Friday, 30 January 2009

We Don't Let Anything

Come between us and a good walk!

I'm not saying no other dog walker in Brentwood will take dogs out after dark, but if your dog needs to get out, that's the most important thing, not the time of day.

And of course, safety first, we were wearing matching luminous jackets.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

Two Years Ago Today

Buster left for Rainbow Bridge.

Now he's lending his name to all the dogs I care for, and every day, they all make me think of him. Especially the one that looks like him, and the one who shares his name.

Buster, you are my sunshine.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Have you seen Guiness?

Walking the streets day in and day out with the dogs as I do, I see a lot of missing pet pictures. Here's Guiness from Brentwood, sadly missed and desperately wanted to come home.

Wonderful Weather for Walking

It was a really lovely day outside today - I was happy to be out there! Nice sunny weather, no rain (or hail!) and no wind. Yes, that was me wearing factor 30 sunscreen. I don't care what month it is, I don't want sunburn!

I took my dogs with me for other reasons, but obviously once spring arrives it will be out of the question in my current van - it got up to 20°C in the van. They were inside most of the time, just out walking with me for about 90 minutes through the day - by the end of the day Beauty didn't want to get out, and Fred didn't want to get back in! I made sure they weren't in for more than two hours at a stretch, as that's normally my limit when travelling so they are used to it - although that was in a motorhome when they had full access - now they're in crates. They were sleeping every time I peeked though!

I am hoping to get a bigger van, with better crates and air-conditioning. I was hoping for April, but I definitely won't have saved enough by then. Perhaps a loan...

After such a lovely day it's got so cold Beauty won't go out and Fred has been banned as it's too cold to open and shut the door! We've decided to put off going shopping!

Saturday, 24 January 2009


Well, I'm now a supplier (? - I've never done this before) of Pooch and Mutt's supplements for dogs. I've been a subscriber to their blog for a while, then at Discover Dogs I discovered them 'in the flesh' and put my dogs on their Mobile Bones supplement. Unfortunately I'd just loaded up with Feelwell's probiotics so I couldn't try P&M's.

My dogs have finished their first bag and I ordered again, so I also got hold of some smaller bags to offer to my customers, and if I have any trade stands over the next year. I'm a bit nervous as offering a service doesn't cost much, so paying for something in the hope I can sell it on is a big step for me. Doesn't sound much, but all I hear on the news is people losing their houses, their jobs, etc and it's not a good time to be starting a business! But we'll try, I do have a small captive audience, and the information will go out in my next newsletter so maybe we will get some customers!

Also I've had to set up a waiting list for dogs needing walks. Either I am too busy on some of the days they want, or I don't have another dog to 'match' theirs with. I must get my application for boarding off as well!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I haven't blogged for a while because I've been so busy. I'm spending nearly all day walking one dog at a time and it's getting a bit frustrating.

So today I introduced one of my pups to her new walking partner. She is a young Wiemy, he's a GSD cross who I have been walking a couple of weeks. She needs more stimulation but is so easily aroused it's hard for me to give it to her during my hour. On a walk she generally stays close to me and doesn't really run around much so isn't making the most of her time. It's been awkward as she's not ready for an hour's walk, while the adult obviously wants as long as possible, so I've come up with a plan which I think will work.

Go to her house, do the usual bits and bobs, then drive her round to the other dog's house. Collect him, then walk them both through the fields with a bit of road walking back to her house. Tuck him safely in the side alley while I put her away, then walk him back through the fields. I think this will take more than an hour, so he'll get extra, but won't be longer than two hours, so I'll still be saving time. She will also benefit from the doggie company, which is great. I would have tried it today, only we were halfway across the fields when I realised I didn't have her door keys with me - they were still locked in the car... When I took her home today she ate all her lunch (although by then it was more 'high tea') without messing about, which is the first time since Christmas break. She also looked liked all she wanted to do was curl up and sleep for hours, which is a good thing.

Update: Woohoo! That works. Although Wiemy was a bit put out that she had to share her walk and so played up to get my attention. I'll try to make sure that she still gets some time alone one or two days a week because she is still young enough to need it.

I still feel as knackered as if I'd done two separate walks though!

Saturday, 3 January 2009


On Tuesday I have a meeting (interview?) with someone interested in doing some dog walking term time only. This is ideal for one of my dogs, who has a student 'brother', so he doesn't need walking during university holidays. I can't hold a space for a dog for that long, even with my 10% charge, and yet I don't want to let a customer down. This is the perfect solution.

So, I will be contacting my business advisors with how to go about taking on a sub-contractor, and it means I can keep advertising for more dogs.

I just hope I am not rushing things, with a nasty fall ahead.


Two problems...
1. Apparently if I give work to someone and give them hours to work, and the clients belong to my company, that person is an employee. And I can't afford an employee at the moment.
2. The person in question wanted to work cash in hand anyway.

So my empire will have to stay just me for a bit longer.