Cotswold Canine Company
I would like to tell you a little story as to how Cotswold Canine Company came to be;
I have always wanted a dog, I felt a part of me was missing until I got Ted. When I was a child, I pestered and pestered until we had our doggy family members, first Lucy, then Sunny, and then Tizzy. There is nothing like having that bond and company in life’s adventures, as you have with an animal, there is something uniquely special about being able to share your time, home and life with a willing animal.
I waited years until I was able to have my own dog, I often worked shifts and long hours, and hardly had the energy to make dinner let alone take a dog for a walk, I had friends who had dogs and my parents still had theirs and so I was able to get a bit of a doggy fix on the weekends.
Then we got Ted…..
Ted was a 4 month old cross breed, full of life, (although not in this picture, asleep was the only time he stayed still), full of fun and absolutely perfect. We found him at Cheltenham Animal Shelter, he was sat calmly by the bars of his kennel lapping up any kind of fuss he could get. When we got him out to go for a walk he just melted our hearts, he was gorgeous, and has been with us ever since.
Then my husband changed jobs husband changed jobs, with this new job came new hours and routine and we found it increasingly difficult to manage with Ted. We had no choice but to leave him home for long hours, and we both felt horribly guilty. Luckily we had the help of a family member who could let him out for us during the day. When we got home however poor Ted was like a coiled spring, he would run around blindly so excited to have company, and on his evening walk he would run round in circles for ages before settling down. We hated leaving him, and when we got home he was so hungry for attention it drove us a little bit nuts. This became very wearing, and not the enjoyable dog owning experience I was hoping for. Something had to be done….. we talked about getting a dog walker, but this is a big thing. You have to trust someone, not only to be responsible with your house and your belongings but with your family. Ted is a very friendly easy going dog but he is very strong, and very energetic, he also has the unfortunate habit of taking off if he gets scared of something. How do we know how he will get on with another person taking him for a walk? Will he get on with the other dogs if there are any? How do we know if the person is going to be responsible enough to have the keys for our house? We would be constantly wondering what was happening through the whole time the walk was booked and what would we find when we got home?
Now I love animals particularly dogs and horses but all animals, including people. I studied Psychology at University and most of my jobs since then have been around the support and nurturing of people. I worked with adults with mental health issues and learning disabilities, children with autism, ADHD, FAS, and a multitude of other labels. Most recently I have been working with young people, from 16 to 23ish, who were either homeless or under the care of social services trying to help them make sense of the world. This is no easy task and I am forever in ore of all the wonderful social care and support workers who do this work. I have however always had that niggle in the back of my mind that I want to spend my time around the other types of animals again.
Having Ted really compounded this view for me, and if in the future there may be some way for me to combine my love of people with animals then I can’t think of anything better. When Chris suggested being a dog walker in Cheltenham myself, my heart leapt. I would love to be a dog walker, I could see how hard it would be to trust someone, and I know there are times that we can’t always predict when a little help is needed. I would be helping people and I would be around animals. The ideas circled and circled my brain, how can I get people to trust me and give them the service they need? I would love to help people in there busy lives still enjoy their animals… Through being able to exercise their dogs or care for them when they want to have a day away or have to go to work, meaning they are relaxed when you come home.
I have also thought about setting up a dog walking club to enable dog owners and enthusiasts to get together and explore the countryside. Eventually I bit the bullet and finished work, and so slowly Cotswold Canine Company in Cheltenham is being born.