How Park Life Honiton Started.
Updated: Jun 28
Everything had fallen down around my ears! I lost a job I loved, my poor old Cloe dog had died after having a stroke and getting doggy dementia, I was crippled with acute anxiety and I wasn’t really sure which way was up or down.
A walk with my parents greyhound Marcus, started the wheels spinning. Stood on top of Roundball Hill which overlooks Honiton I must of stood there contemplating my life for far too long in the winter breeze for poor skinny Marcus.
You could say it was an epiphany!
A sudden thought that made sense and the more I thought about it, the more I became obsessed with the idea. So I banged out a facebook post saying I might go into dog walking on top of that hill and I got a great response.
I was also massively reluctant to go back into employment due to the horrendous experiences I’d had at a furniture making company I had worked for. It’s fair to say I was nearly destroyed by them, they emotionally and verbally kicked the living daylight out of me during an appraisal.
I was told my training was being stopped and I would be a general skivy, I just wasn’t good enough they said. Now telling someone who struggles with anxiety, which they knew about, that they’re shit when they work 12 hours a day for them, push themselves to the very limits of their capabilities and most uncomfortable situations was a step too far.
And so was wanting to hang oneself in the works barn just to teach them a lesson.
My doctor told me to never ever go back to them again and she would sign me off permanently if I wanted. I loved the work and I loved the people I worked with so it was a tough decision to walk away.
It was that appraisal and that manager that fuelled the determination, the fight and the drive to be the best and to give a massive two fingered salute and say f**k you! Look at me now.
That’s where Marcus and Roundball Hill come in.
I got my first few clients very quickly but it was hard! The palpitations, lack of dog training and the crippling anxiety kicking my arse constantly but I never gave up and actually I can say without doubt that being in the countryside with the dogs was brilliant, I loved it and it made me feel tons better. Along with an anxiety course I was more or less cured.
The one thing I knew I lacked and what made my business change from standard to bloody epic was working on focusing the dogs. I’ll be honest, they were a nightmare sometimes and I knew I lacked control and I knew it wasn’t acceptable for them to charge off when they liked.
The focus, the games, building excitement, the scatter feeding made an amazing difference, I built this over time and include better activities and learnt how to stop dogs running off.
I now see myself as a bit of guru in this area if you don’t mind me blowing my own trumpet! and I get people tell me how brilliantly behaved they are and they feel safe when they see me.
To see them in action by completely ignoring the dogs that walk towards us is truly a very proud moment. “you legends” I say when we get passed.
I get feed back from my customers about how good their dogs are whilst they are out now, this is one of them:-
Jude is so amazing with all the dogs and has THE best program for outings, with a selective hearing, over excited and what was fast becoming an out of control spaniel. Jude was quite literally a life saver and one of the only people I have felt completely relaxed with taking our naughty little cocker out. Within two trips out with Jude we saw such a difference in our dogs general behaviour, but not only that Jude was so supportive and gave us some really brilliant advice to help us with our dogs focus and behaviour. She sends videos and pictures while they are out to share her techniques, so we could continue them at home and it was great to see our dog out and about having a fantastic time, as well as how focused she had become and made us feel apart of everything she does. Would 100%recommend Jude, She’s not just a dog walker.
I like Amy, she’s lovely!
My main aim with The Cainine Wilderness Adventures is to provide a top quality service that not only provides your dog with a safe, incredibly fun, interactive and family friend like service but to provide my customers with the latest information and great dog care advice.
I have fewer dogs than most professional dog walkers because I believe in quality, I see so many walkers charging lower rates and work all hours, incredibly hard and have a big client list. I’ve been there and when you’re walking so many dogs how can it be a more personal service? and does your dog get lost in the chaos?
From the moment you phone until your dog is settled in the group it is a delicate and considered process. My dogs that are established always come first before any new dog because that might be you one day. Here is the process if you want to join our adventures:-
Initial phone call to establish what each other are looking for.
Meet and greet to say hello in person, see if your dog likes me (that’s very important) and to fill in a form if you’re happy to go ahead.
2 x solo 45 minute walks to help build a bond and to give your dog confidence when they enter the group. We will play games and have lots of fun whilst check your dogs recall and focus skills.
4 x trial group walks, I will initially keep your dog on the lead to help settle them in and will be checking for friendliness and the other dogs acceptance.
Member of The Canine Wilderness Adventure Club!
Phone or text me for an initial chat and lets get this show on the road!
If you want to lean more you can join my email list for great stories and doggy info or read my other blogs.
Don’t hang about too long because I have limited spaces.