THIS ISN'T GOODBYE!
Evening all, I hope everyone is keeping well and feeling festive. Though I do wish I could bring you another positive post at this time of year, filled with exciting plans or genius toys, I do write this with an incredibly heavy heart. After many teary and emotional weeks, countless sleepless nights and much deliberation, I've come to the decision to begin to close Bounding Hounds over the coming months. I cannot tell you how hard this decision has been for me, I have some of the most amazing customers, I adore all of your dogs as though they were my own. I've even cared for some of them since the day you brought them home as a tiny puppy! We've trained together, played together, I've come to know everything about them from their little quirks, habits and mischievous traits right down to their medication routines and toileting habits. I've poured my everything into this business over the past 2 and a half years and it has well and truly become the epicentre of my life; those of you who have been with me from the start will understand how far Bounding Hounds has come since the day I decided to become a dog walker, so believe me when I say this isn't something I've taken lightly. In spite of all of this, I've come to find myself trapped in a constant battle between generating enough cashflow to earn a living and working myself into exhaustion, alongside a cycle of continuously pushing myself a little bit more and a little bit further until I hit a wall, pick myself back up and do it all over again. Unfortunately, these small episodes of feeling as though the sky is falling down are becoming too frequent for me to ignore for much longer, and it's become apparent that it is my mental well being that's taking the brunt of the effects of that as the stress of managing a business has come to outweigh the love I have for what I do.
As many of you will have seen, I've tried so hard to make small tweaks and adjustments to the business model over the years to provide a high quality service that can run sustainably long-term, but it seems as though I've hit hurdle after hurdle from dealing with planning permission to finding trustworthy people to grow a team. With all the will in the world, it's become increasingly clear to me that without a good pot of cash ready to invest into getting a day care up and running and certain types of experience behind me, the business seems to have run it's course and has come to the end of its road, at least for the time being. I do hope and believe I will come back to this at some point in my life, hopefully in the not-so-distant future, but for now, I feel I must take a step back for the time being and explore other routes whilst I'm still young.
I am currently aiming for the February half term to walk my last walk, which falls approximately around the 12th Feb, however I may bring this date forward or backwards depending on how the weeks play out. I do hope everyone knows I would never leave without warning and will always endeavour to give you as much notice as possible so as you can properly prepare. All outstanding packages will of course be honoured, however I won't be taking any renewals unless we are both certain all 10 walks will be used prior to Feb. For my more 'Ad Hoc' customers or those who have few left on your package, I will still happily take bookings up until closing day but walks will be offered at package price (£12.50 / hr , £9.50 30 Mins based on 1 dog) and must be paid in advance on a walk by walk basis. I expect this may cause some confusion so please ask me any questions and I will do my best to answer them as quickly as possible.
I know this news will sadden many of you just as much as it has saddened me to come to terms with, but as I have mentioned, I can no longer ignore the warning signs glaring at me to take a step back which I hope you will all understand. I'll never be too far away and will always be there, as a friend, should anyone ever come unstuck or need a helping hand. I hope to post on this blog from time to time and stay in touch with as many of you as possible as I've grown so close to so many lovely people. This isn't a goodbye, it's more of a "See you later" as I truly hope to be back with your fur babies before you know it. With so much love for all of you, Beth X