LAKELAND Dog Walker has the most beautiful ‘office’ and works with a great team…
Naomi Le Voi has her dream job. She spends all day every day outside taking small groups of dogs for walks on the fells or by the lake in Keswick.
“I love what I do. I am outside in the Lake District, the prettiest part of England, all the time. If I want to go up a mountain, I can do it; if I want to go to the lake, I can do it; if I want to chill in the park I can do it. It’s fantastic.”
Naomi says most of her four legged friends are owned by people who haven’t had children and the dogs are like their babies: “They work longer hours and are not able to get home at lunchtime to take the dog out and they want to spoil them.”
The opportunity to run the business came about a couple of years ago when her friend Esther Felton wanted to give up her dog walking business but didn’t want to let her clients down. She asked Naomi if she wanted to take over and the Lakeland Dog Walker was born.
“I was managing an outdoor clothes shop and decided the time was right to launch my own business. It was a lucky coincidence that Esther asked me. I took on 14 clients and now have 120 on my books. It has grown so well that I have Hannah Turner taking dogs out in Cockermouth, while I look after those in Keswick.”
Lakeland Dog Walker are ardent testers of some of the stretchy leads and doggy apparel on sale at Podgy Paws – taking up to six dogs for a walk at any one time and in all weathers means they really put the products through their paces.
“All the dogs have different personalities and they’re very different. Some are better on the lead, some are better off. Some of the full males are a bit friendly but they all get on brilliantly. I only ever introduce one new dog to the pack at a time to make sure they all get on and they only get one treat a day – otherwise they’d all get fat and we don’t want that!’
Lakeland Dog Walker offers hourly walks, doggy day care, pet feeding and house sitting to help owners combine the joys of having a dog with the need to work. One of the services Naomi offers free is socialisation where timid dogs and their owners can go for a walk with Naomi and the pack to help the dog grow in confidence. “It’s good for dogs that are quite shy or for puppies who want to meet other dogs in a safe and controlled way.”
*This article has been taken from ‘Podgy Paws – Keswick Dog Friendly Guide’ which is available at the shop for £1 or by mail order for £2 by phoning the shop on 017687 73737*