The Making of Heather's Personalised Pet Services
My family got our first dog, a farm border collie puppy called Shadow. It appeared he hadn't had the best possible start to life. He wasn't at all fond of other dogs and had his fair share of challenges, but he really spiked my mums interest in dog training and behaviour. He became successful in agility competitions and started my mother's road to becoming a professional dog trainer (Check out Torquay Dog Training).
My mum agreed with me that I could have a dog of my own. I spent ages researching the right breed for me and decided on a Papillon. I hadn't been looking for long when their she was, advertised online by a family who didn't think she fitted in with them too well. She was only a few months old and when we went to meet her she was a bundle of character, stealing chips from an unsupervised takeaway bag and full of joy. I fell in love and have been ever since. As she sleeps curled up next to me now on the sofa, making little snoring sounds, I can't imagine life without her and all of the love and joy she brings.
I left school to study Level 3 Animal Management. I was so excited to finally be studying something I loved. I didn't have a clear idea what I wanted to do with my life yet but I definitely knew that animals (most likely dogs) would be part of it.
I started work experience at Torbay Blue Cross, helping to care for their cats. Cleaning, feeding and showing the cats some care and affection.
I started studying Animal Science at university. At this point I knew I wanted to do something with dog behaviour. I found out that the dog behaviour world is heavily unregulated with many people working as trainers or behaviourists having no qualifications in the subject whatsoever. Spreading the many myths and misinformation that's out there and causing more harm than good to those they set out to help. Getting an animal based degree was the first step I took to making sure that wasn't going to be me.
I gained experience at Foredown Boarding Kennels.
I began studying Level 5 as a Canine Behaviour Practitioner.
I started working at Kennels. After spending a year as a healthcare assistant, I reached out and found myself a position and a kennel hand. I was finally able to make my living caring for the species i love so dearly. While any experience is valuable in a practical industry, you can also learn what you wouldn't do. While I'm sure most kennels do their best for the dogs in their care, I simply don't feel even the most modern kennels can provide adequately for the complex needs of such an intellectual and social species.
In November I was let go as the demand for the kennels was declining and I was no longer needed. This was a scary time for me. I'd never been in the position of depending on my savings to get by before. I looked and looked for work with no luck.
I eventually got a very small part time cleaning job. I was grateful for anything I could find but of course it wouldn't sustain me for long. I now however look back on the loss of my job almost as a blessing as my poor job hunting experience is what sparked my idea for a dog services business. It made so much sense. I was overqualified in experience and qualifications so I quickly got all of the insurance and checks, ect, in place and started to offer premium dog walking services. Now I get to put all my doggy know-how in to giving my special canine clients a truly special service.
WHY CHOOSE HEATHER'S PERSONALISED PET SERVICES?
Where we go, what we do in our time together, that all depends on what you want to get out of your dog's or pet's time with me. I don't have set locations for walks or a generic routine for pet visits because I believe there is no one fits all solution to providing the best pet care. I will find out from you and your pet how to best meet their needs and review how it's going regularly
I want pet care to be as accessable as possible to all pets. Unlike some other pet care services, I don't require dogs to be neutered as this is a personal choice between the owner and pet, and animals with behavioural issues will be considered on an idividual basis provided it is agreed the service can be carried out safely and in the pets best interests.
SOLO WALKS AS STANDARD
As part of offerering a personalised service, I don't offer group walks, in which individual needs may go unmet, to ensure all dogs recieve maximum personalisation and my full undivided attention.