Dog Blog A Day for National Pet Month – The Delighted Dog
Question of the day (QotD) – Have you used a dog walking service?
I came across Jess by a happy coincidence. At the start of this NPM I was looking for local dog services, I found Hazel of Doggy Knits, I have photographed her many times and loved her new company, she works for the NHS, lockdown brought out her creative side. Through Hazel I came across Jess, she has just left the NHS after a career as a nurse at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital. Respect to her for that alone but she has also managed to study for her new career whilst still working as a nurse.
What a great opportunity, to introduce her to you, Jess and her brand new business ‘The Delighted Dog’. Her love of the outdoors and all things dog has been lovingly combined to offer you a very personalised dog walking service in and around Exeter. Later this year she will be offering a doggy sleepover service too. Yes, your dog can have a fun packed sleepover whilst you are away from home.
Facebook The Delighted Dog
Jess took on my questionnaire with enthusiasm, I think you will see she is truly passionate about her new chosen career path.
How does your business help dogs and their people?
The dog walks I offer are in beautiful locations that offer a lot of exercise & enrichment for the dogs while their owners are at work. I love photographing and sharing our adventures which the owners love. My parents looked after my dog while I was working long days & I loved getting updates from how his day was going so I wanted to ensure my clients get the same experience.
What are your goals and ambitions for your business over the next year and how can we help?
I aim to have a regular client base enabling me to walk dogs full time. I’m currently studying a home boarding course and aim to be licensed to offer small scale home from home boarding for one household’s dogs at a time later this year.
What was your biggest triumph from the last year?
Creating a professional dog walking business while working full time as a nurse during a pandemic was a huge achievement. I’ve been overwhelmed with the support from my family, friends & colleagues with my complete career change from nurse to dog walker.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Having cared for humans since 2007 I really love that I’ve been able to combine my enjoyment of doing as much as I possibly can for people with doing the exact same for their dogs. Walking is my hobby and my reset button, and I’m really appreciating being out in the fresh air with dogs.
What is the funniest thing that has happened in your job?
My dog loves the water and decides to have a paddle before stopping for a pub lunch. Unfortunately, instead or walking through the pub to the beer garden, he decided to commando crawl leaving what looked like a rather large snail trail behind him. Luckily it was a very dog friendly pub!
What are your favourite things about your community of clients, customers and supports?
The dog walking community has been so welcoming & helpful. I had a lot of questions to ask when planning the business & really appreciate all the help established walkers gave me. Dog walking is all about trust between the client & walker & I was concerned others may not be so welcoming of “competition”. But the trust each walker has with their clients means that they are perfectly happy together, it’s not about taking anyone’s clients away as they already have that bond. It’s lovely to have people from the same industry want you to do well, after all there’s only so many dogs we can take on & we all thoroughly enjoy what we do.
If this wasn’t your job what would you do instead?
If I hadn’t changed careers I would definitely still be nursing, I worked with a truly amazing team at the Heavitree haemodialysis unit. My dad said something so sweet to me, that I’m lucky I’ve found my second calling in life and I really am lucky.
If you were to start a business again, what advice would you give yourself in general?
To appreciate how much I achieved while working full time. I gained two diplomas, started a IMDT course which I am still studying for, attended taught courses, created a pre-service client pack, ensured I am DBS checked & insured & purchased everything needed to get going. That’s a lot! That would be my own advice, celebrate how far I’ve come!
If you could be any dog, what breed would you be and how does that align with your personality?
I would be a whippet, go go go and then snooze in the sun!
What is the earliest dog related memory that you can recall?
My uncle had a very handsome Irish Wolfhound, I remember sharing a biscuit with him in the garden because he was taller than me, he was a gentle giant & I have fond memories of him.
Name three things you couldn’t live without?
My dog - he’s my biggest fan & I am his. My boyfriend!! And he will give me a look for coming lower on the list than the dog, I put him after the dog when signing our names in a birthday card once & he will never let me live it down! He has been so supportive of me from the get go & shares my love of dogs completely. My phone - I organise everything through my phone, I don’t keep a personal journal but my pictures & videos are the way I reminisce. It’s been a hell of a year for everyone and my phones what’s kept me connected to friends & family.
I wish Jess all the best with her new venture. So if your dog is in need of some exercise and stimulation whilst you are working, give Jess a call. Check out her website for her introductory offer. Like and share with friends who you think might benefit from her services.
Facebook The Delighted Dog
Don’t forget I would love an answer to our Question of the day (QotD) – Have you used a dog walking service? Answer here.
Yesterday I celebrated my local pub with you, The Lamb Inn, Sandford, if you missed it click here.
Bye for now, Fiona xxx