In this time of isolation what better topic to explore for #whywednesday than why it is that I love my job so much!
I consider myself incredibly lucky to have been fortunate enough to create a business where I get to spend every working day completely immersed in two things which bring me such immense joy. Dogs and The Great Outdoors.
I have always adored dogs. From a very young age when I used to climb atop the bin storage in our back garden to peer over the wall and talk to our neighbours guard dog, Rocky the Rottweiler. Every dandelion I wished upon as a child was a desperate plea for a dog to be brought into our home.
Finally, at the age of 8, my wish came true. I went to London Victoria with my Mum, I didn't know what we were going for and our friends arrived on a train from Wales. They had just returned from their parent's farm where they had collected the runt of the litter, a tiny Yorkie, to bring home to me, I called her Skampy. I had wanted a Rottie of course, I'd grown up in love with them as close family friends had the most incredible dog called Hades. She used to take such good care of us kids, herding us whenever we ran a little too far and keeping us all together.
Anyhow, we lived in a two-bedroom flat in Brixton so we got Skampy, the most amazing runt you would ever meet! I brought her home from the station zipped up in the front of my coat and we were best friends for over 18 years. When I left home, she came with me and we lived an incredible number of years together, from me at 8 years old until she passed when I was 26 years old!
I was very lucky that I grew up surrounded by so many wonderful dogs; Rotties, sheep dogs, spaniels, yappy pappilions and the best Heinz 57 has to offer. Above is Waldo - the most fabulous dog with the worst breath you would ever smell. He could clear a room. He lived with Trippy who was beautiful and I have so many fond memories of taking them to Wimbledon Common and watching huge Waldo shrink to the size of a rather large cat once all that fur shrunk down! Camping with the pair of them and enjoying the Great Outdoors, my other great love.
And so here I am, 36 with two young children and whilst they go off to school and nursery, I get to adventure in the countryside with 4 special dogs each day. What a dream! I could pinch myself that this is what I get to call work.
It's been a journey to develop a livelihood that enables me to spend my days in such a blissful way. I have worked previously within investment banking followed by charity work when I could no longer take the corporate world. A number of years in the charity sector working as an events manager and I yearned for something different. I would say I am very stress-sensitive and working under pressure and under someone else's beliefs and values is something I have always struggled with. I started a new job at the end of 2013 and found myself stressed to high heaven and working ridiculous hours, never making a dent in my workload. This wasn't the life I wanted.
I walked out. And I started a dog daycare and walking business with my then husband. It was very different then to what it is now. I daycared dogs in my home, I loved dogs intrinsically but at that time I didn't realise the need to invest in my understanding and skills as a carer for other people's dogs. I thought that my love, care, and desire to do the right thing would be enough. And it was. Sort of.
Fast forward some years and I've learned so much; from other professionals, from my day to day work and the dogs I have worked with, and from my innate desire to be the best I can be for the dogs I am lucky enough to spend my days with.
So here I am now. In isolation. Missing my canine friends and our beautiful walks very much. Feeling grateful that I enjoy writing, my garden, my children, and my own dog. And looking forward to returning to 'work' as soon as safely possible.