Use of a dog walking service requires trust, not only that the walker will come and walk your dog for the required mount of time, but also that they will be kind and responsible, deal with any challenges that arise and take good care of your home. That’s a lot of trust, and here at Custom Canine Care we are keen to help make it as easy as possible for you. With that goal in mind, this blog post will allow you to meet our dog walking team, at least in a virtual sense.
All of our dog walkers are independent contractors (ICs) and some have their own dog care business too. This means they are self employed and contract their services to Custom Canine Care. In a practical sense, this involves me offering them a week’s work at a time, after they have told me their availability, and once they accept it and become responsible for carrying it out. If they can’t fulfill work they have agreed to, they use other walkers – who work within the business – for cover. Some of them have their own insurance, but our policy covers the others.
Our dog walking team
So, in order of how long we have been co-workers, we are:
Alison – me, owner of Custom Canine Care, and try to keep an irregular ‘eye’ on all of our dogs. At the moment, I walk sporadically, often standing in for sickness, holiday, car breakdown and over-subscription of the service. The thing I enjoy most about walking is revisiting dogs I used to walk all the time, but now only see occasionally; it’s like a reunion with old friends. I also love being outside, and have a strange infatuation with weather – especially when wild or extreme (except heat). I least enjoy being pulled about by a dog. One thing you may not know about me is that I bred rats for many years and showed them all over the UK (like ratty Crufts)!
Joe – my youngest son, who has been involved with the business since it began. He used to be an employee, but became self employed last year, because he wanted to decide when he worked (he hates morning walks)! Joe has a strong affinity to many dogs and for a couple of our dogs he has made a big difference to their experience and enjoyment of the walk, to the extent that he is now providing the majority of care for those dogs. Joe says the things he likes most about the job are playing with and cuddling the dogs. He doesn’t like it when they cant run free off the lead. One interesting thing that you may not know about Joe, is that he loves to go camping and enjoy the outdoors.
Lynne – I am forever grateful for the day Lynne decided to ring me to ask if I had any jobs dog walking. Since the very first day as we waded our way through the snow to do 7 consecutive walks, she has repeatedly had my back and helped me out of many scrapes. It will soon be 4 years since Lynne joined the team, first as employee and now as an IC and I would be devastated to lose her. She’s competent and organised and often goes the extra mile. A back injury makes walking our stronger dogs impossible these days, but she still does a full schedule while the kids are at school. Lynne says that her favourite part of the job is meeting all of the different fur babies, with their special characters and establishing a special body with each one. She loves that they are always pleased to see her. The worst things about the job are horrible weather and irresponsible dog walkers who let their dogs come over when she’s walking a reactive dog. One interesting fact about Lynne that you may not know is that she loves everything Disney and her favourite place is Florida.
Pete – I first met Pete as a client, when he needed care for his lurcher, Red. We got along like a house on fire and it was only a matter of weeks before Pete started walking for Custom Canine Care. That was over three years ago, and he is an indispensable member of the team. He probably had the most personal experience of dogs out of all of us, prior to starting work for the business and has been a great support to me personally – a sounding board for me to work out my own doggie conundrums. He does a regular 3 walks a day and there are only a couple of our dogs he doesn’t yet know. Pete says that his favourite parts of the job are working outside and building a relationship with each dog. The worst thing is driving, especially under time pressure if he’s running late. One interesting fact about Pete that you may not know is that he used to drive trains, and (on the back of that) once accidentally gate-crashed a royal wedding!
Jenny – came to me in February 2015, from an advertising campaign to find new co-workers, and I have watched her grow in confidence and expertise. I genuinely think she’s found her lifestyle-job in home boarding (she runs her own business), and I’m glad she still manages to fit in some dog walking for us. Jenny is very flexible and often stands in for other walkers at short notice, if they can’t fulfill their work. She says she most enjoys being outdoors, and walking with the dogs having different adventures. Her “worst thing” is the weather getting cold. One interesting thing that you might not know about her is that she has been on a few TV programmes, as a extra.
Katie – Joe’s girlfriend, who has helped me out with walking boarded dogs for years. Now she just steps in when things are really tight, and also helps Joe with his walks. She’s the only one of us who has another full time job, which makes me value her contribution all the more. Katie says she loves getting to know the dogs, and when new dogs come along, but doesn’t like having to say goodbye. One interesting thing about her that you might not know is that she is a chef!
Dor – our newest co-worker, who also has her own business. I met her randomly because I was mentoring another lady who was setting up a pet care business, and she put us in touch. Dor is such a pleasure to work with, and I look forward to coming to know her better the longer she provides dog walking for us. She is really organised and thoughtful and is proving her doggie skills as she gets to know our beautiful canine friends. The thing she really likes abut the job is bonding with the dogs, and spending quality time with them, and her least favourite thing is horrible weather. One thing you may not know about her is that she has a beautiful adult daughter, that she is extremely proud of.