Merry Woofmas and a Yappy New Year from Barking Mad Crewe!
Well it’s that time of year again…. Christmas is approaching and as 2019 is drawing to a close, it’s time to reflect on the last 12 months and look forward to a Barking Mad 2020! It has been all go since Barking Mad Crewe launched at the beginning of the year and without a doubt the best decision I have ever made. There is no better, more fulfilling way to spend my time than with our fabulous Barking Mad doggies, their ‘pawrents’ and our wonderful host families. Our host families do such an amazing job of looking after all your precious pooches and we cannot thank them enough for everything they do to give all our Barking Mad dogs a great home from home holiday experience.
It has been a pleasure to meet lots of new customers and their wonderful woofers and to match them to our experienced dog loving host families for their holidays. Nothing makes us happier than seeing our customers’ dogs settle into their holiday homes so effortlessly and having lots of fun whilst their owners enjoy their holidays safe in the knowledge that they will be returning to a very happy and relaxed pet! We have met lots of lovely dogs including Rosie the Labrador, Monty the Spaniel, Yogi the Border Terrier, Grace the English Setter, Lola the Cockapoo, Pombear the Pomeranian x Toy Poodle, Dylan the Norfolk Terrier, Monte the Bichon Frise, Ziggy the Vizsla, Toby the Australian Shepherd and many more!
This year we have enjoyed getting out into the community and spreading the word about Barking Mad at local events. In May, we attended the Tatton Park Country Fair which was a fun day for all and every dog lovers’ dream! The highlight was the Smallwood Village Fete where we were tasked with judging some of the categories in the dog show. We loved every minute of it but as you can imagine, it was very difficult as we thought all the pups were winners! In October, we had a stall at Tough Woofer, a 5k muddy obstacle course organised by East Cheshire Hospice. There was fun, frolics, Zumba, and a lot of muddy dogs and their owners.
Our coffee mornings have gone down a treat (not to mention the cake has gone to our hips) and they have been a fantastic way to meet dog lovers and share the joy of the Barking Mad experience. One of our coffee mornings was held at Union Street Community Centre in Sandbach. One of our wonderful host families came along to share their experience of hosting Barking Mad dogs where they spoke about the benefits of having a temporary canine companion and the joy it has brought into their lives. We recently visited Café Waterside in Bollington, Macclesfield and gave out lots of freebies and talked to lots of dog lovers about our bespoke home from home dog holiday service.
2019 marked the year that our sponsored dog Prince (Dogs for Good UK) became a fully qualified assistance dog. He is now assisting a six-year-old boy with autism, called Harry. We are delighted that Prince is making such a life changing difference to Harry and his family and we can’t wait to hear about his progress next year. With incredible support from our customers and host dog sitters, we are honoured to be able to contribute to the amazing work of this inspirational charity.
With Christmas coming up, we got into the festive spirit by attending the Tytherington Club Christmas Fayre. It was a lovely venue to have a stall at and advertise our bespoke home dog boarding service. There were some fantastic stalls there selling bespoke gifts, perfect for filling your Christmas stockings. This was a great opportunity to be present in the area as we have recently branched out into the SK10 postcode and now offer our bespoke home from home dog sitting service in Prestbury, Bollington, Tytherington, Rainow, Adlington, Nether Alderley, Mottram St Andrew and Monk’s Heath. This is a very exciting time for us, and we look forward to spending more time in this beautiful part of the country and meeting lots of new dogs and their humans.
December saw a general election where once again #dogsatpollingstations trended up and down the country on social media. Dogs at polling stations has almost become a British tradition for voting day and long may it continue! One of our holidaying dogs Ziggy the Vizsla decided she was going to vote, although she never told us where she put her paw print and it remains a mystery who she voted for!
We would like to say a huge thank you to our Barking Mad Crewe Mascot Pasha the Labrador for doing such a great job over the last year as ‘head marketer’. Having used the Barking Mad service herself, Pasha was able to ‘woof’ all about how great it is to prospective customers and host families. Pasha has been paid in dog biscuits, toys, chews and a honking duck – she will now have a hard-earned break over the festive period and will be raring to go in 2020!
Finally, as winter descends, and the jingle bells chime, we will be wrapping up our Barking Mad dogs as usual. When you are tucking into your festive treats please remember some of our favourite Christmas delights can be toxic to our furry friends. Chocolate, grapes, nuts, Christmas pudding and mince pies (as they contain currants, sultanas and raisins) are all toxic to dogs. Festive plants such as poinsettia, mistletoe, pine needles and holly are dangerous to dogs when ingested. Alcohol and cigarette ends are very hazardous to our pooches, and although our decorations and wrapping paper look lovely to us they are hazardous to our pets. So, please keep an extra close eye on your pooch and their surroundings to keep them safe this holiday season, but above all, enjoy the time with your loved ones.
So, it’s over and out from us for 2019. We would like to say a massive thank you to all our fantastic customers, their wonderful woofers and our fabulous host families for making our first year of Barking Mad such an amazing one. We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Watch this space for some exciting news about additional services we will be offering in 2020 alongside our bespoke home from home boarding service….see you in 2020!
Happy Autumn from Barking Mad Crewe
We have been busy since the end of summer with more of our lovely Barking Mad woofers enjoying their holidays. Millie the recently retired guide dog has had another great holiday enjoying the woods and plenty of games of fetch with her host family. Pombear the Pomapoo has been a bundle of fun and energy on his recent holiday and little Jack Russell Sky has returned home following a long stay with her usual hosts Yvonne and Steve. Here is Sky having a little snooze whilst waiting for the rain to pass.
Our fantastic host families get great pleasure out of caring for these wonderful woofers and they have just as much fun looking after them as the dogs do on their holidays!
In other news, we had a fantastic day at the Smallwood Village Fete which took place in September. The sun was shining, it was unusually warm and we had the pleasure of meeting lots of dogs and their owners who we told all about our home from home dog boarding service. We were also delighted to be asked to judge the following categories in the dog show – the over eights, the puppies and the overall best in show. Whilst It was lots of fun being able to judge the categories, we won’t deny that it wasn’t easy – we thought all of the dogs were winners! Here is Mojo the Border Collie who won the ‘best in show’ category. We thoroughly enjoyed meeting Mojo and her owner and presenting them with their prize.
Many thanks to the staff at Congleton Veterinary Surgery for organising such a fabulous event and asking us to participate. Thank you also to John Warren who took the above photos on the day. We look forward to attending again next year along with all of the other local stallholders.
In October we had a stall at Tough Woofer at Capesthorne Hall organised by East Cheshire Hospice – a 5k muddy obstacle course for both woofers and their humans. It was an action packed day involving lots of dogs, dogs and more dogs – they even joined in with the Zumba warm up! It’s every dog lovers dream and a fun day out for all the family.
We are pleased to announce that we were chosen as one of five finalists in the South Cheshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry awards in the category of Start Up Business of the Year 2019. We had a great night at the awards ceremony which took place at Crewe Hall in November. We are very proud to have been shortlisted as finalists and we now come highly commended by the Chamber. Huge congratulations to the winners – Churche’s Mansion Restaurant in Nantwich.
Finally, as we welcome the Autumn, the nights are drawing in and the weather is getting even more cold and wet. Here are a few helpful tips to bear in min when looking after your precious pooches as the conditions change:
- Stay visible by getting some reflective or high visibility clothing for yourself and your dog. It doesn’t have to be completely dark to hinder visiblilty. A quirky flashing collar is a good way of making sure your pooch is seen.
- As the central heating comes on the fleas flock indoors in order to stay warm and cosy! Make sure your pet is up to date with their flea treatments the bed bugs don’t bite!
- Keep anti-freeze well out of your pets’ reach and if you spill any, be sure to clean it up straight away. Anti-freeze is highly toxic to pets and even a tiny amount could poison your pooch.
- Your woofers may be getting shorter walks in the wet and wild weather, so keep an eye on their food intake to avoid unnecessary weight gain.
- Make sure your woofers are dried off properly when coming indoors. Long, thick or matted fur can be dangerous to them when wet so talk to your groomer about the best winter maintenance plan for your pet. You could even invest in a weatherproof jacket for them.
Above all stay safe, have fun and enjoy some lovely Autumnal walks with your four-legged friends!
Come along to the Tytherington Club Christmas Fair on Sunday 1st December 2019 from 10.00am to 3.00pm. We will be there spreading the word about Barking Mad and getting in the festive spirit!
A SUCCESSFUL FIRST SUMMER OF DOG HOLIDAYS FOR BARKING MAD CREWE
So, as the summer has now drawn to a close, it’s time to reflect on our Barking Mad adventures over the past couple of months. The weather may have been more up and down than a nosy neighbours’ blind, but this certainly hasn’t stopped our pampered pooches enjoying their holidays. We have also been out and about meeting lots of lovely people and their woofers too!
In July we held a coffee morning at Astbury Mere Country Park in Congleton where we met lots of people who were keen to find out about the world of Barking Mad! We were also there spreading the word about a fantastic charity called Dogs for Good UK, who are dedicated to training assistance dogs for both children and adults with disabilities.
In August we had a stand at Hopley House for their Pawty In The Park event, which included an agility course for the dogs and a doggy physio taster. We brought along Rosie, one of our Barking Mad dogs. Rosie is a regular at Barking Mad and a testament to the loving home from home experience all our doggies receive whilst their owners are away. Although we were not convinced that Rosie was too enamoured with the agility course, she certainly loved her new toy from Barks and Co!
Whilst August has been a busy month for dog holidays, we also had the pleasure of welcoming some lovely new woofers into the Barking Mad pack. One of those woofers was Grace, a beautiful and very friendly English Setter. Towards the end of August Grace had her two night/three day trial with one of our lovely host families. Our host family had sadly lost their beloved dog a while back, and were missing all the great things that come with being a ‘doggy pawrent’ including love, walks and companionship.
At the end of Grace’s trial stay, it was lovely to hear our host family tell us about their doggy adventures. The care Grace received was second to none, she’d been on some lovely walks, had all her favourite toys and her own bed. She also looked happy, relaxed and her host family treated her as if she were their own. Both Grace and our wonderful host family had thoroughly enjoyed their time together, and they can’t wait for her to come back later in the year for her main holiday!
We took Grace home to her owner who naturally as any dog owner would be, had been a little worried and anxious about leaving Grace with one of our host families for the first time. It was such a joy to see her delight at knowing that Grace had had a fantastic time through our regular photo updates and the postcard written personally by the host family outlining what they had been up to with Grace during her trial stay. The customer is now relaxed and looking forward to her holiday safe in the knowledge that her beloved dog will be safe and sound and will have a whale of a time with our very special host family.
There is nothing better than a happy customer and woofer, they are at the heart of what we do!
In the next couple of months, we are holding / attending the following events:
- On Sunday 20th October 2019, we will be having a doggy refreshment stand at Tough Woofer at Capesthorne Hall;
- On Friday 1st November 2019, we will be holding a coffee morning between 12.30pm and 2.30pm at Union Street Community Centre in Sandbach for anyone who would like to find out more about becoming a Barking Mad dog sitting host. There will also be hot drinks and cake in return for a small donation to Dogs for Good UK.
We also hope to attend some of the Christmas fairs in Congleton, Sandbach, Middlewich and Macclesfield. Please follow us on social media for further details about our upcoming events and to see more of our wonderful Barking Mad dogs!
Barking Mad Crewe would like to introduce a new addition to the pack – our Dog Holiday and Marketing Co-ordinator Sally Barker!
Here’s what Sally has to say about joining the wonderful world of Barking Mad –
Hi I’m Sally and I work for Barking Mad Crewe. I am the proud owner of two beautiful, if not rather naughty Norfolk Terriers called Ralph and Missy. I live in Congleton and I am very lucky to be surrounded by beautiful walks in which to take my dogs where I meet lots of other fantastic dog lovers along the way.
I am blessed to be working for Becky, Barking Mad Crewe, covering Crewe, Macclesfield, Sandbach, Congleton and Middlewich. We ensure that our customers can enjoy their holidays in the knowledge that their dog is receiving top quality care in a loving environment, from the moment they are collected to the moment they are safely delivered home. I look forward to meeting you all and your wonderful dogs!
Barking Mad Crewe owner and operator Becky Spall says “Sally is a great addition to the Barking Mad team and it is a pleasure working with her. Not only is she enthusiastic and hard working but above all, she is an avid dog lover who loves to chat to everyone (and every woofer) that she meets”. So, if you see Sally out and about in Crewe, Congleton, Sandbach, Macclesfield or Middlewich, she will be only too happy to talk to you about dog holidays or becoming part of our dog sitting host community!
In other local news, the Barking Mad Cheshire Team had a great time on 18th and 19th May exhibiting at the Tatton Park Country Fair. It was a fun weekend for all of the family and their beloved dogs. We were only too happy to provide a refreshment stand for all of the hungry and thirsty pups!
Why not come and meet Becky and Sally from Barking Mad Crewe at one of our upcoming local events where they will be talking to people about all things Barking Mad!
- Sunday 23rd June 2019 – Come and see us our stall at the Glebe Farm Gift and Craft Fair, Astbury, Congleton.
- Thursday 11th July 2019 – Coffee morning at Astbury Mere Country Park, Congleton. Here we will be talking to dog lovers about becoming part our dog sitting host community.
- Saturday 14th September 2019 – Come and see us at our stall at Smallwood Village Fete, Near Love Lane Farm, Smallwood, Sandbach.
Please check this page and our social media pages nearer the date of each event for further information. We look forward to meeting you all soon!
From legal beagle to dog holiday business owner. The launch of Barking Mad Crewe and my story so far…
My name is Becky and I am the proud owner of Barking Mad Crewe. My Barking Mad business launched on 3rd January 2019 and offers bespoke home from home dog holidays in and around Crewe, Sandbach, Congleton, Middlewich and South Macclesfield. It’s a bonus that I have close connections to the area in which my dog holiday service operates. I was born (and used to work) in Macclesfield, I was brought up in Congleton, I attended college in Crewe and I have lived in Sandbach for last 5 years!
My love of dogs started from a very young age with my grandparents’ Shih Tzu Chloe and more recently my brother’s Labrador Pasha. What better way to fulfil my love of dogs than by working with them!
Starting your own business can be an exciting yet daunting prospect. When I joined the waggy world of the Barking Mad franchise network, I began my journey with a proven business model, safe in the knowledge that I have a business partner at the other end of the phone should I need advice. It requires hard work and determination to make a franchise a success and running my Barking Mad business has so far been a positively challenging and extremely rewarding experience.
Prior to launching the business, I worked in the legal profession for several years, the last three as a qualified solicitor. The transferable skills I have acquired from this profession have enabled me to pursue this waggy adventure and juggle the number of different hats you wear as a business owner. What is even better is that I get to meet lots of wonderful dogs and their owners and provide a service that I truly believe in.
Barking Mad Crewe has got off to a great start helped by the fact that January is a popular month to be thinking about booking not just your own holiday, but also your dog’s holiday too! So far I have met lots of dogs of all shapes and sizes, young and old, including Labradors, Cockapoos, Labradoodles, Greyhounds, Retrievers, Lurchers, Spaniels, Setters, and even an Australian Shepherd! All of these wonderful dogs have either been rescued or have been owned since they were puppies.
It is my job to carefully place these dogs with one of my host families who will provide the best home from home holiday for your dog. Our volunteer host community is made up of a network of retired people and homeworkers who love having a temporary four-legged companion. Becoming a Barking Mad Host also appeals to teachers who might like to have a part-time furry friend during the school holidays. Our hosts really love what they do, and I am here to arrange everything so all they need to do is provide their four-legged friend with a cosy home, lots of love, fuss and adventures!
Barking Mad Crewe has been operating for almost nine weeks now and is going from strength to strength – so much so, I am now recruiting for a Dog Holiday Co-ordinator to help drive the business forward and spread the word about my bespoke home from home dog boarding service. Please CLICK HERE for more information.
So what are you waiting for, give me a call to either book your dog’s holiday, find out more about joining our host community or working for Barking Mad Crewe!
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