Woodland snowscape
Snow drenched woodland

The recent snowfall and freezing weather has brought challenges to all kinds of people simply going about their daily work. I sat in my car the other day watching (with great empathy) a group of burly men trying to manoeuvre unending green bins onto an unruly snowbound bin lorry through deep pavement snow. For many of us the snow is more than a minor irritation, as it affects every aspect of our work and presents unique challenges and seemingly undending problems.

The dog walking team at Custom Canine Care are currently made up of:

  • Alison – founder of CCC and still in the lovely position of knowing every one of our dogs personally and can pick up any walk as needed. I walk to capacity most days.
  • Joe (my son) – walks to capacity most days, mainly his own clients and our boarded dogs.
  • Lynne – walks to capacity most days and shares most of my clients, though has a few of her own as well.
  • Jade – walks when her other job allows. Is able to pick up clients from Lynne or I when the need arises.

We now have 15 regular walking clients (18 dogs) with a handful of others who use us every now and then. Very few are regular in terms of the walks that they require from week to week, and we have built a system that is able to accommodate shift patterns, those who sometimes work at home, people who sometimes travel, 12 hour shifts, 24 hour shifts, school holidays and the like. It does mean that we usually have quiet days and hectic days, but generally it all works out and we have yet to fail in meeting our obligations – though I did do 8 walks myself one day recently! Usually we aim for no more than 4 per walker, especially when the weather is being difficult.

Snowy dog
I had fun… but my nose is cold!

The snow slows us down… it extends the journey time between visits and makes parking difficult. It makes covering ground more difficult (walking in deep snow is a little like walking through loose sand – very wearing). The dogs vary greatly in their response; little Cookie hates it and just wants to be back inside, Marcus doesn’t care so long as we are covering ground, and Lily and Missy positively enjoy every moment. Suki, Amber and Jay – all lurchers – need wrapped up and still shiver. Missy just wants snow balls, big Teddy just wants *his* ball, little Teddy hates the fur snowballs between his toes, Archie wants whatever lies beneath. And Rogue the husky thinks she’s home.

Worst snowy moments include:

  • Joe’s motorbike not functioning in the cold and Jade’s shifts getting changed so she couldn’t work the same week. Hectic!
  • Running an hour or so late because of falling snow and traffic issues – I hate time pressure!
  • Wading through snow until everything hurts!
  • Forgetting my gloves!

Best snowy moments include:

  • 07.00 walk followed by stunning pink sunrise against a snowy landscape.
  • Watching Lily the Labrador, giddy with pleasure, dancing in a virginal field of powdery snow.
  • Appreciating my wonderful car that’s been pushed into some tricky situations but always delivered.
  • Missy catching snowballs (where’d it go???)

And really we’ve only made it this far because Lynne came over the horizon riding on a white horse! She contacted me out of the blue via Google asking if I had any work, only to discover that we lived on the same estate with the backs of our houses facing each other! I doubt she was entirely prepared for what followed… baptism by snow!!

Custom Canine Care – for all your pet care needs.Call us to discuss your requirements on 07954 313 702.


Dog walking in a snowy Newcastle upon Tyne