It feels like everyone in the world has a dog. It felt like that even before we got one, with the explosion in lockdown puppies.
What I didn’t realise before we got a dog is that dogs are big business. I knew about pet shops and vets of course, but had failed to think about things like groomers, doggy day care and kennels.
Did you know there are even secure fields you can hire to walk your dogs in safely? Mind blown. I had no idea people would spend their money on this, but apparently it is a thing. Even people with older, well trained dogs use them if they don’t want to be ‘bothered’ by other dogs. Hetty’s greatest joy in life is bothering other dogs and we have definitely not spent any money on a secure field.
Anyway, I digress.
Dogs need groomers and kennels. And it seems like there aren’t enough to go about – because of the recent boom in dog ownership.
As soon as I became a dog owner, a lovely lady in my village put a note through my door telling me about a groomer in the village. When the time came for Hetty to be groomed, I contacted this lady to try to book Hetty in.
But she wasn’t taking on any more clients.
Not that she didn’t have any room this week or this month, she literally wasn’t taking on any more clients.
But if I had a pound for every dog walker locally who had told me about this groomer, I would be at least £20 richer.
So I set about looking for another groomer. And every single one of them told me the same – they weren’t taking on any more clients. I asked a couple of them if they could recommend anyone, and apparently they couldn’t. Really?! How could they not know others?!
Anyway, after a lot of trying, I finally got Hetty booked in at the groomers at the local animal charity. And they did a great job. She will be going there in future. (Yet still people tell me I really should try to get her booked in with the lady in the village!)
When we got Hetty, we were perhaps in denial about needing kennels for her. We kind of assumed someone we knew would look after her. Then people we knew saw what she was actually like. She is a very lively dog and not for the faint-hearted.
We will always book dog-friendly accommodation in Padstow in future, but we’d already booked our holiday for this year long before we knew we were getting a dog.
So we tried to find kennels for her. And it the same story as with the groomers. Fully booked all the way. Although unlike the groomers, they wouldn’t rule us out in future at least. We just have to get in really early. (Although when I tried to book for a few days in 2023, apparently that was TOO EARLY.)
Eventually we found a pretty good solution – a kennels in Cornwall. This gives us the option to take Hetty out for the day if we want to or leave her in the care of the kennels if we want to. She will have to be back there by 5pm every day, so we will always have dog-free evenings.
Here’s hoping that works out well for Hetty and for us.
In the meantime, if anyone is wondering what to do with their lives and looking for a career change, might I recommend the dog business? Doggy day care, kennels or grooming – you will never be short of canine clients and their grateful (possibly slightly desperate) owners.