Updated: Feb 19
Hello to whoever may be reading,
My name is Molly and I'm a dog walker and pet sitter in Keighley, West Yorkshire. I have been in business for a year now and since setting up I have gained so much new experience and knowledge, and I am continually learning and trying to improve. My business is forever growing and changing and lately new opportunities for both personal and professional growth have presented themselves.
I have been working within the animal industry for ten years now. I have many years of experience as a veterinary care assistant, a job that I loved dearly until the time came where I had gotten everything out of the position that I could and decided to move on to something new. I got a new job as a kennel hand in a boarding kennels and cattery where I learned more about behaviour and handling dogs with anxiety and aggression issues. Working as a VCA, you only get to see the pet for a ten minute appointment slot, wherein you need to assist with the procedure (nail trim, kennel cough vaccine up the nose, removal of stitches etc.) quickly and safely, so nervous or 'aggressive' dogs are usually muzzled, restrained and then discharged. There's not much time to work positively with the dog or form any kind of bond with them which I found hard.
In kennels, I had much more time to observe the dogs' behaviour, to spend time just sitting with them, hand feeding them, playing with them or brushing them, in an attempt to form a trusting relationship and ensure they enjoyed their stay as much as possible. I loved this part of my job, my mind just couldn't stand the repetitive nature of working in a kennels. My mum planted the seed which would eventually turn into All Creatures Pet Care and I have her to thank for the encouragement and support that turned my dream into a reality!
Then along came Badger. Two months into setting up All Creatures, a very frightened little collie was tied up and abandoned at the practice I used to work at. I immediately fell in love with her and I knew that we needed each other. We brought her home and she fit right in. She adores me and my boyfriend, Cob; she loves our cats and gets so excited to see them and snuggle with them; she makes us laugh every day and she has taught me so much about canine behaviour. She really sparked my interest in helping dogs with anxiety issues. Badger has quite severe noise sensitivity issues, some mild separation anxiety, has no interest in other dogs, and can be quite snappy and defensive when other dogs enter her little bubble of personal space. I have worked with her a lot on these issues and will go into detail in future posts, but she is making progress slowly.
In this blog I plan to keep a record of Badger's progress, the ups and downs of running my business, and things I learn along the way. My latest bit of exciting news is that as of Monday I'm going to be shadowing a behaviourist that I know, sitting in on some of her sessions working with nervous and reactive dogs. I can't wait to start this new chapter and see what it brings!
Thank you for reading if you've made it this far,