My journey and love for dogs began very early on growing up on a family farm in Putaruru. I've always had a wonderful admiration and respect for working dogs. With my Father putting NZ Huntaways to work on the farm and my Step Father being a policeman, I was able to see, firsthand, how clever and enthused the dogs were carrying out their important work duties.
I enjoyed a few wonderful years working for Animates Pet Stores in Hamilton, where I gained experience in animal care, nutrition knowledge and trained to become one of their in-store Dog Behaviourist Advisors.
I really have my beautiful four-year-old girl, Bella to thank for inspiring me to create The Hounds Hangout. I fell in love with Bella the second she came into the pet store to be sold. I adopted her and became her mum. (It didn't take much convincing!)
Bella being a NZ Huntaway cross, needed a huge out-let for her energy but with me working full time and living in the suburbs, I was finding it hard to provide Bella with the daily exercise she needed. After a bit of researching I found a couple in Te Kowhai (Just out of Hamilton) that were looking after dogs while owners were at work.. This was perfect! Bella would come home exhausted from her daily antics at daycare. In addition, it was quickly apparent just how valuable the socialising was for her learning and growth.
With the little home doggy daycare business growing by the minute they were looking to to expand...so they decided to purchase some land out in the country. I was offered the opportunity to become their first franchisee! Before long I owned an old Mitsubishi L300 van and was looking after my own pack of 10 dogs a day.
We would meet the dogs with their owners in the mornings down by the Waikato River and drive them out to the farm, which was especially set up as a daycare. They all had an absolute blast!
In 2013, Annah Stretton (One of New Zealand's top fashion designers and a phenomenal business woman) along with her Husband Tony Hope contacted me to personally care for their two beautiful white boxers, Gracie and Olive. Annah and Tony got right behind my goals and aspirations to start and run my very own Dog Daycare. The ideas and dreams I had were beginning to become a reality!
My partner Nick is born and bred in Taranaki, We'd had enough of the constant travel of a long distance relationship After an amazing two years in extremely rewarding roles looking after dogs, I decided to make the move down to New Plymouth.
With New Plymouth being such a vibrant and 'dog friendly' city I couldn't believe there wasn't a service specifically for owners to leave their beloved fur babies (of all breeds, shapes and sizes) in good hands for the day. I decided that New Plymouth needed something. With the guidance, mentoring and backing (in many more ways than one) Annah and Tony, along with my wonderful family and friends, have given me the 'push' and support I needed to begin my exciting business venture...
Welcome to The Hounds Hangout Dog Daycare!