So a lot has happened for Little Happy Hounds since my last post and indeed the world. Last week I ceased working following Government advice and went into lockdown to stay safe and stop the spread of the Corona Virus pandemic.
Annoyingly and perhaps ironically, business was booming, even in the face of all the new dog walkers in their bright shinny branded vans, everywhere I turn there is a dog walker these days, we even have dog walkers from miles away in different counties bringing their dog clients into Derbyshire to gain from the high peak councils non restrictive rules about how many dogs you can take out at anyone time, these businesses are separate from mine as they about financial gain and maximising profits, I am about looking after dogs going on long walks, I never ever make a decision with money in mind !! I feel like my clients are peoples children and not a commodity item.
I was doing really well through word of mouth clients where recommending me to friends but also another dog walker also got me a new regular dog walking client, greatly appreciated, we had a new puppy, new dog walking clients several new cat sitting clients and then just like that I was stopped in my tracks by lock down.
So most the dog walkers I know and follow have ceased operation, locally but also up and down the UK, with just a few still going, it was predictable to see who would still keep going. I have a key worker on my books, however most my clients where working from home, so following on what the government said I closed down, two Mondays ago. Beyond that I was just not comfortable, going from peoples homes, taking the dogs out and running into people getting to close. The other issue is I have lost a lot of quiet dogs walking spots, for various reasons, I keep seeing dog walkers on social media still walking round parts of the Goyt Valley which are now strictly no dogs off leads till 31st of July for ground nesting birds, these dog walkers with their huge groups of dogs all off leads !!! I personally don’t think the birds need 100s 100s 100s of acres of land, eccles pike the entire Goyt Valley, not to mention Castle Naze which is also permanently has a no dog rule, but rules are rules at the end of the day, so for me to be following this rule struggling with my dogs with where to go and then the newbies coming along and just ignoring the rules, discounting it, its not fair but much worse than that its just so soul destroying, ours is a trade that needs much more stricter rules. In this scenario I always have to follow my own advice if I don’t rate the dog walker I stay off their social media, its so much easier that way, I personally rate and am friends with lots of local dog walkers, which is great, however you cant rate and like everyone !!
I do understand why some people have kept going, with the Government not helping self employed people until June ! I totally get why some people have had to keep going, for me I am married, we own our house outright my partner has a good job, I have savings for a few months at least ,so for me to carry on walking would of been unethical and a bit greedy, beyond all of that I needed a break !
So the uncertainty is an issue, even if Little Happy Hounds comes back after all of this I predict a quiet spell, I know some of my clients have been given their redundancy notice so I am uncertain of firstly when we will be coming back, secondly if I am coming back and thirdly if I do comeback how the economy might be and how many clients I may loose. The enormity of the situation will have ramifications for all of us for many months too come. So we have no idea how long we will all be in lockdown for I think the news said their are signs the virus spreading is slowing down in the UK, this is week two of lockdown, I know Wuhan China were all this began, had a much more stricter lockdown but the entire place was closed for six weeks !!
My holiday plans this year have all gone up in smoke of course, I was suppose to be going to Whitby next week we booked a beautiful cottage and we where going away to celebrate my fortieth birthday’ which was last week’ so we have now rescheduled the cottage for September. I wanted to see that East Yorkshire coast line I have never been, to Whitby and Robinhoods Bay, spend a week walking near the coast total bliss my dog will love it. I now plan to cancel my other weeks off in July and August and just take the week of in September!
So yes what a year 2020 has been, as a dog walker in the almost eight years of existence this is by far the worse thing to ever of happened. My heart goes out to the families of the 1000s of people this virus has taken, hope we will beat this and have a vaccine before to long ! So I will leave this here, stay safe everyone, I will be updating my facebook pages and Instagram ! Be sure to find our little happy hounds page !
Little Happy Hounds, based in Chinley Derbyshire the Peak District, our pet care services include cat sitting, puppy visits, dog walking, fully insured years and years of hands on experience, very reliable, caring DBS checked, trusted key holder, we began life back in New Mills in August 2012 my emphasis as a pet care business is to take the dogs on proper long one hour walks, and to provide a very personalised and caring cat feeding service.
. We cover High Peak, Chinley, Whaley Bridge, Buxworth, Furness Vale and Chapel-en-le-Frith