Earlier this week my 1 year old Pug, Arla and I were lucky enough to be invited to spend the day with Rutland based Dog Walker, Chloe Fowler of Boo's Walking School for our new 'Day in the life of a Rutlander' series.
Boo's Walking School is based in Uppingham but covers all surrounding areas of Rutland.
Chloe is a passionate animal lover who really loves her job.
Spending the day with Chloe and her 3 year old French Bulldog, Boo was really lovely and Arla definitely enjoyed meeting all the other dogs and puppies throughout the day.
Strolling around the Rutland countryside walking dogs of all shapes and sizes really showed me how much Chloe is valued by her customers and gives a service they all appreciate. But what's really lovely to see is Chloe (25) running a very busy and successful business in Rutland she only started herself 2 years ago.
After spending the day in the Rutland sun with Chloe, Boo and all the Boo's Walking School recruits, I asked Chloe a few questions about her business and future plans.
Take a read...
Thank you very much for inviting us to spend the day with you and your lovely furry friends, we had so much fun! When did you start Boo’s Walking School and how did you come up with the name?
You’re welcome. It was lovely to have you with me this afternoon.
Boo’s Walking School started nearly 2 years ago. I was in a job previously which I really didn’t enjoy; I was working very long days and having to leave my dog at home all day made me feel awful. This actually gave me the idea of becoming a dog walker.
Leaving my dog at home made me think about all the other dogs that possibly get left at home while their owners are at work all day. So I handed my notice in and left. While I was advertising and getting my clientele up I was cleaning for a small company, just to keep a little bit of money coming in.
Nearly two years down the line, I’m not cleaning at all anymore and I am a full time professional dog walker and I have never looked back. It was definitely the best decision I made.
The name Boo’s Walking School is actually named after my dog. She’s called Boo and comes with me on most of my visits and walks. She is my world and wanted to name it after her.
Has being a Dog Walker in Rutland always been a dream of yours since you were a child or was it something you noticed was needed in the area?
Being a dog walker wasn’t something I always wanted to do no. I never even thought of being a dog walker until I got my very own dog. Since I was a very young girl I always wanted to become an RSPCA Inspector. I always watched the shows on TV, done lots of researched and even went to college and studied Animal Management to carry it through. Until one day I saw on the RSPCA programmes I had been watching a really nasty case of neglect (I’m not going to repeat what I saw) It broke my heart and cried for a long time after, I couldn’t get over what i had seen, and that’s when I realised that I’m not emotionally strong enough to do that job. I would love to help the animals and do something about it, but every day for me would be heart ache, and in that sort of job I know you have to be strong.
During this point of changing my mind I moved into a house with my partner and got our own dog. I loved her a lot more than I thought I could and Boo’s Walking School was born!
You have so many different type of doggy breeds that you walk on a daily basis, but it’s not just dog walking that you offer at Boo’s Walking School is it? Tell us more…
Yes, I have some really great breeds! And no, it’s not just dog walking I offer at Boo’s Walking School. Dog walking is probably the main and most popular service I offer, but I also offer puppy visits, pet feeding and pet taxi.
Puppy visits last 45 minutes long and I can visit a puppy however many times the owner would like me to. People get a new puppy and work all day so the new dog would be alone, but with Boo’s Walking School their pup doesn’t have to be alone all day. During the visits I will help with the socialisation process which I like to focus on I think it’s really important to socialise your new dog, to do this I bring my dog along as much as I can. She is incredible with other dogs and because she is the “Boo” part in the business she has to be involved. But I can also help with basic training and with feeding your puppy at lunch time, and whatever else the owner would like me to do. These visits will keep a lonely puppy happy throughout the day, and I like to make sure that he/she is all worn out after the visit.
If the owners have cats, rabbits or any other smaller pet and they are going away I also offer pet feeding (Pet Sitting). I’ll come in and feed all the animals that they may have. I will stay for about 30 minutes. Gives me enough time to give the animals enough love, feeding, changing their water, some playtime and whatever else I need to do for the owner’s pets while I am there.
Then I offer a pet taxi. Where I can help people with getting their pets to places they need to be. Some owners may struggle taking their pets to and from the kennels depending on times they are going away. This is where I can help. I can take their pets to and from the kennels or cattery, but also to and from the vets if they are unable to do so on the date that they are booked in.
You’ve mentioned to us how much you love your job, but what makes being a dog walker in Rutland ‘the best job ever’?
I love my job very much. I am a proud Rutlander and was born in this county and grew up here too. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. So to live in a beautiful place and to work with animals which has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl really is the icing on a cake.
I said to you today when we were watching Bentley, Boo and Arla play that I just love seeing dogs be like that, dogs deserve to be that happy because just being in our homes they make us happy loving people. Like the saying goes. “Whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend NEVER had a dog”
Seeing dogs and other animals enjoying themselves really brightens my day. When we are out walking and a dogs tail is wagging throughout the whole walk makes me smile. There are dogs out their who’s tail don't wag at all during the day, and I feel that starting Boo’s Walking School has helped keep dogs and other animals enjoy the life that they have got. Although I can’t walk and look after them all, the ones I am looking after are happy content dogs.
Do you have any future plans for Boo’s Walking School in the upcoming future we should look out for?
I have lots of plans for Boo’s Walking School.
I would love to branch Boo’s Walking School out a little more, have little team and cover a bigger area, but also offer more services for everyone. I can see it now; our team of pretty vans driving around the area, Facebook overload of the group walks, puppy visits and so much more! I can’t wait. But like any other business it takes time. I’ve been doing this for two years and it’s been hard I’m not going to lie. But I am so proud of myself for where I and the Boo's Walking School are now.
There are some really different and exciting future plans which I also have for Boos Walking School. I have been thinking for a while and what I can do to make Boos Walking School different.
Hopefully by next summer I would have completed my dog training and behaviour courses. I personally believe that it is really, really important to start socialising your dog while they are puppy and as soon as possible. Studies have shown that introducing your dog to others and different surroundings from a young age means your pup will grow up to be friendly and context with its surroundings. Because of all of this I would like to start my very own puppy socialisation and training classes. Not everyone with a dog has the chance to socialise their dogs with others. So once a week in the evening I would like to have people come and join me and Boo in a class. I will let the puppies play and meet each other for the first half. Then I will help with all the basic training and advise that the owners and dogs may need.
I'm really excited about this and can't wait for it all to start.
If our readers are looking for a dog walker, pet sitter, pet taxi etc, where can they find you and how do they get in touch?
If you or someone you know is looking for a dog walker, I have got a Facebook page (click here) which I use all the time for live videos, videos and pictures of my day to day routines with my clients. Just type in the search bar 'Boo’s Walking School' and I shall appear.
There you can also contact me regarding any services that you may need.
Also, I have a website which I update on a weekly basis. Go to www.booswalkingschool.com. There you can live chat with me or even send me an email. My contact number is on my Facebook and my website so if you want to give me a call or send a text then you can go to these places and do so.
Contact Boo's Walking School: