obvious that she would be an ideal candidate to be a Therapet dog and we registered for the scheme and began visiting people with dementia in a local care home. This was a huge success and she was adored by those we visited and absolutely loved all the attention.
Once it was almost time for my son to start school I began to look into options for returning to work and this meant considering childcare options but also a requirement to find adequate company and care for Boo while I went off to work. Trying to find something flexible enough to fit around family life and at the same time talking with professional dog walkers about options for Boo should I find a suitable job steered me to consider self-employment and my affinity for animals meant become a dog walker seemed such an obvious choice that I couldn’t believe it had never occurred to me before. I started researching and in February of 2016 my business, A Walk in the Park, went live.
At time of writing we have several regular walking, home boarding and pet sitting clients and continue to develop the business, our family continues to grow as we have just welcomed 3 year old Dalmatian, Kenna, into our family this month who we found through Islay Dog Rescue (link). She’s a lovely very affectionate dog bursting with personality (and a good sprinkling of cheek!). She is settling in wonderfully and we couldn’t be more pleased with her.
Thank you for reading my first ever blog post, I look forward to updating you with more tales of my adventures with A Walk in the Park.