|Posted on March 13, 2013 at 1:10 PM|
Hello Everyone !
Sorry its been so long since i wrote a " Quick Chat " time goes so quickly !!
Its been a very busy start to the year for HH, our Facebook Page is getting very popular as clients are starting to find us. I get photos ( blurry as they are !! ) uploaded as often as possible and we had some nice ones put on the website recently, some of Emma our daughter Dog Walking...its funny how the dogs just love her and follow her, im sure she is the female dog whisperer ! I feel really lucky to be able to have my children work for us and of course they are as passionate about HH as we are.
Ive been so glad that i have such a good team around me as my hubby Paul has been unwell sinse just after Christmas so ive been busy splitting my time with giving him some TLC and running HH then i caught a horrible bug that had been going round so my house felt full of sick people !! ...but not for long as i soon bounced back
Helping Hands have clients of all ages and walks of life and this year we have had a few more senior citizens needing our help with Dog Walking Services. We had a lovely lady from Gateshead join us in January with her 2 lively adorable dogs, she is at an age where she struggles to walk them and knew they needed a good workout each morning for around 9am to wear them out for the day and the same in February for an elderly couple from Newcastle with 2 very cute Scotties...so these pets went onto Martins round and ive had wonderful feedback from the owners, its great to know we have made a difference to peoples lives and it also enables them to still own a dog. Marks Gateshead round is about full to capacity now that the last of the puppies have graduated so i will walk any new bookings for Gateshead and then look for a Dog Walker, i dont like to Cap our services i prefer to grow them and keep employing people to help me... i think im trying to build a little empire !! The mobile Cattery and Small Pet Visiting Services are always busy with new clients joining us. Its great that i can have most consultations at the weekends this way i can meet a lot more of the clients in one go ( usually back to back appointments ) but i still have a few that are in the evenings or mornings on a weekday. Its a busy role managing HH there is always something to do and if there wasnt i dont think i could sit still. Even on Mothers day when Martin and Emma were treating me to an afternoon out i was answering texts and emails haha we had a lovely day all of us, i hope you mums out there did too and im sure your furry children spoilt you and gave you lots of love.
Anyway its been lovely to have a quick chat ! where is Spring by the way ????
Best wishes From Dawn x x x
|Posted on December 30, 2012 at 11:05 AM|
Its nearly New Years Eve and how fast did Christmas come and go ?? We have had a great time, its been really busy but weve enjoyed every minute, even had time to make the church service on Christmas day ! its funny when we go to church, people who go there every week must think im such a rookie, as i can never find the right page where the parts are that we are suppose to say or where the hymms are and to be honest im not a singer ( well not out loud ) im more into humming...which i happily do at church, i also sway in rhythm so i think that shows willingness to join in !! but im not a rookie as ive always had a faith and my parents and siblings always went to church from sunday school onwards. My father wanted his children to learn the skill he had for campanology ( bell ringing ) so out of love we learnt, keep in mind i was a 13 year old aspiring Mod back in 1980 and how on earth was i going to make this hobby look cool to my friends?? i had no idea ! but to be fair it was great for fitness i had super upper arm strength from pulling a 1 Ton bell and you could earn money by ringing for weddings so i was well up for that on Saturdays, i did this little hobby for several years and i was never mocked by friends in fact it was pretty cool and a lot of teenagers from the youth club came to learn ( i think earning money for the weddings swayed them ) as i got older it was nice to go with dad and the other bell ringers after a wedding had finished for a pint at the pub opposite, so it seemed fitting when dad died 2 years ago that at his funeral service the bells were rung so beautifully, he would of been thrilled. I dont have this hobby anymore not sinse my late teens but i have very fond memories of church and my quasimodo days.
So its another year over for Helping Hands, weve had a good un ! We are finally on facebook, i didnt think we would be but im glad that i listened to the our clients and set up a page. I would like to thank all of our clients for their continued support of our services. I would like to send out our love to the clients who's elderly and poorly pets passed away this year, we miss them. I would also like to say a big thank you to all our staff who have worked very hard for us again this year.
All that is left to say now is have a wonderful New Year and hope to see you all in 2013 !!
Best wishes From Everyone at Helping Hands x x x
|Posted on December 15, 2012 at 5:10 AM|
As you may know if you have read my previous blogs that ive been reluctant to join the world of Social Networking but i have to admit you just know when you have to move with the times and after listening to what our clients would like we have launched our FACEBOOK page !
It is work in progress and i will eventually get all the pets pictures described and tell you who is who, i must admit its been a lot of fun setting it up and its only been 12hours !! clients have already started to find us and if we can get a lot of people hitting the " LIKE " button i can improve the page.
So if you want to take a peek just follow the FACEBOOK link on our menu to the left and say hello! you can add comments and upload your own photos, we want to make it a fun interaction for us all.
|Posted on December 2, 2012 at 6:35 AM|
Its December already !! whoo hooo, Christmas is coming and we cant wait.
I love Christmas, its a very busy time for us all here at Helping Hands as lots of our clients book the Mobile Cattery and Small pet visiting services so they can go off to visit their families for the festivities. A lot of our clients are not from the north-east originally, they have moved here after attending university or though changing Jobs and like me have come to love the area and settle here, ive been an adopted Geordie sinse 1984 when i met and married one !
I often wonder do pets have accents? Suki is a regular cat client of ours and her owner is french and i laughed when at the consultation i was fussing and chatting to Suki when her owner said to me " suki cant understand you as she only speaks french ! " and if you think about all the clients we have who are from different areas and continents their pets are very clever at adapting to new people and their languages or accents. I could not understand a word of Geordie when i first came here, its was a very fast accent with words i had never heard of ? asked if i was " Gannin Yem " was a total mystery and the fact i was a " Hinnie " or " pet " i didnt know to feel insulted or happy ! but i soon got the hang of it and over the years ive noticed the accent dilute and become softer and slower.
I had a great birthday in October, the show Oliver was brilliant and i did also get to have a bit of a holiday at home, which was great as ive been able to recharge my batteries and gear up for the Christmas holiday rush. Im so glad that new clients have booked their consultations in advance so i can get them all organised. Helping Hands regulars have been booking as well. Santa Paws is at the ready with his special gifts for the pets on Christmas morning, the countdown has well and truly begun. All our clients know they can book anytime, even on the same day they are leaving so i wont know until Christmas eve the total bookings but we have a great team here at HH and we are looking forward to caring for all your pets and walking your dogs on Christmas day.
I must say hello to our new clients who have joined us in November, we also have a new puppy coming onto the puppy checking services, a little welsh terrier who im going to meet next week, her owners are already cat clients of ours and now they are adding to their family with this adorable little puppy. Speaking of Puppies, Dromic, Indie Pup, Golden Indie, sally and Archie have been having a fabulous time on the dog walking services and the older dogs have helped teach them how to behave in the vehicles and out on the walks, they all have bonded beautifully. It seems funny how Finley, sadie, Maisie and bella who were the puppies not so long ago are just a little bit more grown up now compared to the new puppies, Bonnie the labradoodle who is on Martins round, however will always seem like a puppy herself even though she is 3 now but she just has a great time with all the youngsters, i cant help but laugh when i go out with Martin on a walk and see bonnie, she makes such a racket when i go in the house to pick her up, the excitement she gets is hilarious, Jude is the same she does literally scream ! so even though i dont see all the dogs on a daily basis now they do enjoy it when we do meet up and i have a strong bond with all of them, they are my extended family of furry children. Mark, Martin and Rosie do a great job and to see the dogs all happy and enjoying their walks is priceless.
Well thats all for now, enjoy getting festive !
Dawn x x
|Posted on October 9, 2012 at 1:35 PM|
What lovely Autumn weather we have been having, the dogs have been enjoying great fun playing in all the leaves and mud ! We all enjoy the walks at this time of year.
We have another new dog joining us this week called Indie, she is a lovely cocker spaniel but i think she has a bit of labrador in there somewhere. Its funny because the gateshead round now has 3 dogs called indie?? just so we dont confuse Mark or ourselves we have to give them an additional name, so its Older Indie, Indie pup and golden Indie. Dromic the puppy is progressing towards the full dog walking services soon, he is the younger sibling to Desmo the golden lab. Dromic is a jet black lab, very stunning and simular to Jenson ( beautiful black lab ) so the gateshead round is looking very, very attractive. Sally pup and Archie pup are also ready to graduate from puppy checks onto the Newcastle round. Angus the jack Russel is now on there with Martin, we had to walk him on his own whilst his owner got him vaccinated and things, he had come from the rescue centre and Laura didnt know his history so he's had to get a few things sorted out but he is fit as a fiddle and enjoying rambling in the woods with martin and his gang. I had Bonnie the labradoodles owner text me this morning to warn Martin that bonnie had rolled in something dead or decaying on her morning walk and she was stinking even after her owner had bathed here, i had to laugh, trust bonnie ! jude loves things that are rotten as well, funny how its the best smell in the world to the dogs yet makes us feel physically sick to smell it ! Bella is a coker-poo and is another one who is attracted to things dark and dirty..ie.. MUD !!...poor martin tries to avoid any dykes and things but bella homes in on them and before you know it her fur has gone from gleeming white to black and little maisie will try and follow, she is a westie-poo and also gleeming white..but not for long ! Martin does towel off his dogs but sometimes i think an industrial shampoo is needed. We are really lucky at Helping Hands, all the dogs in Newcastle and Gateshead are a joy to walk and what is nicer than to be out in the woods on a fresh crisp day watching all the fun and games that these pets get up to, what a wonderful job we have.
We are still very busy with the Mobile Cattery Service, i would like to say hello to all the new clients from Low Fell who have joined us recently. The bookings for Christmas have started to pour in so ive had to add a page to the website to advise anyone who hasnt used the service before to book their consultation with me NOW. In the summer i physically could not fit in all the enquiries and turn them into consultations and bookings so sadly some people who wanted to use the mobile cattery service didnt get their consultations in time for their holiday. luckily they have had them sinse and are now ready to use the service as and when they need us, but it was a learning curve that in peek times consultations are limited, some days they were back to back to fit in as many as i could. thankfully my team worked hard along side me and did a super job of the services so well done Martin, Mark, Rosie and Annette.
On a personal none pet note, i havent watched X Factor this year ??? weird for me i know ! we just cant get into it, not like me and Paul that, so maybe its getting boring, I think we like Drama's more now, " Good cop " was brilliant, the last episode is on this Saturday and i cant watch it , its my birthday and we are heading out to watch Oliver at Newcastles Theatre Royal, so i will have to record it but i cant wait to see how it all ends. Ive still been deliberating about a face book page for Helping Hands but something is still not appealing to me to open one, it would be handy to instantly send the photos of the pets too but i dont have time to run it or talk to people ( how rude of me ) which i think if it looks neglected is a bad impression of your business, so im still sat on the fence still with this one but i will let you know if i do open one.
Well thats this little blog done, no ranting this time, in fact i dont think i have had a rant for a while i must be chilling in my old age !
Best wishes from
|Posted on August 23, 2012 at 5:10 AM|
The summer holidays are drawing to a close and the dog walking services are gearing up to run at full capacity again. Its lovely when all the dogs get together, you can tell how much they miss each other. Jenson ( black lab ) has been away for the whole 6 weeks on a gun dog holiday whilst his owners have been in America, desmo his best buddy ( golden lab ) will be thrilled to see him. We have had a few changes, we have said goodbye to Phoenix from Martins round and Bella from Marks, its always a wrench when a dog leaves our care but it is only temporary with Bella as her owner is working away until December then bella will return to us and her buddies. We have said hello to new dogs and the newbies are settling in great, they soon learn how we do things...how to sit well behaved in the vehicles, watching the world go by as they travel soon settles them. All Helping Hands Dog Walkers vehicles including mine have snotty smears on the windows from the dogs noses being pressed against them as they admire the views or just snooze through their journey. Each have their favorite places to sit, its just like a school run. Helping Hands Dog Walking Service provides small group walks, so the dog walker will collect 4 dogs take them for their walk, then drop them off at home again then collect another small group and walk them and so on, on average our dog walkers will do 2 or 3 walks a day. We only provide our Dog Walking service in certain areas so we can keep the rounds manageable even though it feels sooo wrong to turn work away ! but if it doesnt fit we cant do it especially with the high cost of fuel. When a round is starting to grow and go over the limit of what we like our dog walkers to have we employ another member of staff and create another round. Its a really popular service and is an alternative for clients who dont want to use the vans with cages who pick up in large groups which suit some dogs but not all, so we are the niche.
Its also Welcome back to our cat and small pet clients who have been on holiday over the summer leaving their pets in our care. We have had great fun visiting all the cats, Rabbits, guineas and hamsters. We have 3 cats who live in Gateshead and one of them has to climb up and over you...oooch with those nails ! no matter what, this is the first thing he has to do as soon as you go in their house, Annette feels she needs a kevlar vest when she visits them. September and October are looking busy for the Mobile Cattery, i think all the clients who dont have children head off out of season. Paul and I are thinking of holidaying at home for a few days at the beginning of September, Rosie and Annette will provide visits for the pets and Mark and Martin will run the dog walking so i think a few days off will be lovely, we have been none stop for months so just to enjoy some normal activities like sitting in the garden reading a good magazine ( dont do books not even tempted by this 50 shades of grey malarkey ) and having days out exploring the Northumberland coast line and countryside. We had a day off on Wednesday and we headed down to the fish Quay in Newcastle for lunch ( had fab fish and chips ) it had such a holiday atmosphere, people were sitting outside the cafes and resturants chatting, laughing and enjoying their food and drinks, the sun was shining and it felt as if you were abroad, then we headed to the coast to walk spencer, had a drive round the countryside and stopped for a couple of drinks at the Farrier pub at Beamish hall, it was a really nice relaxed simple day.
Im heading off to Nottinghamshire next weekend, my sister has just had a baby so it will be lovely to meet my new niece...Genevieve...took me a while to learn how to spell it , I before E and all that...so i eventually got my sister to text the correct spelling !! 9lb 10oz another whopper her first baby was 11lb ....phew and i thought martin and emma were heavy babies at 9lb. Its a big age gap for the cousins.. Martin 26yr Emma 24yr ...Niece Perdy 3yrs and baby G 4 days ?? mind you my sister is 40 now where as Paul and I were 20 when we started our family..big difference. I feel i was really lucky back in the day though, we could have a traditional family life and i could stay at home being a full time mum, these days its so expensive to live people are having to delay having a family and work all the hours of the day.
Well ive got 2 consultations a set of keys to pick up and lots of pets to visit and dogs to walk so i must head off...its still sunny though..for now !
|Posted on August 7, 2012 at 12:55 AM|
Its still raining and flooding...oh the joy of a british summer !!
Its been a great few months and we have had lots of new clients join us. Every day has been full of consultations, tomorrow i have 3 straight after each other..phew its busy. I was due to have a consultation with a lady who's cat was booked in for our mobile cattery service but sadly he went missing for a few days and when his owner found him he had to be put to sleep, i felt so sad for his owner and this has been a bit of a pattern this year. we have had lots of sad news of elderly and poorly cats passing away, Its so sad to hear the news when owners contact me. Its a part of the business that i will always struggle with, its like losing our own pet over and over again, its very emotional for all of us at Helping Hands. Ive found that i get upset so easily when i hear about any pet or animal related stories that are sad. Paul use to tease me that im quite tough with handling things, he would be the one to cry at sad films, watching a film like Ghost at the cinema was a breeze for me...but throw lassie in there or a lost cat and im a gonna ! Paul has been very suprised at my weeping and wailing at things. I cant stand to hear of neglect, cruelty or in the racing world an animal being put to sleep just because its lame. My reaction after the grand national and poor Synchronised being put down was out of my control...the photo in the paper the next morning of the jockey saying goodbye was too much to bear and i had a mini melt down in a cafe whilst on a weekend away ! so what can i do to stop this?? Vets have to deal with poorly or dying animals everyday and they can handle it okay. Ive found that the " quiet life " herbal tablets are good for taking the edge off things, and im trying to look at positives...for instance the cats who have passed have had fantstic lives with owners who adored them, I look at the new puppies who come onto the service and see how full of fun and energy they are...its life.. comings and goings...ive got to keep that in mind and focus and stop being so sensitive....chocolate, pizza and a glass of wine or 2 also help !!
We are coming into our Autum / Winter season and Christmas is on the horizon, a lovely time of year, think i wrote about it in a previous blog...i still love to walk the dogs and watch the reds / oranges and brown colours of the leaves appear. I mainly walk the new dogs and puppies now. We have a new puppy called Archie joining our puppy checking service so im looking forward to visiting him, then we have Indie the chocolate labrador graduating onto the dog walking service from puppy checking, and a one year old Jack Russel called Angus joining the Dog walking service, he will be on Martins round going to Newcastle with bebe, phoenix and the gang, bebe is the cutest border terrier, im sure her and Angus will get on famously.
I want to give a mention to Annette and Rosie our 2 new members of staff, ive been very glad of their help recently, keep up the good work ladies. Mark has settled into his role walking the Gateshead dogs and with Martin and Emma along side us we have a pretty great team here at Helping Hands...even though i do say so myself.
|Posted on July 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM|
Just to let you know our office landline is not working at the moment ! just what we need in our peak season ( well i think its summer but could dispute that ) so im just wanting you to know Its saying disconnected when you dial it, which may worry some of the clients who just contact us on the office landline, so instead can you ring me on my mobile 07912975973 anytime.
Its silly and very annoying how this all came about ....i changed my services supplier and was promised the switch over would go smoothly, which it did and we had normal service for 4 days then suddenly nothing ! my supplier has been onto the problem and a week later has fathomed that my office number which has been mine for donkeys years was suddenly requested by BT and my new supplier sent it ??? anyhoooo hopefully the office landline will be up and running on Monday 16th July and im on a promise for a lot of good will gestures from my new supplier who i have verbaly bashed for this incredibly stupid error on their part.
Onto other matters, i hope you are all well after the great storm, i know some of my clients have had a tough time with flooding, yet when i chat to each of them its all very positive and not doom or gloom. I suppose it was out of all our hands that day. Paul and I had nipped into Ikea before starting the afternoon Mobile Cattery visits. We kept hearing rumbling and just thought it was deliveries to the wharehouse or something. I get very disracted in Ikea as i want to buy everything and always thought the world could come to an end and i wouldnt notice whilst shopping.....well i wasnt wrong !! when we came down the esculator and the lights flickered off and on and then the esculator stopped i did think it a bit odd, then when we came to the checkout and outside was dark as night and we heard loud crashing i suddenly felt really scared. Paul went to check on spencer our dog who was in the car whilst i quickly tried to get through self service, the noise from outside was shocking i have never heard thunder like it and the lightning was striking things. As i stood and really took in the situation, water suddenly started to poor through the ceilings, loads of it, the poor staff were trying to contain it but you could see this was not going to end well. Im claustrophobic and get anxious in crowds and panic at the thought of getting locked in anywhere, so it worried me that all the electrics would fail and the automatic doors would close, so when the emergency announcement came on to evacuate the building..i did !! i left my shopping and walked very calmly but quickly to the doors ( normaly i would have a hot dog but not today ) past the crowds of people taking photos and watching the water flood in the doors to the shop floor, past the people who didnt want to leave their shopping, past the people who still didnt believe the repeated loud announcement to evacuate the building immediately.. ..and waded through the water at the exit doors to see paul pull up in a very starsky and hutch way and reverse up to me as i came out so i could jump in the car, we heard on the radio the next day that the roof in Ikea collapsed..glad i left when i did. It was so strange as we drove along after leaving Ikea, we could see fires on the Newcastle side of the tyne and Swallwell and blaydon side, the lightning had struck and caused fires.....Armageddon or what ! we were verly lucky to be able to safely do all our teatime visits, thankfully Martin and Mark had finished their dog walking services before the storm hit so we knew all the dogs were home safely and everyone was okay. We were very grateful that our children had got home safe and well and that our home and business was unaffected it was very humbling especially when we saw the devastation the storm did have on peoples lives when we watched the news .
So keep safe and well, it looks like the rain is here to stay !
|Posted on June 24, 2012 at 4:35 PM|
I havent wrote a " Quick Chat " for ages, the months have flown by.
I cant believe how wet it has been these past weeks, where is summer???
How lucky have we been to have the Olympic Flame travel though our region, the atmosphere seemed to be really exciting in Gateshead and Newcastle. We didnt get chance to see it though as we were so busy with our services and we had to take into account the impact it was having on road closures and of course more traffic than normal for a Friday and Saturday. As you know Helping Hands is a Mobile Service so we always have to be aware of events that could cause us delays or problems, the Flame was one of them ! so with Military precision our days had to be planned to cope with getting around as smoothly as possible. I must say after years of driving around Newcastle and Gateshead we are experts at finding short cuts and dodging traffic queues. Uncannily We had a ton of clients booked in for Dog Walking and Mobile Cattery Services who lived in close proximity to the route of the flame and at times we did have to" VIP" our way into some buildings to get passed security ! i did feel sorry for some of the security people as the rain was chucking it down all day, one man told me he was working a 12 hour shift and was already soaked to the skin at 7am. Thankfully We all managed to get done and dusted without delay, Martin got in and out of Newcastle as normal even though he had Dog Walking Clients in the closed off area's too. A couple of months ago when i first heard that the Flame was coming to Gateshead i made all these grand plans with Paul, Martin and Emma, that we would make it a special family occasion, we would watch the flame at the Angel of the North then go for some lunch then drinks and make a memorable day ( and to try and get on TV to give my mum a wave who was sat watching it in Nottinghamshire ) but as in life things change dont they... we had 2 members of staff leave after working their notice but it was within a week of each other??, one of which was Sharna who was our weekend pet carer !!! We ended up so busy with work the week and weekend of the flame arriving that i didnt get chance to get a peek at it, but before i knew it the last cat visit of the day was being done and so we had a nice Indian Takeaway which was " flamin" hot as a special Olympic Flame tea. I must say Martin, Emma and Ashley have been real troopers taking on extra work for me and helping out whilst we are looking for new staff.
I need to plan for the Olympic football coming next !!!
Bye for now
|Posted on April 2, 2012 at 2:15 PM|
Ahhh what lovely weather its been, the welly's came off and the walking boots were back on and when i was just doing Mobile Cattery visits the flip flops even came out. Which did mean i had to give a little TLC to my feet, after all the months of wet weather and just wearing wellington boots, you do forget to pretty up your toe nails. I have to give you a mental visual of how i look when its a wet day...I have my black water proof Jacket on, uniform of black fred perry top and combat trousers, wellys and i wear my cap, which is a bakers boy style, its black and i like it, however i did get mistaken for a man twice on one day??? oh my goodness, not a confidence booster that !! The pet service is hard work and a physical dirty job at times, still i dont think i look like a man...do I ?? oh eck. To be fair the first confused person was only looking at my back as i was leaning in the car tying the dogs in...he called me MATE when asking me a question, when i turned around and looked at him he saw i was female ! the second time it was the early evening and we had finished for the day and weekend so popped into a lovely country pub for a well earned pint of Guiness,still in uniform, i was following paul from the bar and i was putting my phone away ( again head down, cap on ) when a man let us pass and said there you go FELLA'S, so i looked up wondering who he was talking too then realised it was us....thankfully on both of these mistaken identity moments i had my lippy on and false lash mascara so these chaps could then tell i wasnt a DUDE. It made me chuckle though and i got apologies when they did see that i was LADY
I hope you all have a lovely Easter Break, we are already in the swing of things with the services, its a very busy time for the Mobile Cattery Service and Small Pet Visiting. The Easter bunny will be leaving some treats for the clients for when they return. The Dog Walking service is still busy only a few dogs have gone on their holidays. We have Kirk our new Dog Walker in training and he is enjoying meeting some of the Gateshead Dogs that he will have on his round.
Bye for now