Animals, and especially dogs, have always played a major role in my life. From riding and looking after horses as a youngster and walking dogs at a local rescue centre, to volunteering in a wildlife rescue in The Netherlands. During my twenties, I spent a lot of time travelling the world, being fascinated not just by different cultures but also the animals who lived in the countries I visited.
In 1998, Great Britain was going to be another country of my list of countries that I’d travelled to. I hadn’t planned to stay for longer than 6 months, but, nearly 24 years later at the time of writing, I think it’s safe to say that that plan has changed somewhat! The UK is my home and I fully intend to keep it that way!
The dogs who I’ve been lucky enough to share my home and life with in the last 20+ years have taught me so much: I’ve competed in agility, I’ve learned about dog life skills, canine enrichment, dog parkour and Hoopers, to name but a few things. I think it’s fair to say that I’m obsessed with dogs and learning about them – and with them! I’m also a firm believer in positive, rewards-based training, and many of the skills I’ve learnt during all those years now come in handy during our “Billy Walks”.
The list of courses and workshops I’ve followed is quite long, but one I’d like to mention is my Canine First Aid certificate, which I intend to update every year. Fortunately, I’ve not had to use the knowledge and skills learnt, but it will give you peace of mind to know that, should it be needed, I will be able to provide first aid treatment while transporting your beloved furry family member to the nearest vet.
The decision, 10 years ago, to swap my desk job for a coat with large pockets (for those treats!) and a pair of wellies to become a dog walker, is hands - or should that be paws? - down the best I’ve ever made! Being out and about with my furry friends - there’s nothing like it. It really is the best job in the world!