We've GOT THIS!
Happy Weekend all, I hope everyone is keeping well, happy and healthy through these difficult times. Before I say anything, I first want to begin by sending the biggest thank you I can to all those who have reached out to me over the past few days, offering words of advice, support and gestures of kindness. Reading through some of your messages has genuinely brought me to tears through being so overwhelmed by your kindness. I can't put into words how grateful I am to each and every one of you. You truly carry me through the difficult times in business and help me figure out how to tackle these hurdles so, from the bottom of my heart, Thank You.
As more and more businesses close down and restrictions are put in place, I'm sure I'm not alone in believing that the UK will be put into lockdown within the next week, or near future. Because of this, I've come to the decision that I want to spend the remaining time of freedom helping the most vulnerable and those who essentially need it. Many of you who are working from home have so kindly asked me to continue walking your dog to help sustain Bounding Hounds, which is just one of those things earlier mentioned I'm in awe of and eternally grateful for. However as moved as I am by this, I would like to ask everyone to help me help others by postponing all non-essential walks until further notice. If you feel you have a walk booked in that you or a family member may be able to carry out yourself, please let me know so I can remove it from the calendar to free up space.
During this time, I would take pleasure in offering my dog walking service to all NHS staff, the elderly who cannot leave their home, shop floor workers working double shifts to keep our shelves stocked,
or anyone in a vulnerable position that could make use of an extra pair of hands to take their dog for a walk. This service will be FREE of charge as I understand many have or will be hit financially in the months to come. If you feel that you or someone you know of is in such a position, please send me a message so that I can help. In addition to this, if anyone using this free service is in need of a shopping trip or supplies, I will happily do my best to bring you what you need. I have a car, I can drive and I understand some cannot.
Having been to the shops myself, I have seen how empty the shelves are especially of those essential items such as hand sanitiser. A family member's handcare company still has some hand sanitiser in stock, so if you are in need of some, please let me know and I can get some out to you, or you can order yourself at www.klen.uk/shop. If you choose this option, please let me know, as all Bounding Hound customers get FREE SHIPPING with a unique code.
What the future holds
Needless to say, we're living through unprecedented times and no one can confidently say how long it will be until we return back to normalisation, however I'd like to speak directly now to my amazing customers, especially those who have been with me from the beginning.
I have built Bounding Hounds with you and your dogs forefront and centre. Having worked for pet care businesses previously, I have seen exactly what not to do within the industry. My top priority at all times is to deliver the highest possible quality of care, to your fur babies and that you feel safe, secure and confident with me or a team member in your home. However, as many of you will be aware it is proving increasingly difficult to expand and build a team of people that hold the same values and vision in mind.
Moving forward, I want to incorporate you all into the decision making process, as much as reasonably possible, so as to continue providing you with the service you most desire. At present I see two options in moving forward.
A. I continue business alone and introduce group walks onto our service list, exclusively for our most sociable and playful dogs. This is something I have always strayed away from previously, due to the fact I see time and time again other dog walkers abusing the opportunity to take more dogs out per time slot for financial gain, often mixing dogs that shouldn't be mixed together or carrying out walks in an unsafe and unsecured environment such as a roadside or open park surrounded by busy roads. If this option is what most favour, all dogs taking part will go under thorough temperament assessment and be admitted at my own discretion. If at any point any dogs show signs of aggression or dominance towards other dogs in the pack, they will be moved back over to our solo walks (which will still remain in place). In terms of location, as many of you know opening a day care has been a continuous work in progress for me since opening in 2018. I have recently spoke to the land owner of where our daycare would have been based and she is happy for me to have private use of her 7-acre field based in Cofton Hackett, away from any main roads. The field is already secured with deer fencing, previously hosting flocks of sheep, and with exclusive use I can maintain ground quality ensuring no litter or foreign objects which may pose risk to the welfare of the dogs are present. This service would come to you at a discounted price in relation to our current price list however, with this option should I fall ill or need to take time away from work, one of us will need to find a substitute of care for your dog during my time away, whether I source someone to cover for me or you're able to ask friends or family members. Let's call this option A. B. Option B would be to continue running business as you've seen previously. This would entail selecting a new team member and going through the process of meet and greets again. I can't guarantee how soon I would be able to find a suitable candidate and as many of you have seen, despite the most thorough checks they still may end up being the wrong candidate for Bounding Hounds.
I have created a poll where you can cast your vote below. I ask that only current customers take part.
Once more I want to send a huge thank you to you all for your support and encouragement through these difficult times. I implore all of you to help anyone you can and lead with kindness and love. Sometimes even the smallest of acts can make the biggest impact on someone's life.
Wishing you and your family health and happiness, Beth.