Here at Fetch every week is different and thats the way we like it. We are blessed everyday to be in the fresh air working with an array of amazing pooches but one of the biggest words I hear is that we are so 'lucky' to do what we do. We all agree but this doesn't mean we are not met with daily challenges just like any job. So here's a bit of an insight into our days and weeks here at Fetch.
Our working week usually 'begins' on a Friday. All of the puppy parents send in their requests before 6pm to secure their walks for the following week. This is a very busy time of the week and the phone doesn't stop for a few hours. It's a bit like booking a babysitter for your child or personal trainer for your exercise. After all bookings are confirmed and planned we switch off for the weekend and put our paws up to relax over the weekend with our own pooches and families. I personally love water and spend my spare time in my kayak or on a surfboard. I'd be a Labrador if I was a dog!
Monday morning is GO! The team receive their schedules on Saturdays for the following week so that they can plan their routes and pick up times for their allocated pooches. We strive to make sure that the dogs have consistency in who is walking them but some of the dogs just love everybody!
The earliest walks we start with are around 8.30am. We walk all dogs close to their homes in areas that are familiar to them to make sure that the hour is spent on the walk and limited time travelling. All dogs wear a Fetch I.D tag whilst on walks with us and all dogs are matched up based on temperament, size and age. Walks usually finish around 3pm as our peak time is between 10.30am-2.30pm. Every new owner will have a consultation and meet and greet prior to any walks and this is a great chance to bond with the dog and receive lots of kisses (from the dog of course!). We will discuss options and receive a spare key for ease of access when picking up the dogs for their daily adventures.
After each walk EVERY owner is sent a 'pupdate' which includes a message along with videos and photos to ensure that the owner can rest easy at work knowing that their dog is on their daily walk and being cared for. One of the biggest challenges we face each day is the English weather! Last year we had a scorching heat wave and the team had to be very adaptable and ensure that the dogs welfare is number one. During the hot months we walk in shaded areas or places where there is water to cool off. On the wet days we carry extra towels and waterproof clothing. Dogs LOVE mud and some love poop so we always dry and clean them to the best we can. The dogs don't care about the rain although certain pooches take one look out the door and return to the sofa for a duvet day. It's so tempting to join them with a hot chocolate but the show must go on!
When it's the peak of summer we get the worst tan lines known to man. Last summer I was called the 'worlds worst colouring book' by friends. In the winter we can't feel our fingers and toes for hours so sometimes we will wear two pairs of gloves and some owners allow us to help ourselves to a hot drink when we arrive. But being greeted by waggy tails, fluffy toys and sometimes the odd toilet accident from the young ones, makes it all so worth it. Some owners have a change in shift from week to week and sometimes on the day so one of the biggest skills we need is to be adaptable to last minute changes. If we have cancellations we will contact owners who we couldn't initially fit in to see if they would like the slot.
After all of the dogs have been walked we finish for the day and go home to unwind. We walk a LOT of steps each day! We stay open until 6pm for walking and enquiries. Certain nights of the week are used for one to one training sessions with owners. It's then time to unwind in our own lives. But not before we reload our work trousers with poop bags and treats for the following day. My washing machine really doesn't like poop bags..oops!
Our office doesn't have four walls. We have woodland, meadows, parks, beaches etc. Being a dog walker/trainer is amazing and we love all of our dogs. What's better than being outside, with dogs, burning calories, throwing a ball and being loved unconditionally!
The life of a dog walker/trainer..no where else we'd rather be!