So as well as travelling around the world capturing canine moments,The Dog Tales also gets to work with some wonderful people and businesses who also love all things dogs. Here you can explore their story, as we delve into their world through our photo stories feature. Enjoy!
-So H, how long have you been a dog walker for?
Just over two years professionally! Made the decision to start it in May 2018, bought my van in June 2018 and started with Tailstir (an app that finds you a local dog walker) over that summer, then got the first job purely for Hounds Of Love in September 2018!
-Describe a typical ‘Hounds of Love’ day?
Wake up and think about coffee! Usually woken up by Max and Molly who bark around 6.30am, it used to be 6am but now in their senior years they’ve given us that extra half hour! I head straight out to Hampstead for the morning walk and pick up each dog as I head for the Heath. I like to keep my groups small so depending on who I’ve got that day I’ll stick to the Heath or head over to the Heath Extension where I take three dogs from one household which takes me up to midday. I always prioritise the time of the walk over anything else so my days never run the same; dependent on traffic and how muddy the dogs are! I then head back over to Harrow, where I live and spend the afternoon taking dogs out around there. A few dogs I walk live really close to parks but I make sure I mix it up and change parks so walks don’t get too boring! I am usually done by 4pm and head back home to wash all the dirt, slobber and dog hair off to then lay down with Max and Molly and cover myself in their dog hair!
-Have you always done this job? If not what did you do before?
The list is endless! I started out in beauty therapy, then moved over to the music industry first doing makeup on tour. I eventually moved away from beauty and became a PA and ended up touring the world with my sister, Kate Nash. I spent a few years touring with a number of other bands before settling back in London with Universal Music but couldn’t adjust to the very stationary office lifestyle; so after two years I decided to leave and finally figured out what I wanted to do rather than just keep going in an industry I fell into. Four months later I came up with Hounds Of Love! I’ve started to learn more about canine behaviour and widening my skills and knowledge as much as possible!
-What challenges do you come up against as a dog walker?
I’ve found that the job is generally pretty pleasant till something goes wrong – things can go from 0-100 in a second! Especially during the summer months when parks and the Heath are a lot busier.You’ve got a lot more obstacles to avoid; people and their picnics! Other dogs and their owners are also very quick to blame professional dog walkers, even when they have little control over their own dog. It’s not until I feel totally comfortable and know a dogs personality/triggers that I’ll let a dog off the lead, and learning more about how dogs body language is key to keeping a walk safe and fun! Other challenges, especially here in England is keeping dry and sane during the winter wet months; spare socks and all the right waterproof gear are key! I’ve got a change of clothes in the van now for those days that just won’t quit.
-What is your favourite breed of dog and your favourite thing about your job?
Choosing one is just impossible! I have two Labradors and grew up with a lab mix, so am very partial to a lab! I dream of having a Basset Hound and Beagle, as I feel they both represent parts of my personality pretty perfectly. And I would say, building up a bond with another species feels like something so special and out of this world at times and I never take that for granted.