Life with dogs
Working with dogs is a lifelong ambition for many people, it can be for you too....
6 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR POTENTIAL DOG WALKER BEFORE YOU HIRE THEM (AND IT'S NOT THE PRICE)....
1. Does your dog walker have business insurance?
Nobody wants to think about bad things happening whilst your dog is out on a walk, but inevitably at some point this may happen. Insurance is never a great topic of conversation but you need to know that a) your dog walker is acting in a responsible way but also b) your dog walker is taking their business seriously and is willing to make the investment of the insurance premium. It shows they are a professional and not cutting corners. If they are willing to get the necessary documentation in place for this, they are likely to be more willing to have other things 'in order' also.
2. Does your dog walker hold a Canine First Aid Certificate?
Again this is not a great topic of conversation for your 'meet and greet' but like insurance it's one of those things that they will need to have boxed off. Why? Because again it shows that they are taking responsibility for their job, they are taking steps to ensure the safety of your dog, they are being extra cautious and getting trained in a scenario that may turn out to be life saving. They are being thorough and acting like a professional, rather than someone who just wants to earn a bit of cash doing a nice job. Make sure you check their certificate, some training courses aren't as good as you might think. One of the best Canine First Aid trainers would be Rachel Bean RVN as she is a registered veterinary nurse and the course uses real life dogs to practice on, this way the lesson is more real, interactive and intuitive than some others that are perhaps self taught/ online methods for example.
3. How will you keep my dog safe?
What you're looking for here is a reassurance that the dog walker has structure and policies in place to ensure your dog is well looked after. Things like:
The dog will travel individually in their car or van. Dogs may be OK out on a walk together, but inside the car or van it may be a different story. While your dog walker is driving a fight could start and if the dogs are hemmed in all together, this could lead to significant problems.
The dog will be strapped into the seat belt via a harness and a seat belt clip, or the dog will be secured inside a crate or caged area in a van for example.
The dog will not be let off lead until good recall/ relationship/ bond has been established.
The dog will be discouraged from approaching other dogs outside of their own social group (if it's a group walk).
The dog will be watched and the dog walker has a mobile phone policy (we've all seen the walkers who are staring at their phone oblivious to the dogs running off, pooing on the path etc). You want a dog walker that pays attention to your dog.
The dog walker can demonstrate dog experience (you can get this info from their website- YES THEY NEED A WEBSITE or are they even a professional?), you can ask them for a brief history of their experience with dogs.
4. How long will my dog ACTUALLY BE WALKING FOR?
This is so important as many dog walkers vary in their services and some make it very unclear as to what the 'hour' for example actually means. Look for clarity on this as you don't want your dog in the car for 25 mins and only walking for 35 mins to make up an hour. Ideally, your dog should be walking for THE FULL HOUR, which excludes travel time. Your dog will then be out of the house for a considerable amount of time which is great for your dog, as they will not only have the hour long exercise but also company, interaction and a change of scene to break up their day.
5. What will you DO on the dog walk?
This is also so important as it sorts out the wheat from the chaff of the dog walking world. Depending on what you're looking for, it's good to know what will happen during that hourly walk. If the answer is 'just walk' then perhaps your dog walker hasn't put too much effort into trying to create a great experience for your dog. A professional dog walker will want the dogs to have a great time and what they do in order to achieve that is important.
For example will they:
Let your dog run mad, play, play play with every other dog it sees? (Yep they will return tired but they will also be a nightmare to walk when it's your turn to do it).
Make it fun? How will they do that?
Take toys with them?
Cram a lot of dogs all into one big group?
Go to different places or the same location EVERY. SINGLE. TIME? (BORING)
6. Will you train my dog and if so what methods will you use?
I'm afraid this is a bit of a 'can of worms' question but you really need to know the answer. First thing first, most dog walkers are NOT trainers, some are a combination of both though so do check (A dog trainer will have a professional qualification in dog training from a veritable source). However, most GOOD dog walkers should be able to teach what I call 'canine life skills' which are skills that will help your dog cope with everyday life, not to be confused with obedience. These are things like:
Listening to their walker
Following simple instructions
Being able to come back (recall)
Having good manner eg. they don't barge other dogs, they don't jump up at people , they don't run off after every single dog they see to play etc.
These helpful life skills can be taught through the dog walker being consistent , giving praise and rewarding good behaviour (usually with treats).
Just double check with your walker if they understand 'positive reinforcement' and ensure that the way they encourage your dog to behave does not involve punishment or alpha dog methods. Unless specifically trained in these sectors, a dog walker would be most effective in forming a positive, rewarding bond with your dog that enables trust, a feeling of safety and friendship.
Get more clarification on positive reinforcement versus alpha dog training methods and ideology here.
So, I hope you found this useful. Dog walkers are great people and obviously as one myself, I think the profession is one to be proud of. However, it's an unregulated sector in an ever increasing market, so it's important to choose your dog walker carefully.
You notice that I have left out the question that dog walkers get asked ALL THE TIME:
How much do you charge?
This is an important question of course, but it shouldn't be the FIRST thing that you need to know as a dog owner. The safety of your dog, the quality of service and the competence of the dog walker should come higher in your priorities than the price alone. Once you've got the answer to these important question, then you can ask the price if you don't already know it.
In conjunction with these questions it's important to use your gut feeling when you meet your potential dog walker, ask or look up references and if in doubt, ask to join them out on a walk one day. If you do all this, your dog will be soon having a great time and the worry of leaving them alone will be alleviated.
Click the links for more information about our dog walking adventure services and my Dog Walker Academy if you would like to learn more about working with dogs yourself.
Are you a dog walker worried about standing out from the overwhelming competition? Here's 5 ways to overcome it.....
1. Show case your reasons for doing what you do
Telling potential clients why you do what you do will help them find an affinity with you. This is particularly useful in the dog sector as our furry friends mean a lot to us. Clients need to be able to trust you and like you, the way to do this is to share your reasons, motivations and values. This will draw those who can resonate with your values and motivation towards you and they will be more inclined to trust you with their beloved dog. Competitors who don't convey their reasons and motivations will experience less affinity and trust and relating to them may be more difficult. It doesn't need to be anything too fancy, just a page on your website about where your motivation comes from is enough.
2. Find a corner of the dog walking market to call your own
This may sound like a plan to reduce the amount of clients wanting your services, but in fact narrowing down your breadth of services and concentrating on one specific market will actually improve your chances of getting noticed, and in turn getting clients. Being specific and offering a more bespoke service will attract 'your type of people' to you. Concentrating on a particular type of service e.g. puppies only or rescue dogs only will mean people in your area will associate that with you, whereas trying to please ALL the people, ALL the time will dilute your magnetism. Finding a niche that suits your own personality and offers a solution to demand in your area is the easiest and quickest way to get well known for that thing, for example the vegan restaurant in your town is very specific and attracts vegan diners (rather than vegan diners having to ask what food is vegan on the general menu in a non exclusive restaurant).
3. Let your pricing structure set the scene
Once you've found your specific bit of the market or nailed your niche, you can then charge more money. Being priced differently distinguishes you from all the other dog walkers in your area who all charge the same or the 'going rate'. Having a more exclusive service or niche, naturally means people will expect to pay more. If all dog walkers were priced the same, how would customers choose between you all? Every sector has tiers, you can choose where in those tiers your services lie. You may find that you want to be the budget brand dog walker in your town (I wouldn't recommend that....but that's a title for another blog post) and that would set you apart, but being in the middle is a very grey, confusing place to be. Ideally if you niche down and corner your market, you will naturally be expected to be near the top of the pricing tier which ultimately means less stress for you and a more profitable business.
4. Don't just do the dog walking, show your skills
Dog walking in the United Kingdom particularly is viewed as a bit of hobby job and with that comes a belief that we are not particularly skilled people and we have decided to work with animals because we aren't much good at the 'other stuff'. In reality this couldn't be further from the truth. I know some super intelligent people who have jacked in their corporate jobs to set up a dog walking business as a lifestyle choice.......but they still have ALL THE GOOD SKILLS. The key is to still use all those good skills. What do I mean by this? Well I mean be a dog walker AND a business person, be a dog walker AND an entertainer, be a dog walker AND a writer, be a dog walker AND a speaker, be a dog walker AND a marketeer. Its amazing how much praise I get when people realise that I'm a #1 author, that I've a good degree and a background in education. USE YOUR SKILLS and people will be in awe of your brilliance and gravitate towards you. These super skills make you unique too.
5. Blow your own trumpet
This goes against all your natural instincts as a person who naturally enjoys the company of dogs (we are not particularly people, people) but as a business owner you have to share your wins and sparkle your glitter. If you get good feedback from a customer....share it, if you get a lovely text message from a client....share it (ask permission first of course), if you do use your other good skills (as mentioned in point 4), share your stuff. I like writing and I shared my book to my clients and they bought the book (even though they weren't thinking of setting up a dog walking business), because they thought it was interesting. If you're a good photographer....share it. If you're learning new skills.....tell people. It's not just about the dog walking, its about YOU as a person and that is so important nowadays in a world of media overwhelm to share your personality and your development. You have to shout about yourself as nobody else will do it for you. YOU are your best advert, tell people your skills, your wins, your positive results and your aspirations. All this information is actually helping your potential customers decide whether to become a customer or not. You need to sell yourself and point out your attributes as these are unique to you and in turn set you apart from the competition in your town.
To delve more deeply into how to stand out from the never ending competition, check out my brilliant six module course 'How To Attract Clients In To Your Dog Based Business Despite The Overwhelming Competition'.
I've finally done it and my very first book is on Amazon Kindle at the moment and available on pre-order. The paperback will be ready on July 12th 2020. I have been writing it for a while, but only properly knuckled down on it since March 2020. Whilst it's essentially a business and marketing book for dog walkers here are five reasons why I think it just might improve your life- whoever you are and whatever you do:
1, My circumstances in this book don't start off too brightly and I'm on a downward spiral. I am able to pull myself up and start on a remarkable journey with dogs. The message is that if I can restart my life/ path/ trajectory........anyone can. If you are feeling down, take inspiration from my story and go do the thing!
2, This book is about dog walking but the lessons can be applied to any business, whatever sector you are in, this book may just reveal something you've not considered before. Learning never ends and contrary to popular belief....you can ALWAYS teach an old dog new tricks.
3, If you didn't already know it......dogs make you happier. Whether you own one or are just spending time with them, their outlook on life can teach us a lot. If you're not a dog person then perhaps you ought to be. As this book reveals, much good can come from being with dogs.
4, Surrounding yourself with good, positive, ambitious and helpful people is the best way to achieve success yourself. If your inner crew drag you down, you're going to feel down in the dumps too. Get yourself a positive crowd, one that supports you, makes you feel good and doesn't moan all the time......you'll feel better in no time. In this book, I teach myself to listen to the good (and not the bad) coming from myself and others.... and it really worked.
5, Finally, always ask for help. In this book I need help and feel a bit silly at first asking for it, but then I am brave and seek assistance and the flood gates open. In comes the tidal wave of self- development, personal growth and ultimately success. Asking for help is clever and should always be your number one 'go to' when the stakes are against you.
I hope that fills you with a bit of inspiration. Have a read of the book and see what you think. You never know, you might be so inspired that you even end up becoming a dog walker! Lucky you!!
Grab your copy on Amazon below:
Writing A Book Makes Me Dog Tired....especially as I've only given myself 2 months!!
As you can tell by the date, I'm writing this post during lockdown in the UK. I should infact be writing my book as I've put myself under a bit of pressure. I have been wanting to write a book for ages and thought I may have time to finally get one under my belt whilst the world stood still. With this is mind, when I was interviewed by Woman and Home magazine a couple of weeks ago, they were asking me about my business journey. They were doing an article about how women of my age have launched successful pet businesses in the last five years. My story was about how I launched my dog walking business with very little investment and what it has now become within three years. During the interview they said my story was inspirational (which was lovely to hear) and when asked what my next steps were, I proclaimed that I was writing a book. As I say, the idea had been in my head a while and I thought this was the ideal time to put it in motion, after all the magazine was coming out in July 2020.....I had plenty of time right and anyone reading the interview would perhaps go on to buy the book if they too were inspired?!
As I hung up from the interview, I felt excited that I had given myself some accountability at last, to get my ass into gear and start churning out the chapters. I'd also put myself under immense pressure to get it done in 60 days. When I say done, I mean drafted, re-drafted, proof read, edited, formatted, cover designed, printed! Not only did I now need to write the bloody thing, but I had to learn all that stuff too.
It was a bit of a reckless decision considering that in lockdown I am still running my business (even though we are not actually walking), I have other projects that need my attention, and more importantly I am home schooling my two primary school aged children (aged 6 and 7).
So I'm posting this blog as a bit of a marker of an experiment: Will the accountability make me get to this goal in record time (in time for the magazine feature), or will the pressure get me down, add to the gloom and stress of the situation and cause me to fail (with me finishing after the magazine deadline).
Time will tell, but time is the enemy and yet time is what I've been given as lockdown continues.
I'm excited to see if I reach the goal post and anxious to see myself fail. Let's see how this strange time pans out. I'll be back to update myself (and therefore you) through regular posts but in the meantime rejoice in the fact that at least I have a working title: From Poor To Paw ( and then a bit more ......that I've not decided on yet)!!
Ps. Additional pressure loaded on by offering you a chance to win a copy in the ......no pressure! ( and GOOD LUCK) xx
Easter Sunday's Message of Hope in these uncertain times.
These are uncertain times for sure, a time of unprecedented global upheaval and worry, a time of great sadness. Some may be grieving, some may be lonely and scared and some may be apprehensive about their future, not nice feelings at all. We have not experienced anything like this in our lifetime.
But today is Easter Sunday, a day when re- birth, and the healing of humanity is celebrated all over the world. Today we come together to celebrate this special day and even though we may not be with our loved ones, not be celebrating in exactly the way we would hope, it's a day when we need to remember that the world will heal, nature will renew itself and things will return to normal eventually.
The sun will rise on a better day.
Hopefully not too far in the future we will feel better about things and feel better about the future. Whether you're religious or not, Easter Sunday will always portray hope. It's very symbols reflect the springtime, awakening and the renewal of all that was lost through the winter months. I hope today for my 'Paws for Thought' you can find comfort in the message of Easter, find comfort in those around you, find comfort in the un-floundering love of your dog or pet, from those in your household, your immediate family. Let's hope today is the start of things getting better, the start of brighter days ahead.
Happy Easter to you all and good health to all I know and love.
The clocks have sprung forward, robbing us of an hour today and usually this would be a bit of an inconvenience on a Sunday evening, but as we're in lockdown, the loss of an hour to British Summer Time is neither here nor there. Tomorrow is the same as today, today was the same as yesterday, each day we wake up and my children ask me what they are doing today? My answer is the same, we're spending time together. I've no job at the moment, I'm not a key worker (huge shout out to those that are ♥️) and my day to day role now is to home school my two young children which is trickier than expected but is going quite well considering they're of a similar age but with very different personalities! Instead of having to juggle my parental duties with running my business which usually proves stressful and leaves me with zero time to myself, the balance of work/ home life at present is much easier. We can't leave the house except to shop for food and take one walk a day so once home school has closed for the day, I'm finding myself with time on my hands and loving it! I've been listening to audiobooks, reading books, researching new projects and catching up with family and friends over the phone. It's been nice to do nothing, to sit in the garden and just listen to children playing, birds singing and doing a bit of gardening. It's been nice to clear out the cupboards and re-arrange my clothes drawers. It's been nice to have some head space, to put some order to my thoughts and plan things which have been on my to do list for ages. So even though the circumstances in which we find ourselves are unnerving, worrying and we may feel apprehensive about money, food, loved ones, health and how long this 'staying home' will last, let's embrace this opportunity to press pause, to take our foot off the gas, to do the things we've usually never got time to do. Let's also hope that when we get through this period of history, we'll remember that doing less was actually ok and perhaps full speed ahead wasn't that good for us after all. Sometimes it's ok to 'Paws for Thought' and although we'd like normality back, we can also hopefully make the most of right here and now. ♥️
The first thing I want to say is that I understand that we are in unprecedented territory with the outbreak and spread of the novel Coronavirus or Covid-19, and as a business we take the implications of the virus very seriously. Over the next day or so, I will set out the changes that we are making to help combat/ slow down the spread of this virus, but firstly, I wanted to start with YOU, and set out 6 easy ways to try and keep yourself well.
I'm no medic or health worker, I humbly walk dogs for a living, and in addition to following guidelines, I think we need to take a common sense, panic free approach and the process should start with looking after ourselves and protecting our bodies from attack, so here's a few ideas of just how to do that:
1. Get your immune system in tip top condition- this seems like a no brainer to me, surely improving our immune system by eating vitamin rich foods particularly Vitamin A and C is a sure fire way to help ward off any virus. Eating lots of fresh fruit and veg particularly super foods like brocolli, kale, blueberries, oranges sweet potato, butternut squash, beetroot are full of these essential vitamins while grains, seeds, pulses, oily fish, tumeric and ginger for example will get your body in tip top condition, making it more able to fight off infection and viruses. Probiotic drinks and yogurts are also beneficial in keeping your gut healthy and ensuring your bodies natural defenses are fighting virus's, colds and flu.
2. Water! Wash your hands in it (often), drink it (often)- being properly hydrated enables your body to work properly, all your internal functions slow down and become less effective if you are dehydrated so water is a key component in fighting off any viral attacks. The recommended daily amount is 2 litres.
3. Walk your dog- now of course I would say that, but dog walking DOES actually help you ward off poor health (don't have a dog?...go for a walk anyway, it'll do you the world of good).....why?-
* Fresh air is good for you, it makes you feel better, fills your lungs with clean air rather than stale, recycled indoor air more likely to contain viral droplets etc.
* Being outdoors reduces stress, stress can suppress your immune system leaving you more open to catching colds, flu and viruses ,so being less stressed improves your immunity naturally.
* Even moderate exercise improves your immunity and reduces stress so dog walking naturally boosts your endorphins which in turn improves your feel good factor.....its a win- win!
* Being outdoors boosts your Vitamin D intake, an essential vitamin that stimulates the release of peptides which are our bodies virus fighting substances.
4. Get enough sleep- being tired reduces the bodies natural defence mechanisms, so try to stick to as normal a routine as possible, going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, enhances the quality of sleep, regulating our internal functions and in turn improving our immunity.
5. Tune out- easier said than done when the tv and radio are constantly forecasting doom and gloom. Would you feel better if you took a break from tv, social media and newspapers? Perhaps read a book, do some drawing, phone a friend and get some positive vibes back in your daily routine. Constantly listening to the news as it unfolds isn't going to change the outcome, but taking a few hours for yourself, a bit of an escape from the constant Covid noise may just lessen your stress. Stress is not good for our bodies, it makes us feel tired, depletes our defenses and makes us grumpy......a perfect reason to switch off and chill out for a few hours I'd say.
6. Help someone in need- lending a hand to someone worse off than yourself, actually improves your own health! The feel good factor of doing a kind deed has been proven to release endorphins into our blood stream, which in turn lowers our blood pressure, regulates our heart rate and breathing, what's not to love about that. As long as you are symptom free, your hands are clean and you are following guidelines, our community is relying on people to do the right thing and round about NOW is the right time to perhaps be helping out a neighbour or loved one.
I've just got back from a weekend away, and as always like to take a bit of time to think back over the week for Sunday's 'Paws For Thought'.
As the picture shows, I did a bit of walking with my lovely someone special (you may remember my post a while ago about dating, well shortly after that post I struck extremely lucky and I am now in a relationship with a wonderful man who has far exceeded my expectations ♥️)!
So, this week I've been getting stressed about things that might happen, things that could go wrong and things that I'm needing to hand over control of, which has made me feel uncomfortable when in reality all my worries came to nothing and things turned out far better than I could have ever anticipated.
Similar to my family life, I've had lots of worries about my business in the past that never came to fruition either. I worried I was too expensive, worried staff wouldn't deliver the service as well as I could and recently worried that I was getting so busy that I could no longer juggle things effectively.
The idea of the business first came to fruition in the Lake District many years ago when I lived there, and I decided I wanted to offer a service that catered for the clever, intelligent beings that dogs are and offer a more enriching experience rather than just provide a walk around a boring bit of local grass! Nowadays that vision is well and truly playing out and I'm at the point where I now need to hand over more control for some parts of the business to my staff, freeing up time for me to concentrate on some bigger plans. It's going to take trust and communication and luckily I've good people waiting in the wings to step up. In every aspect of life it's ok to worry, but it's also essential to break through those worries and just do it....feel the fear and do it anyway (to quote the infamous Susan Jeffers book).
So I'm moving forwards in many areas of my life and taking a leap of faith. I'm excited to see where it will lead me, but most of all I'm going to enjoy the journey it takes me on. While the year is still young, perhaps see if there are areas where you can do the same and let's see where 2020 takes us.
Welcome to my first 'Paws for Thought' of 2020 and my reflections of the New Year so far! I ended the year on a high with a fantastic video of our achievements at PAWS in 2019 and seeing how far we'd come in just 12 months was a proud moment for me and one which has spurred me on to achieve even more in 2020. However, despite my hunger for success in the year ahead, and making plans for moving forward, I always like to look at the past week on a Sunday and see what lessons I can gain through spending time with our four pawed, furry companions and my family.
As the new year begins, it's a natural time to think about fresh starts, new routines and starting over. It struck me this week that dogs have a natural ability to have a 'fresh start' mindset and rarely bare a grudge (except in extreme cases). They take each moment as an opportunity to gain something, experience something, do something new. They rarely dwell on the outcome the last time they tried something and are always hopeful of getting what they want.
Take Maisie here in the picture, she's looking at me with her nose twitching trying to smell treats, she knows that if she does a trick or pose for me that treats will follow but possibly remembers that I had none to give her moments before as she did the log run as I had run out. She doesn't realise however that my daughter has remembered that she some left! Despite knowing she got none last time, she tries again....a fresh new chance to get a treat, no grudge for not giving her one at the last attempt. And that's what's so brilliant about dogs.....their mindset of always trying.... just in case. Always being hopeful of a positive outcome, always willing to give it a try just to see if they win!
So as you start your new year, try to let go of any previous fails, disappointments and frustrations and make an effort to try again, just to see if the outcome improves. This time you might get lucky, you might just get your timing right and get the reward you seek. Don't let the previous niggles and worry stop you from giving it another shot. Just like Maisie, your next reward might be creeping up on you ready to make your day.
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' January 5th 2020❤️🐾
As midnight passes on Sunday and I think about this weeks 'Paws for Thought' one thing strikes me as my motivator, my fuel and my reason for doing what I do week in week out: my family ❤️!
My mum is visiting this week and she's helping to look after my children during half term week. She's 82 years old and has seen a lot in life. She knows that I work hard and I love the work I do but questioned my motivation on why I'm putting in such effort for sometimes, very little gain. She watched me work this weekend when I could have spent the day relaxing, and watches me work all week and well into the evening time when others are perhaps watching TV or chatting to friends. In response to her question, I had a think as to why I work so much and decided that my reason for building up my business faster than I possibly need to, isn't just financial reward although that of course is important, but it's more to do with building up a 'thing' that I'm proud of and enjoy. I want my children to see me accomplish something from nothing, to teach them that it's possible to have a dream and make it come to life, to have an idea and with a lot of dedication and hard work watch it grow. I'd like them to be proud of my achievements some day and understand that their Mummy engineered a life for herself centred around doing something she loved and enjoyed. It's taken me a long time to find my 'thing' and now I have I'm going to keep working until this vision comes to fruition. Some people will try and stop me, knock down my confidence, make things difficult and try and improve their own positions off the hard work I put in. Others will encourage me, support me and show me the patience and I understanding I need to get me to where I want to be. I'm on a mission, and I've a solid motivation fueling me and that is the fire within my tummy; love for my work, love for my ideas, love for my family. It's wonderful to be fuelled by this, rather than a financial goal. It gives me a freedom to follow my heart and do what I love and be true to myself. The rewards will follow, of this I'm sure and I'll be proud I got there through my own dedication, good character and strength.
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' post October 2019 ❤️🐾
This Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' is a bit of a shout out to how great we are! It's not often I draw attention to the mission of P.A.W.S. but this week, as I muse about the dogs we've helped and cared for this week, it's clear that we really focus on the dogs and how we can best service them, rather than our bottom line!
It's obvious that our name P.A.W.S is an acronym of Paws Adventure Walking Service which describes us as a Dog Adventure company pretty well, but the name can mean so much more when you look at HOW we deliver this service. You see, we don't just bundle as many dogs as we can together and ignore their well-being on the walk. Our mission as a company is to ensure that the dogs are teamed with other SUITABLE dogs that not only get on, but compliment each others personalities, and are able to support eachother positively. Our groups are tailor made to solve an issue that the owner is experiencing and in turn get the best outcome for the dog.
Take paddy (pictured) for example, he's super nervous of other dogs and didn't even want to walk on our first time out together, and now within a few weeks of patience and determination to overcome his barriers, he now joins Willow and Maddie out on an adventure twice a week. Then there's Maddie, another nervous one who used to shake and snarl in fear, now zooms at top speed with a group and is loving life. Last week there was Ozzy, who wouldn't walk either, but is now starting with me to try and get him integrated slowly into a suitable group.
There's lots of dogs who we work slowly and steadily with to improve their confidence and get them achieving their owners goals. We do this through positivity, encouraging them to achieve a favourable outcome, by improving their well-being and providing a service that offers specialist support, suited to the needs of the particular dog.
We are ALL about the needs of the dogs rather than the needs of the company, and that is what I believe sets us apart. Our groups are individually crafted to keep the dogs happy. I'm proud of that fact and strive to deliver a service that is Positive, encourages Achievement, promotes Well-being and is Special!
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' Post- October 2019❤️🐾
I usually have a think about the weeks events and formulate them into Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' and this week was mainly about Cockapoos work wise and dates, on a personal level. In complete contradiction to a recent article in the Daily Mail I featured in about how I prefer dogs to men, I have actually started to think about trying to find myself a man, a partner, an other half, a fella.....and that process starts with a date and the mutual sussing out as to whether this person is possibly a potential mate. I've been on a few recently and funnily enough, it got me thinking about Cockapoo's. After the initial excitement wore off and I was alone, my over active brain started working out all the good bits and the not so good bits and it dawned on me that perhaps what I'm hoping for doesn't actually exist! So why the link to Cockapoo's. Well this week I had the pleasure of spending time with a whole field full of these beautiful dogs and it got me wondering why the mix of breeds even exists. Surely the Cocker Spaniel and Poodle are sufficiently good dogs to fill the needs and desires of dog lovers? When did the personality traits and physical appearance of each breed become 'not enough' for us? Yes the Cockapoo is an absolutely gorgeous dog, and has the intelligence, beauty and vivacity of those two breeds combined but I do wonder why we 'needed' it? Was the Cocker Spaniel too 'shedding' and lost too much hair and was the Poodle not cute enough? The combination is of course a complete success and hugely popular, and they are infact now one of my favourite breeds, but they are also a victim of their own success with alot needing to be rehomed once folk realise how high maintenance they actually are . My point is that we must have sought perfection, traits that satisfy our every need with no compromise. Is this how I am with men? When actually I'm just looking for a bit of company and affection! So after reflection, I've decided to be a bit more laid back, not so judgemental, and embrace the Poodle in it's natural state and not demand a perfect mix of all the best traits. So with that attitude (and a natural love for poodles) let's see where we are by Christmas!
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sundays 'Paws for Thought' post- Sept 2019❤️
With the Autumn Equinox being today, This week's 'Paws for Thought' is a day late. Autumn is my favourite season, she never disappoints in her delivery of sunshine, blazing through vibrant colours. Even in this country, the beauty of the season is breathtaking. The equinox in signifying the equal measure of day and night is so neat, so simple and so inviting to embrace.......it's a chance to renew, start again, regroup, reflect and start a new cycle.
As a dog walker I really feel connected with nature and the local environment in which I walk. I've been walking through the seasons for many a year. I remember when I first moved to the Wirral with my beloved dog Bebe, I felt like I was on holiday. I couldn't believe the countryside surrounding me. We walked for miles, learning new routes, figuring out which lanes lead to where, visiting every little patch of this majestic landscape until it was etched into mind forever. Now I walk these same tracks for a living, no longer with my beloved dog, but with your dogs, always remembering the time when we visited these places together. As the seasons change, I always notice and find pleasure in seeing the changes around me. The smell of the earth in spring as it erupts into life, the pop of the gorse bush pods as they burst open, the excited chatter of birds in the trees planning their families. In summer the sound of the buzzards overhead, circling in triplicate looking for food. In Autumn the scent of the berries ripening in the hedgerows and the low slow hum of the bees frantically collecting before winter closes everything down. I see and feel, and smell and notice all the changes with acceptance and excitement. Every season bring good things if you get out there and look for them. I have to agree with Emily Bronte, it is a delight to see the falling leaves. For me, it's not the end of sunshine or the signaling of death, but moreso nature taking stock, shedding weight and refuelling. We all need to take a rest, recharge and let things go that weigh us down. Embrace the seasons, they are part of the cycle of your life and have their own delights to offer. Enjoy your autumn- Mrs Paws
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice Sunday's 'Paws for Thought' post- Sept 2019❤🐾
So the school summer holidays are nearly at the end and we've survived the six weeks without too much stress. A few glitches here and there but essentially it's been A- OK. The great thing about this business is that to a degree, you can combine the day job with the job of being a Mum and to me that is worth it's weight in gold. Having the flexibility to be there for my children, as well as build a successful and growing business centred around the things I love: being a Mum, dogs and nature is a blessing which I'm thankful for every day. From their perspective having a Mum that's available (to a certain degree) for all the important stuff in life is great for them. I get to do the school run and be there at all those critical steps along the way. They also see me working hard to achieve my goals and provide for them as a family, which can only serve them well in the future and of course they get to spend time outdoors, in all weathers with both dogs and nature, and both those things are elements that in my opinion, no childhood should be without.
So even though at times, I did get ignored when I told my children to stop doing something, and I did have to carry human bribes as well as doggy treats on the adventures, and I did have to console my offspring when a dog stole their best den making branch (Bella I'm looking at you here 😁), the joy I get from seeing them all play together, learn together and have fun is worth the extra patience needed to get through.
So this Sunday's 'PAWS for Thought' is this; no matter how out of sync, time consuming, patience testing your little family team can feel at times, the fact that you're together experiencing the outdoors and a sense of adventure as one unit.... is all good!
Time goes so quickly and the time will no doubt come when my children won't want to be by my side so much anymore, and even though our dog adventures have lasted double the time with them in tow and the den building caused a few tears and frustrations, in the end it was lovely just to be together and I've cherished those moments very much. Happy Sunday and enjoy your own little team ❤️🐾- Mrs PAWS
I ventured out last night to a lovely garden party of the owners of a dog that I adventure; Roscoe. I've not seen him for a week as I've been on holiday and the welcome he gave me on arrival was tremendous, he got super excited to see me and barked and made a huge fuss. He thought I was taking him out for a walk, but I showed him my heels and explained the situation and eventually he understood and calmed down. He kept checking in with me just to double check that I hadn't changed my mind and even followed me to the toilet and whined through the door at me. He was besotted and I watched him work his way around the garden checking out all the other guests, deciding which ones were likely to pet him and give him a fuss....he was seeking out the 'doggy people' and approached each one, sniffing out their dog friendliness, but he always returned to me, having evaluated that apart from his owners, I was the next best bet for a cuddle and a bit of pizza!
Watching him got me thinking about how I myself interact with new people. I've recently started to date after a period of not going out and now I'm having to meet new people and I'm finding that I guage whether I'm going to like someone based on their opinion of dogs!
It's often one of my first questions upon meeting a new person, the conversation going like: 'so dogs......are you a fan'? The answer to this gives me great insight as to whether it's likely we'll get on. Like dogs themselves, I can usually sense alot about a person based on their ability to like, love, show kindness to dogs. If they are not a dog person, there's not much else I want to talk about and through past experiences, if a dog dislikes a person it usually follows that I will too.
So my 'Paws for Thought' this week is this: be guided by your dog, by all means work the room (or in Roscoe's case, the garden) and be open to conversation with people you don't know, but once you've found ones that reflect kindness, make you feel comfortable, give you positive vibes and make you feel like you can be yourself......stick with those ones and quickly move on from those who do not reaffirm your views.
Enjoy your Sunday- Mrs PAWS ❤🐾
With the final minutes of Sunday to pass, today's 'Paws of Thought' gets me thinking about the company a dog provides to so many people, without words our furry best friends give us comfort, warmth, love, protection, loyalty, fun, friendships and reassurance just by being there....a silent partner who watches our every move, feels our every emotion and always has our back, no questions asked. Dogs really do GIVE so much to us that the very experience of owning one is not only a privilege, but possibly the most unconditional relationship you'll ever have in your life. Embrace their love each day, as the only downside is that theirs is too short and the love outlives the life itself.
Taken from Instagram @pawsadventurewalkingservice- July 2109❤🐾
In an industry where competition is rife, passions are high and standing out from the crowd seems impossible.....focus on your dream, dedicate yourself to what you truly love, stand by your beliefs and others will follow but never lead. In this Sunday's 'PAWS for Thought' I'm reflecting on what makes greatness, and I think I've found it; being able to give and serve without ever expecting anything in return. Whatever life throws your way, rise above and be the more generous person, be a giver not a taker, a lover not a hater, have generosity of spirit not resentment. Walk your own path and never be afraid to stick to your route, even when others try to knock you down. To give is to receive....and that's an inescapable, universal truth- you WILL be rewarded ♥️🐾
Taken from @pawsadventurewalkingservice instagram