VICTOR TEIXEIRA – LMDI
After a few months of adding data to a long list of dog-friendly businesses in Central London, I found myself wondering how I was going to make it look attractive. In terms of information, this was indeed a very useful and helpful list, so much so that already some fellow dog owners and walkers were starting to ask me to send them the listings. But they reminded me of a digital version of the Yellow Pages – handy and comprehensive but very unattractive. Still, my first and foremost goal was to write down the name, address, phone number and web address of every dog-friendly business in my area – Kennington, Vauxhall, Waterloo.
The more I shared this with other people, the more information they in turn shared with me. So I was soon listing businesses in Clapham, Wandsworth, Westminster, Chelsea and even Camden. The lists grew daily and with them the need to organise and regroup them. It was then that I was approached by Rui when we were both on standby at Terminal 5.
Rui and I were both Cabin Crew and spent a couple of days every month standing-by in the terminal, in case a fellow crew member was late, felt sick or simply didn’t turn up for duty. This was known as Immediate Response and it often meant that we spent 6 hours at the Airport but never got called out. Being as entrepreneurial as we both were, we soon discovered ways of making these days more fruitful. It was on one of these days that he, seeing me extremely focused on my laptop, approached me and asked me what I was working on…
I’m not going to lie, I immediately felt protective and wanted to hide my work from him. I thought it was far too young and precious a project to share with someone I didn’t even know that well. The more evasive I was though, the more questions he asked me. But it wasn’t until I gave in and showed him a bit of what I was doing that he offered to make it more attractive and user-friendly. That started an amazing partnership that is now 4 years old…
Welcome to our July DogBlog!
RUI ALMEIDA – MALAMEN WEB DESIGN & SERVICES
I remember looking across the room and seeing Victor, with his head buried in his MacBook, and wondering, “What the hell is he up to?” He clearly needed help. After a brief exchange of text messages (it was a quiet room), I decided to check it out. This is when Victor showed me the original Let My Dog In version and explained his idea to me. I loved it, right from the word go!!!
A website that has venues (pubs, cafés, restaurants, etc) where your best friend can also come inside? Where you can share a meal and drinks with your mates and still have your dog sitting next to you? Come summer or winter??? Absolutely fantastic idea!!!!!
All I thought was: “How can I help? How can I get myself into this amazing project??” Unfortunately my dog, Flecha Manuel, had long crossed the rainbow bridge and we now have 2 cats (Maggie & Ziva) so…. Hopeless, until I saw the website!
I cannot recall how long we spoke for that afternoon but, I lost track of time! I was gobsmacked by the amount of work Victor had put in; some of the lists were endless, he had a merchandise plan, stickers for the venues to put in their windows so a passer-by would know that their dog would be very welcome inside, tote bags and a very passionate and active Facebook community.
Immediately I offered my help to look after the website (the boring stuff) to update it and create a blog so the whole community could read real life stories of amazing animals that love us unconditionally and share reviews from dog-friendly venues around the globe.
The rest… it’s history! Over the years Victor, Paul, Oscar and Ollie have become some of my best friends and every time I know of an animal-related business that needs assistance creating a professional website, I offer my help.
Here are a few examples…
CHARLOTTE LAING – THE DOG RUNNER
Charlotte lives in Hangleton with her husband and two children. She has a cat and a dog. She is also a keen marathon and trail runner who enjoys locations such as the South Downs with Barney, her Springador, who loves running as much as she does!
Charlotte believes in the benefits of running to dogs’ mental health and notices when other dogs look on as she runs past them. Running makes dogs happy! It allows them to explore the world through sights, sounds and smells. They get to spend more time doing something fun and meeting friends along the way. Charlotte will run at your dog’s pace giving them time to explore their natural instincts.
For dogs that need to be on the lead, they may not always get the chance to have a good run, so Charlotte has a fantastic running harness that lets your dog run with her, pausing to sniff and explore along the way of course.
Many dogs see Charlotte running past them daily. Now they have the chance to join in!
Charlotte and Barney
CLARE SIMPSON – SCRUFFY TO FLUFFY
Clare started as a trainee at a local dog groomers and it didn’t take long for her to find herself grooming friends’ dogs.
Scruffy To Fluffy was launched 2 years ago; and just as well because Clare has since been made redundant as cabin crew with British Airways and that pushed her to expand her business.
The Scruffy to Fluffy family has grown mainly thanks to word-of-mouth, with the help of some amazing friends and clients.
The dogs’ welfare is Clare’s top priority and she only grooms one dog at a time, taking as many garden breaks as needed and even resorting to relaxing techniques such as calming dog music and lavender aromatherapy spray – it’s a success.
ALAN SCURR – HAIR OF THE DOGGY
After years and years of traveling the world for a living, Alan decided to settle down and pursue a career he felt passionate about. He first trained with Groomer of the Year (2004) and then Groom Team England (2009-2011) member Heidi Anderton.
He has since set up his own business and within a few years felt the need to expand to a newer and larger venue.
Amongst other facilities, Alan uses a technique originally developed in Japan – Nagayu CO2 Skin Therapy System – which consists of a compressed tablet of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and bicarbonate, which is then inserted into a specialised shower head designed to deliver the treatment directly onto the pet’s skin. This tablet contains a special moisturising supplement.
Alan’s new venue on East Street (SE London) now offers clients a coffee shop and other amenities.
ALISTAIR STEWART-ROSS – CANINE COUNTRY GROOM
Having taken early retirement from his flying career, Alistair embarked on his new journey as a Dog Groomer. He already had 13 dogs of his own, so caring for other people’s comes naturally to him.
Alistair is based in Banff and offers such an exclusive service that you can enjoy coffee and homebaked cake while you wait for your pet to be groomed. His priority is to ensure that each dog feels safe while being groomed and leaves with a spring in its step.
I have only just started working with Alistair so his new website will be ready soon!
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For more ideas and recommendations, try:
Bars & Pubs – https://www.letmydogin.co.uk/bars-pubs/
Restaurants – https://www.letmydogin.co.uk/restaurants/
Photos and videos of your dogs, as well as business reviews, are always welcome on our Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Finally, if you’d like to write a piece for our monthly blog, all it needs to be is dog-related and dog-friendly.