Firstly, thank you for taking the time to log on and read my website. I would like to introduce myself.

Due to personal reasons I recently relocated from Braintree, Essex and now live in Ashford, Kent.

For the last four years prior to moving I have been self-employed as a dog walker and council registered home boarder.

I made this move from a primarily office based background (25 years’ worth) undertaking long-term temping contracts. However, having grown up with dogs (Labradors) and what with being out of the house all day, I did not feel that I had the right credentials to look after a dog in the way that I knew I wanted to.

In the last few years prior to working independently I consoled myself with being a voluntary dog walker for the local RSPCA in Wethersfield. For three years that’s where I spent my Sunday mornings until the end of a long term temping contract signalled in me that this was the “now or never”, “you don’t know if you don’t try” moment.  It was also around this time that undertaking various CIDBT (Cambridge Institute of Dog Behaviour and Training) courses helped to fill the voids in my life. 

Now, I’m not denying that it wasn’t a scary time…. It most certainly was!  The possibility of financial insecurity beckoning and the “you can always go back to what you know” options floating around in my head – are definite motivators to make it work!!  All I can say is, if you feel so strongly that you should be going down a certain life path – you owe it to yourself (and those close to you) to know the outcome.

In April 2014 I embarked on my venture.  As with most businesses, things were a little slow in the beginning, but the following three years up until the end of last year have been the most hectic and enjoyable years of my working life.

On 21 January 2017 I brought my Labrador puppy home.  After nearly three years of self-employment I felt that I had reached that stage in my life where I could offer the type of dog I wanted (a gun dog to train up), the right environment, the time and the training needed.  

I can honestly say it is an absolute privilege to have “our boy” in my life.  I’m not sure who teaches who? I might be training Clueso but he knows how to make me analyse my own actions. How clever is that for a mere youngster? 

I ceased trading as Braintree Dog Walking and Sitting Services at the end of April (2018). I have had to rename myself for obvious reasons(!). So, I’d like to welcome you to “Cockers and Squatters” and the revised services that I now offer.