Christiana, Founder of Hampstead Housesitters and sister company Hampstead Hounds (successful house-sitting and dog-walking businesses in Hampstead Village, London) reflects on what has been a productive year in so many ways.
For many of us 2019 has been challenging. Brexit, in particular, has had an impact across the country. Our clients, for instance, were not planning holidays way in advance but being more spontaneous with their adventures! However, as an independent business owner with a lot of passion we overcame those challenges and have enjoyed a productive and exciting year.
This year, I was delighted to have been asked to join the Judging team at The Mayhew’s Hounds on the Heath Dog Show alongside the handsome and gentlemanly Pete Wicks from TOWIE. We had a great time supporting this local charity who do so much to help pets. Please do support if you can.
Understanding the animals that we work with is incredibly important to a good relationship with them. So, earlier this year I joined the Victoria Stilwell Academy’s In-Person 6-month intensive Professional Dog Trainer course. In terms of knowledge no stone has been left unturned! It is a very intensive course, full of theory, exams, tests, video assessments, week-long training intensives with Victoria and her team up in Wigan. This has been an epic learning experience and one that will bring a lot of growth and new opportunities for Hampstead Hounds here in London. Keep following our blog and You Tube channel Canine Kind for updates.
Following the training we are looking forward to starting group dog training classes in 2020. Something that seems to be lacking in Hampstead, an area which has so many families and dogs. We promise to update you as soon as we have found a suitable local venue. We already have our eye on a few potentials but if anyone can recommend somewhere, we would love to hear from you.
Welcoming several new long term cat and dog clients during the year is always a pleasure and it is a joy to get to know them all. We’ve been particularly excited to work with some lovely puppies this year helping them to become ready for the big world. From toilet training, playing and learning, to helping owners to get them settled in during what can be quite a frantic time. We look forward to welcoming more puppies to our family during 2020.
Saying a very sad goodbye to Ruby, a senior Doberman was particularly difficult as we had been looking after her for so many years – we were House Sitting with her when she collapsed. During the emergency situation we rallied round as a team to do as much as possible to help. Within a couple of minutes there were 3 of us working together to address the medical needs and to co-ordinate between the vet and owner. Despite our best efforts to help Ruby with resuscitation she passed away with us all there to comfort her. RIP Ruby we miss you.
It’s very important to us to build long-term relationships and we are proud that our clients come back to us again and again. To support our growing list of clients we are excited to welcome 2 new members of staff which will bring our team up to 5 people as we head into the new year. It may sound a little boring, but we were delighted to finally find a suitable scheduling app for our day to day bookings! Technology can be a wonderful thing to facilitate a growing team and client base.
After a very work-intensive year I am looking forward to starting January in Sri Lanka! I will of course be visiting animal sanctuaries and offering to help out should they need it. Until then thank you to all of our wonderful clients (we are very humbled to receive so many wonderful reviews) team members and friends, who help to make this feel like a family business.
At this point, without naming any names we would like to wish one of our more well-known clients a lot of luck in their big project for 2020. Let’s just say it is going to be a huge trip down music memory lane for many a person!
Big shout out to all the amazing businesses, retailers and venues we visit across the year including the following dog friendly spots Boulangerie Bon Matin, Manis Café, The Horseshoe, Waterstones, Daunt Books and The Flask.
Lastly, we would like to wish you and your family and pets a very Happy and Peaceful 2020 from everyone here at Hampstead Housesitters and Hampstead Hounds.
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Featured image Chrissie pictured with colleagues on the Victoria Stilwell training course in Wigan.