PET lover Natalie Cooksey just could not bear it when she had to leave her dogs home alone each day.
So the qualified teacher came up with the ideal solution. She changed her career path and went into business to offer a dog walking and dog sitting service.
Now she is getting clients from all over town and is loving her role as boss of the Hartlepool company I Love Walkies.
She told Business Mail: “When I was teaching, I was having to leave my dogs. I was looking at them and thinking ‘they look so miserable’, and other people told me they felt the same when they had to leave their dogs.
“I thought to myself, ‘there could be something in this’ and I got a really good response, so I changed my career. I have also done a canine first-aid course to boost my qualifications.”
Her service offers dog walking and dog sitting, and Natalie can also arrange to call-in to people’s homes and see to their pets while they are away on holiday.
She has also just launched a dog boarding service.
The 23-year-old moved from her hometown of Cannock, in Staffordshire, to Hartlepool, which is the home of her partner Martin McCoy, 28, who works as an engineering project manager. The couple met at university.
The canine business was originally set up by Martin’s aunt, Kathleen Ingham, who now lives in Northumberland, but Natalie is running a Hartlepool branch.
She said she has promoted the business by delivering leaflets every day. Natalie added: “The response so far has been unbelievable.”