I often get asked by new customers how I got into dog walking. So, I thought I would share my story with you.
I would love to say that I had been planning it for years, but I would be lying to you. I would love to say that I had been planning it before I left my job, but that’s another lie.
In fact starting my business wasn’t really planned at all.
I worked in food retail for 24 years. Firstly, in Waitrose and then Tesco’s. For 2 decades I was a Stock Control Manager. I was the person in charge of making sure you can buy what you want, when you want. Yep, the person you probably cursed about when you couldn’t get your toilet rolls!
I was good at it too. I was constantly top of my region for customers being able to but what they wanted. I loved having a team to train and being a mentor.
But I was beginning to find the repetitive nature of the job uninspiring. Coupled with that I had been working in a pretty much windowless building for over 2 decades. For half the year I never saw daylight and I survived on recycled air.
Of course, it wasn’t all bad. I made many friends for life and I even got myself a husband (although he is now an ex-husband! My ex-husband and I worked together briefly in my early Tesco career and years later we met up again and fell in love. To cement our love, we got our first dog together, a greyhound called Poppy. To my ex’s horror he then realised we had to move in together to raise our beautiful girl!
In August 2015, with my ex’s full support, I left my job. Find out more about the heartbreaking reason I left here. My only plan was to do nothing for 6 months. That lasted 2 weeks. I got dismayed looking at jobs and felt like I didn’t really want to work for someone else again.
And one day I got a lightbulb moment after reading that quote “Find a job you love, and you will never work again.” I love dogs, I love walking. I’m going to be a dog walker! Woofers Walkies was born on the 1st September 2015! Woofers was the collective name I referred to my then 3 dogs.
Woofers Walkies gave me the opportunity to foster dogs and do home visits for prospective adoptees. It also meant I could adopt more dogs! I currently have 1 dog, Frank my 13-year-old rescue lurcher, although at one point I did have 4 dogs and a foster dog.
Since opening I have walked over 150 dogs and looked after the same number of cats. In 2017 Alan joined my team and Karen. Alan bought a lot of experience with him including agility and training.
After expanding the team I completely revamped my walks into dog adventures using my unique P•E•T® system; Play, Engage & Train.
In 2019, with Alan’s help, I set up Woofers Training Academy. Whilst this is still very much in its infancy, we have already run group sessions, masterclasses and one to one sessions.
Whilst running my business I have discovered a love for writing which has resulted in me publishing many blogs, creating newsletters, writing 5 E-Books and I’ve published my first boo “The Lockdown Dog”. I’m currently writing my second book. Of course, the subject in all these are dogs, dogs and more dogs! I’ve also written guest blogs for others and appeared on some podcasts too! You can read my other blogs here and check out my resources page to read previous newsletters and E-Books.
Sally Cousins is a self confessed mad dog lady!
After being mum to several rescue dogs she decided to turn her passion in to her career and set up her own dog walking business back in 2015.
Sally not only runs her business, she also writes for her own blog and also does guest blogs for other dog businesses. Sally is also the author of “The Lockdown Dog.” You can also find Sally chatting as a guest on dog related podcasts.