Call 0845 8623845
As featured on Newsnight,
Chris Evans, Working Lunch.
Welcome! We're Barking Mad and provide dog sitting in Northumberland. The expected idea of dog kennels has become antiquated by a better option - you needn't place your beloved pet into a cage to be fed and watered whilst you're away. Barking Mad is a more positive alternative to traditional kennels as the service is provided directly by people who love dogs staying with them in their own homes just the same as if they were still with you.
Separating your pet from their family is like separating a dog from a pack in the wild and they will pine for you to return. The stress your dog goes through during this period is usually reduced by surrounding them with their favourite toys and their own bed etc. What is important for everyone is that your dog stays in a host family that they can feel at ease around. We have seen amazing success using this mix and it's also a relief for owners if you know your dog is having a little holiday on their own too. Our team has got our services finely tuned. When you need to go away you can rest assured safe knowing your dog is being expertly cared for.
Our hosts are substantial in number and type. We have single elderly people to young families all just ready and waiting to look after your dog. You can select if they already have pets or not, you can also choose to have them walked or fed at a certain time of the day, given their favourite toys from home and be treated as special as you wish them to be. This is a particularly great service to offer you peace of mind if your dog requires medicine to be given as well.
We really are the best dog sitters in Northumberland as our reach is far and wide. Our host families are almost everywhere throughout the UK. Our local branch is just a short trip from wherever you are. If you are still unsure whether you should use us or not then please just read our previous customers testimonials to help ease any uncertainties. We always ask our customers to leave us feedback, we know the best business is often passed by word of mouth marketing and Barking Mad Northumberland are no exception to this principle.
We want to keep you informed when you are away too. Your pet will be no doubt having fun but our frequent updates for you will offer that extra confidence that your dog is being fully looking after. Our national chain of dog carers are here to support you, should anything at all ever go wrong then rest assured that we will take the correct course of action whilst keeping you informed throughout.
We started Barking Mad in 2000 after we realised that dog owners just like us all over the country were missing this sort of service, other similar businesses have popped up since but nobody can rival our custom made bespoke service. Other providers may have helpers who will visit your home and feed your dog and take them for a walk but dogs need to have company, get given lots of love and attention. You know yourself that sometimes your dog can almost might seem human, we know a lot of people even see their dog as a big part of their family. Wouldn't you want the very best for any family member if it were accessible?
We invite you to select the right “home from home” family, during our initial meeting you will be able to see all of the host families and choose which ones experience suits you and your dog best. Our whole process is simple and it all starts off with a phone call or a form submission, so what are you waiting for?
|One off initial registration meeting||£42|
|Daily boarding rate (1 dog)||£28|
|Daily boarding rate for additional dogs||£22|
|Collection and delivery||£48|
Bailey – All ready for his holiday complete with paddling pool!
At the registration meeting you’ll receive one of our exclusive ‘Holiday Doggie Bags’ which you can pack with food, bowls, toys, treats and anything else to help your dog settle in more easily.
We even offer an unlimited luggage allowance at no extra charge!
Host families are given a Pet Schedule detailing all of the information we gathered at the initial registration meeting and we’re on hand 24 hours a day 7 days a week to support them.
We’ll send a photograph of your dog to you as soon as he’s been safely delivered to the host. The very next day we give you a ‘rest easy’ update, so you can then sit back, relax and enjoy the rest of your time away in the knowledge we’ve got everything covered.
On the day of return you’ll receive a fun postcard from the host and we’ll stamp your loyalty card so you can gain points which will entitle you to a free night away.
The best bit for us is seeing dogs happily settled-in and comfortable with their host. We will, wherever possible, be sure to use the same family each time you book a holiday. There are no minimum or maximum time limits we’re here whenever you need us.
Ask for your loyalty card. When your card is full you receive a FREE stay on us! (1 full card = 28 paw stamps).
If you love dogs but can’t commit to the full time financial and emotional responsibility of having a dog of your own, or if you have a very sociable dog who would benefit from visiting guests coming to stay, then you’ve come to the right place!
Our very own host families are extremely special people indeed. They have been selected carefully and interviewed in depth at home to ensure they meet our criteria. We get to know them really well and have worked with many of them for a great number of years.
Who are our hosts
It goes without saying, all of our hosts, without exception, are absolutely dotty about dogs. Some are actively retired people who’ve had dogs all of their lives but now enjoy the freedom and flexibility of caring for dogs on holiday. Others are younger, often with a family at home, where the addition of a visiting dog is great fun for all.
How it works
We’ve done all the hard work so you don’t have to. We think it’s important that our hosts concentrate on looking after visiting dogs and that they are not exposed to, or distracted by a constant flow of potential customers and dogs coming and going. Our hosts are also protected from the awkwardness of dealing with money, insurance and paperwork, so that the enjoyment of looking after visiting dogs remains their focus.
Support 24 Hours a Day – 7 Days a Week
Looking after someone else’s dog is great fun, however from time to time you may need a little local, on the ground support and it’s great to know we’re on hand 24/7 to provide just that.
If you’re interested in joining our fun, dog loving host community to become a pet sitter we’d love to hear from you.
CLICK HERE to make an enquiry
A small selection of our lovely host families:
Brenda - 2nd May, 2017
"We recently had Fozzie for several days it was such a joy to have him my dog Wiggles loves him a lot.
My whole family love him as did our friends where we walk every day.
We look forward to his next visit.
Carol - 13th Apr, 2017
"We enjoy looking after peoples dogs as it gives us pleasure to think they have come from home to home. Sometimes our commitments are heavy but It fits in with our lifestyle as we can do it as and when we can. It gives us pleasure and hopefully the pets enjoy our company too. Barking Mad are efficiently run and if I had a dog of my own would gladly let them find a host for my."
Celia - 23rd Mar, 2017
"Lulu has just been to me on her fourth visit. We've both had a lovely time and it seems strange today without her. She is well known and well loved by my friends and neighbours now as well as the local dogs. We all look forward to seeing her again soon."
Jackie - 6th Jan, 2017
"We had the pleasure of looking after Pip for 2 weeks over Christmas this year! We all loved having him for his 2nd visit with us. We enjoyed the walks (even in the cold and sometimes wet) and my children loved his company too!
I would love to have a dog of my own sometime soon, but looking after dogs with Barking Mad gives me the opportunity to see how a dog would fit into our lives, what challenges it might bring and what delights too! I can test out different breeds and ages too in case I go down the rescue dog route!
Definitely a win win option."
Brenda - 6th Jan, 2017
"We recently had Molly come to stay we all fell in love with her. My dog Wiggles loved her too
She was so good and had us laughing when she showed attention to the Tv.
We enjoyed her company and will look forward to her coming to see us again.
Carol - 3rd Nov, 2016
"We thought the service we got from Emily at Barking Mad was very professional - the information we received on Inca prior to our having her was very precise and made our experience all the better. It was good to know she was at the end of the phone especially as this was our first time. Inca was a pleasure to have and as advised needed lots of love and attention which we certainly gave her. We look forward to the next time to host again. Many thanks."
Brenda - 26th Oct, 2016
"We recently had Scout come to stay with us what a lovely time we had scout and my dog wiggles became great friends it was really nice. Its nice that the dogs get to visit carers whilst the owners go on holday as it gives peace of mind for all concerned and the dogs are happy too We look forward to scout coming again"
Brenda - 26th Oct, 2016
"Scout came to stay a beautiful little dog we had a great time look forward to seeing her again.
Barking Mad is a lovely idea it is very important that the dogs are happy and we love it"
Celia - 4th Oct, 2016
"Lulu has just gone home after seventeen nights with me. This is the longest stay I've had but it wasn't too long. She is a delightful, easy dog to look after who quickly makes herself at home.
This is the third time she's been to me and I look forward to her next visit."
Brenda - 4th Oct, 2016
"I think Barking Mad is such a lovely idea as the dogs can visit families a bit of a holiday whilst their owners have a holiday too.
We recently enjoyed a visit from a beautiful dog Fozzie he settled into our home quite happily and we enjoyed him too.
Animals need to feel secure with no worries and fitting into a family environment makes for a happy doggie I think Barking Mad is a very good idea
I will look forward to the next vistor on four legs."
Jackie - 12th Sep, 2016
"I have recently looked after Pip for just over a week and really enjoyed it. I am looking to have a dog myself but want to be 100% sure I am doing the right thing before I take the plunge.
I love that with barking mad you get lots of help and support while looking after someone else's precious dog. If you have a problem or the dog becomes unwell you also know that help is at hand. I found the experience rewarding and it was lovely having Pip stay with us. The problem is we missed him when he was gone...
I would like to continue looking after dogs with barking mad.
Celia - 19th Jul, 2016
"Hugo has just had two weeks holiday with me. As a lively two-year-old Springer he was more of a challenge than I've had before but I loved it, and him. We walked many miles and I managed to loose some weight. An added bonus for me!
I think Hugo enjoyed having my undivided attention and he certainly made the most of it. I always think about how I would like my own dog to feel - happy, secure, content, and loved."
Linda - 29th Jun, 2016
"Hello I love having the dogs it gets me out and about too..I am fairly new to the neighbourhood. And I have met people that I would not have met if I was not hosting. All the dogs I have had since I've been hosting have been very good I love them all. I wish I could have some of the small dogs back I had last year!. Posted by Linda"
LindaS - 29th Jun, 2016
"I love being a host we find it encourages us to go out more and explore dog friendly places so we get loads of fresh air and exercise. We have the peace of mind that Barking Mad are on the end of a phone if we need them for any reason and its a great way of having a dog without the costs involved. Also if your lifestyle means you cannot have a dog then this is a great alternative. I would definitely recommend it as all the dogs we have had have been easy to care for and friendly, the hardest part is saying goodbye but because you know they will probably have another holiday before too long you don't get upset you just look forward to their next stay."
Anne and David - 28th Jun, 2016
"Hosting a dog gives us a lot of pleasure and is very rewarding. We have only been hosting dogs for 3 months but we're really enjoying it. It gives you the satisfaction of knowing that each dog has had a lot of love and a good home from home holiday. We treat every dog as if it was ours, taking note of the pet profile guidelines. It is a great help knowing that you have the back-up of Barking Mad should anything untoward happen, which gives us peace of mind. John has been excellent matching us with the dogs we've hosted so far."
Brian and Carole - 8th Apr, 2016
"We have been hosting for 18 months now and have come to know the regular dogs we have. The owners have requested many times that they like them to go back to the same host. We find it rewarding that they make these requests.
Nicola is always very careful to match the host and dog and this shows in the requests she gets.
Keep up the good work. A perfect match makes a happy owner, dog and host.
Barking mad prides itself on this and Nicola and her team work very hard to make this happen.
We have just got another first time little doggy today and we hope that he will want to come back again.
A big thankyou to all the team."
Celia - 6th Apr, 2016
"Archie has just gone home after his second visit. He's the most affectionate little dog I've met. Really loving, kind, and gentle. He can be a bit naughty sometimes but we suit one another well and both thoroughly enjoyed our week."
Gwen - 31st Mar, 2016
"We have just had a second visit from a lovely dog that we first met over last Xmas. Having become very fond of her the first time, it was lovely to see her again. She settled more quickly this visit, and was very relaxed. We really enjoyed our time with her, and look forward to her next visit."
Gwen - 24th Mar, 2016
"We have just had a beautiful golden labrador to share our lives with for the past nine days. He was delightful, really good around other dogs and children, and a joy to be with. I'm looking forward to having him to stay again."
Pam - 18th Mar, 2016
"We have just said goodbye to our latest doggy client and thoroughly enjoyed having him here.
He settled in straight away, was friendly and playful. We never imagined choosing this breed ourselves but he's now a very firm favourite and today the house seems empty without him. Hope to look after him again sometime."
Gwen - 14th Mar, 2016
"I enjoy doing the best I can to make sure that my doggy guest feels relaxed, cared for and loved whilst they're away from home. This is what I would want for my own dog, when I have to go away on holiday, so I find it very rewarding to provide this for other people and their dogs."
Jenny - 8th Feb, 2016
"For me, the best part of being a Barking Mad host is getting to know all the different doggie personalities and making friendships with them, particularly when my new houseguest could be feeling a little bit homesick."
Margaret & Stan - 26th Jan, 2016
"We have thoroughly enjoyed hosting a lot of Barking Mad dogs over the last seven years. We have always had terrific support from Brad and team and prior to that from Chris and Alex. In all that time we have only needed help once during a visit, for minor veterinary attention, and that was dealt with very quickly and efficiently. I think this is because the dogs are well matched to their hosts (and the hosts own dogs!) in the first place. We also use Barking Mad for our own dogs holidays."
Adam - 22nd Jan, 2016
"When we moved to Dundee we both missed not having a dog in our lives. Being a host for Barking Mad gave us the opportunity to have that again, even though giving them back at the end is always hard.
It allowed us to see how well having a dog would fit into our lives in a full time situation, and directly influenced our decision to get our own. Now we look forward to hosting other dogs for Angus to play with.
As hosts, the support you receive from Brad is amazing and the detail he goes into to facilitate yours and the dogs well being is incredible.
I would thoroughly recommend anyone who wants to have a visitor now and again, someone who misses the company of the dog but has commitments and everybody who wants a dog but is not sure if it will work to become a host with Barking Mad, you won't regret it!"
Lorna - 22nd Jan, 2016
"I have been a host for several years, I started with Barking Mad as I wanted to have a dog but visiting family in the south made it impractical, so when I am home I have a dog, I have had a great variety of dogs from a little Jack Russell to a huge mountain dog. Barking mad is great because they match dogs with their hosts in all the years of hosting I have never had a dog that I would not have again. Hosting dogs means I go out everyday, I talk to many people and share doggie stories."
Ed and Barbara - 22nd Jan, 2016
"Having a four-legged lodger for a few days is always a pleasure. Still getting over the loss of our own dog but nothing cheers you up more than another wagging tail around the house. Great support from Brad and his team. If only he could do something about this awful Scottish weather."
Kate & Graham - 20th Jan, 2016
"We live in Shirley and have local parks, woods and fields nearby. Whatever the weather we love taking the dogs out and about. They have joined us for barbecues, street parties and made visits to a local elderly care home. Our grandchildren have learned to overcome their fear of dogs by meeting our 'guests'.Having a dog keeps us fit and healthy too. Our garden is large and well fenced so the dogs can enjoy chasing squirrels!
We would love to have a dog of our own but with working full-time until recently and travelling it never seemed the right time. Having dogs for Barking Mad has 'filled the need'. We have had so many dogs to stay (and everyone a pleasure) and one in particular has come twice a year since 2008.
Tina organises things so well - she 'matches' the right dog to the right host - so everyone is happy ( most of all the dog!)"
Susan - 20th Jan, 2016
"I love being a host for dogs with Barking Mad, and enjoy meeting the different visiting dogs, and getting to know each ones individual personality."
Sandra & Terry - 19th Jan, 2016
"We love being hosts to barking mad, Terry is around most of the day, and I work 4 days a week, so we can have doggies almost all the time other than we are on our hols !!, we already have our fav’s Bruno, Bentley, Darcy , Biscuit, Ben the boxer & Gunner, and Tina will try her up most so we can have them on repeat hols, it means a lot to us as we love looking after all the little & big ones, and they all have there own little characters, we have photos of all the dogs we have had since July last year, and look forward to seeing them all again this year, and miss them when they go home, It’s a pleasure to look after doggies on there hols, & and its filled a gap since loosing a couple of our own pets last year,"
Jenny, John and Jean - 15th Jan, 2016
"Being an animal lover - I love working with Barking Mad and being a host for them. I especially like having their beautiful doggies to stay. The doggies all have their own very different characters and we have some good times filled with really good fun and laughs with the doggies that stay with us.
We all really enjoy having the pets and get out and about and sometimes on the odd occasion we take them out to other parks and places close to home. Its just like having your own pet!
I do like the events and walks that Tina at Barking Mad arranges. Its a chance to get out with other hosts and meet them and hear their tales as a host.
I recall a fete we went to lovely sunny day with lots of dogs and we all had such a great time, I recall feeling quite sorry when the fete ended."
Tracey - 15th Jan, 2016
"We have been hosting since last summer and really enjoy the experience and getting to know the personalities of the dogs, even the cheeky ones !
I particularly like walking in the fields and woods nearby with my host dogs as company, and its great exercise too.
Rosina - 15th Jan, 2016
"I first looked after dogs in 2005 & have kept photos of all my visitors. After a break, came back to it a couple of years ago. I have had Millie two years running & cannot wait to greet her again in July, it feels like a special friend spending her holiday with me :)"
Gwen - 8th Jan, 2016
"Sheba, a beautiful Belgian Shepherd dog, was my first experience with 'Barking Mad'. She was adorable, very gentle, and well behaved. She seemed to fall in love with my partner - maybe she saw him as her temporary pack leader - and we both really enjoyed her company over the Christmas period. Having lost my own much loved collie of over 15 years, in October, I had felt lost without a dog to love and care for - so being a 'Barking Mad' host was ideal for me. We're so looking forward to our next doggie guest, and also hope to see Sheba again at some time in the future."
Celia - 8th Jan, 2016
"My last visitor, Pip, was an absolute sweetie. A breed I've not had experience of before and a real delight. She came to me for just a few days before going on to her regular family.
She loved her bed - well actually my bed - and when she was ready to go up at night she would stand at the bottom of the stairs, with one paw on the bottom step, and stare at me until I gave in."
Elaine - 9th Nov, 2015
"We really love our holiday dogs, we like to spoil them, love them, lots of cuddles and make sure they are really happy with us, it's lovely to get the same dog(s) over and over again, they just make themselves at home, and all our dogs know where the 'treat' cupboard is.. We get such a lot of love from them and look forward to them returning."
Sarah and Stan - 9th Nov, 2015
"We adore having new Barking Mad dogs come to stay and love it even more when they return for second and third visits. Its such a pleasure to spend time with these much loved dogs and take them for walks on the beach and around the countryside. We know that when our 'crazy' Collie goes to stay with a Barking Mad host, she will be safe, happy, and much loved."
Liz - 4th Nov, 2015
"We have really enjoyed hosting our last two dogs, Nelson and Finn. As a family we enjoy meeting the new dogs and letting them be a part of our family, albeit only for a while. It is good to know if we have any issues we can just call Emily. We hope to keep hosting even when we get our own dog, (something my husband would never have agreed to until he realized how complete a dog makes a home)."
Debra - 4th Nov, 2015
"We have had a full calendar for October starting with a surprise arrival as another host was sadly taken poorly. Ruby arrived within 40 minutes of the phone call but soon settled in and became a family favorite. Then came Azi, she takes over our lives but ooh how we love her. Lastly we had Jess, an old lurcher who turned into a puppy again when it was walkies time. Each very different but all very lovable."
Diana - 15th Oct, 2015
"I have always had dogs since I was born,having lived on a farm. I cannot remember ever being without dogs. Now I am on my own it is great to have more than one dog.
I am a dog lover, plus Kali my lab just love to go on walks and have company at home.
So we are both very happy bunnies"
Nicky - 13th Oct, 2015
"I started pet sitting nine years ago for Barking Mad.
It is very enjoyable and I love the country and Beach Walks. I have to make an effort to get out with the dogs here.
I have many regulars that come year after year. Each dog has its separate character. With the pairs I love watching the integration between the two dogs.
I work for Ian Carney who pays a lot of attention to detail, doesn't mind going over things with me if I am not sure and always makes sure the dog is familiar with my bungalow before he leaves. He always promptly answers the phone and I feel that I am not alone with the responsibility of someone else's dog.
My life would be empty without Barking Mad.
Nicky, Dorset Host. Posted by Nicky"
Clive - 23rd Sep, 2015
"Having just said goodbye to our 2nd holiday dog whom we've enjoyed entertaining and looking after. We look forward to our next dog!"
Carole - 21st Sep, 2015
"Nicola and her team always go the extra mile to ensure they are acting in the dogs best interest. If there is any doubt about a dogs health she will always act accordingly so that the owners can rest assured that there dog will get the best possible attention and the owner can relax and enjoy their holiday. We have always welcomed all our lovely dogs for holidays and they enjoy their stay.
Keep up the good work and keep sending these lovely dogs for their holidays that they can enjoy.
A first class team who cares unreservably for the dogs in their care. Posted by Carole"
Debra - 17th Sep, 2015
"We have just enjoyed a lovely long weekend with Roxy the staffy. She is so well behaved we hardly knew she was there but now she has gone our home is a quieter sadder place. This is why we love Barking Mad as each dog gives us a smile!"
Sarah and Stan - 9th Sep, 2015
"We love taking our four legged holiday friends for walks through the fields and to the beach, Its a privilege to get to know the new dogs and become friends and really special when they come back to us for a repeat holiday full of cuddles and fun."
Angela - 21st Aug, 2015
"I have just become a host for Barking Mad and recently cared for my first dog, a lovely old Labrador. He fitted in so well with my own two dogs and I thoroughly enjoyed giving him a special holiday for a few days and am really looking forward to helping out again. It is something very dear to my heart and feel I am being of use to others in providing a safe and welcoming home from home for someone's beloved pet. Plus my own pets also enjoy the company."
Elaine - 21st Aug, 2015
"We love looking after our holiday dogs, they are all really lovely, friendly and usually make themselves at home straight away. We especially like to have the same dog back time after time and they always look really pleased to see us again."
Brian and Carole - 19th Aug, 2015
"Monty is always a pleasure to have in our home.. Just gone back to his home after another great holiday.
Nicola and her team are as always very efficient and friendly. Thank you to all of you.
Brian and Carole Posted by Brian and Carole"
Diana - 19th Aug, 2015
"I love having dogs I was brought up with my father's GunDogs we always had 2 or 3 at a time. A friend saw you advertising for people to look after them while a way on holiday or just for a week- end. So I did just that. I loved having Maisie also Kali loved it as well."
Cynthia - 10th Aug, 2015
"My Barking Mad dogs, many of whom come back again and again, light up my life. They are all different, with different hopes and needs, and getting to know them and earn their trust and affection is pure joy. They go everywhere with me, visiting friends, shopping, and of course on lots of nice healthy walks, good for me as well as them. Total strangers have become friends, stopping me in the street with "What's this one's name, then?" - or even, on between days, with a disappointed "No dog today?"
God bless BM, my area manager Ian, my owners, and first and foremost, all my dogs."
Celia - 4th Aug, 2015
"Rolo has just gone home after his weekend trial. He passed with flying colours. 10/10 I would say and I'm looking forward to his return towards the end of the week.
Well done Emily - you worked out straight away what sort of dogs are best suited to my situation. Quicker than I did."
Pam & Ray - 21st Jul, 2015
"After a year of being without a dog it was great to have not one but two dogs in the house. To see two little faces greeting us from their crate when we returned home was lovely. They settled in well and Emily made sure we were happy with them. Our grandchildren who live opposite were constantly here playing with them, which they adored. If only we had heard about Barking Mad when we were dog owners and didn't want to use kennels!!!!!!!!"
Filomena - 9th Jul, 2015
"Having Pebbles for a few days was delightful and Finley enjoyed the company. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of dealing with a dog other than my own and understanding her needs.
She seemed extremely happy and made herself at home immediately. All doggie friends on park enjoyed meeting her and she was in her element.
Great fun all round."
Mary - 8th Jul, 2015
"I've often asked myself why on earth anyone would want to be a host for Barking Mad. Belly rubs, staffie, Henry's smelly farts, being first out in pristine snow, pickle's snoring (how the walls vibrate), watching Starsky grow from a gangling four month pup into a well behaved teenager. I can go on and on but my favourite is sleeping on the settee on a hot afternoon having a 'nana nap' with a happy, contented pooch sleeping on my stomach dreaming of rabbits.
In 2014 I looked after 24 different dogs, most of whom returned numerous times. So far this year I've had 18 from little to large to very large (ah yes - Dudley). If I put my foot down and ask for time out to have a holiday myself then I get those puppy dog eyes from Ian (the boss) suggesting that I would love to take a dog with me. I generally succumb and thoroughly enjoy our time together.
Would I recommend being a Barking Mad host to anyone else? Having a boss like Ian who is very keen and hands on makes being a host easier. Should anything crop up he will be straight round to deal with it. I love hosting and would urge those people who are thinking about it to have a go. Where else can you wake up to a pair of soulful eyes, a lolling tongue and a wet nose in your immediate field of vision - that's enough about the old man!
Hi you folks at head office. I have spoken to Ian and he says that if you use this can you put it on both his Bath and Dorset sites please. Many thanks. Mary xx"
Celia - 30th Jun, 2015
"Having lost my beloved 15-year-old Westie last July I decided to sign up as a Host with Barking Mad towards the end of the year.
To be honest the first dog that came to me didn't really suit me and I wasn't sure I would do it again. But Emily persuaded me to have another try and I've had several dogs since which have all been delightful. My favourite, Lulu, has just gone home after her third visit.
I know she loves coming to me and I love having her."
Shannon - 27th May, 2015
"I love looking after all the different types of dogs that come for there holiday with me. I love caring for them as if they where my own. It gets me out and about meeting new people and their dogs too. All the dogs I've had come everywhere with me and even though each dog had a different personality they where all great to have. I look forward to caring for more dogs as well as caring for the same dogs that i have had."
Brian and Carole - 27th May, 2015
"Just coming to the end of another period of hosting a Barking Mad dog on holiday. We really appreciate what Nicola and her team do to connect the right dog to the right family. After having dogs all our lives the time came for us not to be selfish and home another dog in later life. Barking Mad filled that gap and we adore giving a home from home holiday to these special dogs. It's just what we wanted for our dogs rather than kennels.
We feel privileged to be a host for Barking Mad and look forward to giving the next dog with a good home, a good holiday.
Nicola and her team are very professional and give the owners and host families a very professional approach which makes a good holiday for the dogs and a lot of fun and satisfaction for the hosts.
Keep up the good work and can't wait for the next dog to come on holiday. Thank you to you all. Brian and Carole"
Brian and Carole - 29th Apr, 2015
"Beau just gone back home after having another fun holiday with us. She so appreciates the TLC we give her and look forward to having her again.."
Sue - 17th Mar, 2015
"I have loved having the pugs, a breed I've been thinking about getting. Was so nice to have a dog in the house again. All very well behaved and was nice to know Emily was always on call should the need arise. Looking forwards to my next house guest. Sue"
Celia - 10th Mar, 2015
"Lulu, a delightful little Coton de Tulear, was collected from me yesterday after a nine-day stay. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I was sorry to see her go. - Can't wait for her to come back again."
Elaine & Tony - 26th Feb, 2015
"Love looking after our holiday dogs. It's a brilliant, well run company, with people who really do care about the dogs, I would highly recommend to would be hosts or dog owners who can rest assured their babies will be well looked after."
Liz - 25th Feb, 2015
"Really enjoyed having Hamish. Appreciated the support, from Emily, with the walking issue and the fact I could call if any issues.
Next dog please.
Hayley - 25th Feb, 2015
"Me and my family love being a part of the Barking mad team! It makes me feel happy knowing the dog isnt in kennels and instead having a fun time in the our home. Its also great for my own two dogs, it gives them the chance to make new friends and socialise with other dogs all shapes and sizes!"
VLG - 8th Jan, 2015
"I recently hosted my first little visitors from Barking Mad. I was slightly nervous having 3 at once, but I need not have been concerned, Emily was very good with lots of info about what I needed to do.
They very quickly settled in and I really enjoyed having their companionship. I loved taking them out each day and watching them play with their toys."
Shirley - 1st Dec, 2014
"It's now twelve years since I first asked Barking Mad to look after our lovely Boxer Amber.Later,we became hosts and since Amber died,Barking Mad has helped to fulfill our enjoyment of canine companionship with dogs of many different breeds and temperament.
It is lovely when we have repeat visitors,to know that their owners are just as pleased with the Barking Mad service and care of their cherished dogs as I was with Amber."
Carole and Brian - 19th Nov, 2014
"Had a wonderful three weeks with Molly she really enjoyed her holiday. Thanks Nicola you were very supportive and explained every thing needed for Molly to enjoy her stay.
Looking forward to our next visitor.
Posted by: Carole and Brian Lee on 18th Nov, 2014"
Geoff and Ruth - 29th Oct, 2014
"We love the opportunity of hosting dogs as we no longer have of our own. This is a great way of having a dog around the house without the commitment of owning a dog."
Liz - 30th Sep, 2014
"My family and I love being hosts as it gives us the chance to meet lots of different dogs and get to know them.
The house feels empty once the dog has gone but we really enjoy giving the dogs a holiday and the owners piece of mind that this member of their family is being cared for safely and for a few days is a part of our family.
It is always good to know that Emily is on the end of the phone for support and the clear guidelines from the owners let us know what the dog enjoys and what their routines are."
Bruan and Carole - 22nd Sep, 2014
"We have just had our first dog on holiday and jess was a pleasure to have. We have always had dogs but lost our last one a year ago. It was a hard decision not to have another, but our age is against commiting to owning another. We saw a local advert for hosts and Nicola from barking mad made the whole process so easy.
Its the best decision we could have made and cant wait for our next doggy to come for a holiday. They make the house a home again. We love it. Thanks Nicola."
Monica - 28th Aug, 2014
"I lost my dog after 15 yrs together , so Barking Mad is ideal for me, I so enjoy having my doggy visitors, every one of them have their own characteristics, which is so nice to discover, whether they like playing ball, or tug of war with one of their toys, and I enjoy our walks as much as they do as well. Posted by Monica Bennett"
Ruth - 12th Aug, 2014
"How does one sum up being a Barking Mad host? Fun, good loving company, enjoyable healthy exercise and sociable walks when holiday dogs are here. When they are not, then time alone to relax, visit friends, have days out, holidays etc, but soon something is missing. You can't beat doggy company! So I look forward to my next 4 legged holiday guest.
When they arrive I read their notes (what to feed, when to walk, favourite games) all the information I need to make them feel at home. Together we enjoy their holiday and I help them write a holiday post card at the end of their stay!
Life couldn't be better, especially when they come again and their body language, eyes and tail all say 'great to be back, let's have more fun.' Penny the Patterdale, Ellie the Collie, Riley and Alfie thank you for coming into my life. I'm sure you are the first of many more holiday makers who I'll enjoy welcoming into this holiday home for dogs.
When my 16 year old Bonnie went to doggie heaven recently I couldn't decide whether or not to get another dog. There were advantages on both sides, so I got in touch with Barking Mad and with help from Nicola I became a holiday home for dogs. It's great fun, varied, flexible and rewarding; The benefits of having a dog whenever you want, without being tied all the time.
Thank you Barking Mad for enhancing my life.
Posted by: Ruth Middlebrough on 9th Aug, 2014"
Mandy - 11th Jul, 2014
"I have always owned animals but current circumstances don't allow me to commit full time to the care of a pet. I missed so much not having one around, saw the advert for Barking Mad and Barking Mad took me on. It is the perfect solution! I have had the privilege of looking after some wonderful dogs, enjoying walks and cuddles with my little friends. Now I always have a doggie to look forward to, some of them stay with me regularly, which is especially fun. Any drawbacks? - having to return my little friends at the end of their holiday!
Becoming a Barking Mad Host is one of the best decisions I have ever made!!"
Mavis - 30th Jun, 2014
"I have been hosting for Barking Mad for almost six years now, and have so much enjoyed the company of some beautiful dogs of many breeds. I didn't want to get another dog of my own, so this was a perfect solution to have the opportunity of having a lovely dog for company, walks and fun, and yet be free to go away whenever I chose. As time goes by, certain dogs return for repeated holidays, which proves that a happy dog means a happy owner who entrusts their much loved pet to you. Barking Mad is a well structured company, and it is always good to know that 24hr support is on hand if ever needed."
Bernie & Susie - 24th Jun, 2014
"Although new to Barking Mad its been one of the best things we have done living on a small farm we have space and plenty of local walks to offer our wonderful friends who have stayed with us. each one is missed and we long for their return.
We have set up a gallery of our new friends and find great pleasure looking at the moments they have shared with us."
Niccola - 4th Jun, 2014
"I can honestly say that being a host for barking mad has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has helped me physically, emotionally and financially. After losing my own dearly loved Jack Russell I decided I couldn't have another dog to go through the pain of losing it again. Then along came Barking Mad, it must be nearly 7 years ago now and I've never looked back. All the dogs are such a pleasure and a joy to care for. You love them like they are your own and yes, you miss them when they go home but you know there will be another little one on its way to fill the space very soon . The best thing is that they do all come back regularly so your home really does become a home from home, it is wonderful when they come in and you know they are as happy to see you again as you are to see them. It really is the best thing, everything is in place to ensure you have 24hr help and support if necessary. You can specify what type or size of dog you prefer and also specify when you are available. Basically if you're happy the dog is happy and vice versa."
Karen - 27th May, 2014
"This has been my first week as a host of Barking Mad and I/we are loving
it! My first dog guest was Maisie a bearded collie cross. She stayed with us
for the weekend and was such a pleasure to look after. We had lots of fun at
the beaches and parks. We then had lovely little Malcolm a jack Russell cross.
He was very excitable but settled very quickly. He loved playing in the back garden and on
our walks where he came across rabbits, horses and even hens. We are looking
forward to getting gorgeous Bertie very soon. The house seems strange when we
don't have a doggy guest now.
Thanks again, Brad.
Karen, Brian, Nico and Dylan."
Barbara & Peter - 23rd May, 2014
"Our "visitors" have become part of our family over the years. They are as different as our children, and, just like our kids, we love them to bits. Nicola has proved to be a good friend as well as a wonderful "boss". Of course, we do spoil our dogs but they are on their holiday!"
Bev & Ellie - 15th May, 2014
"We love the flexibilty of having different dogs to look after, and we have a few regulars now, especially over half term and school holidays, they bring such fun into the house, with their own individual personalities, we shower them with love and affection (as would their owners) and get very attached - but we know they have to go home, till the next time..."
Cid - 15th May, 2014
"There are so many reasons to love having dogs come to stay with us..... we love having a variety of sizes and breeds and personalities, there's always something to delight us! My boys love having dogs around to play with, and they don't get bored with walking them or feeding them because there's always something different. We get such fantastic characters come and stay with us, they get us out and about, they fill the house with wonderful dogginess. If there's a downside, it's the sadness when they go back home..... until our next doggy friend comes to stay, that is!"
maxine - 22nd Apr, 2014
"I enquired about being a host following my friends' dog being on a 'Barking Mad' holiday. As soon as I met Tina I decided that I would like to become a host, because I was impressed by her friendly professionalism and her genuine love of meeting the needs of dogs and their owners. I have been very well matched with some delightful canine companions! I look forward to the regulars and to meeting new dogs. I have not had any problems as such, but appreciate the speed of response and action from Tina, Colin and Carol-Ann when I have needed information or help with something. I might also add that that Tina, Colin and Carol-Ann are as lovely as the dogs they bring!"
Mick and Shirley - 22nd Apr, 2014
"When we retired, we considered getting a dog of our own. We'd had lots of dogs whilst the children were young but it had been a few years since our last one had died. However, we planned to travel so thought perhaps it wasn't a sensible idea. Then one day, Shirley overheard a conversation about Barking Mad.....and the rest is history! Tina was brilliant - her passion and love for the animals was obvious and we warmed to her straight away. Very soon after, Charlotte, a chocolate Labrador, came to stay with us for 2 weeks. Charlotte adopted us and gave us all her love, attention and affection. The walks, the fresh air, the laughter we had with her were excellent. We said "goodbye" and looked forward to our next dog. Since 2011, when we became hosts, we've had lots of different dogs and return visits from a number of them. It's great getting to know their personalities and learning about them. Tina is always available to consult if there are any difficulties. If anyone is considering becoming a host, we would strongly recommend it. We've never regretted it for one moment! We've just returned from 9 weeks travelling and are desperate to meet our next four legged house guest!"
Karen and Paul - 17th Apr, 2014
"A house isn't a home without a dog in it. Our labrador, Hero loves to have a friend for a couple weeks - they have lots of fun running and playing together, then Hero gets a rest before the next doggy visitor arrives. There's something very special about a wagging tail, and a doggy greeting! We're very pleased we found Barking Mad and treat all our visitors as we would expect Hero to be treated - with love and respect."
Helen - 17th Apr, 2014
"My family used Barking Mad initially for our own dog Sally. She was an old labrador and I never wanted her to be put in kennels when we went on holiday. Tina at Barking Mad came out and totally put our minds at ease. We were shown various hosts, their gardens and all Sally's needs were taken care of. This made us feel so relaxed going on holiday knowing Sally was in the best hands, literally home from home care. She was, most of the time, homed with the same family which was even more reassuring! Sally did take poorly when we were on holiday once and we were up-dated daily by Tina and Barking Mad took extremely good care of her, I will never forget them for that. When Sally passed away a few years ago we knew we didn't want to get another dog and decided on being a host family. It really is the best of both worlds. My 12 year old son particularly loves dogs coming to stay and the love we get from them. We've had all sorts of different dogs and characters. However, as we are busy during school holidays etc, we can select when we would like to take dogs. We have the freedom now and it's so much fun. The great thing is we know we have the back up and support from Tina which is fantastic. If things sometimes don't work out Tina is there to help and even take a dog should we be unable to look after it (which is a very rare occurrence as Tina is excellent at selecting the right dog for the right host). We take lots of photographs for the owners which Tina emails to them, should they wish, on holiday. We also write a little postcard for the families so they know what their pet has been up to while they have been away. It really is a fantastic company and I couldn't recommend them highly enough. If you are wanting company from a dog but without the full time commitment then look no further than Barking Mad. Go on, give it a try.......!"
Sue and Paul - 17th Apr, 2014
"We became hosts for Barking Mad, thinking it would be good to have a dog occasionally and the exercise would be good for us, being retired we need to keep going!!
Tina impressed us immediately..she really works hard at matching the dogs to the people. We love dogs that are good fun on their walks, but behave in the house (who doesn't?) and we have had a range of young and old, big and small and lots and lots of Labradors. If there has been a problem e.g. The dog needs the vet to check something, Tina, Colin or Carol Ann arrive and take the animal to the vet. We had one dog who obviously wasn't happy, and frankly was making us unhappy, perhaps pining for its owner, and Tina took it and looked after it herself. So we never have to worry that we are stuck with an animal that we don't get on with.
Tina has become a good friend, and her team of Colin and Carol Ann are so professional and caring with the animals it is a pleasure to 'do business' with them.
If you are thinking of being a host, do try it...you have a lot of fun, I enjoy the caring for some of the older ones as well as running round with the young ones, without the responsibility of having your own animal. Posted by Sue and Paul Allcroft"
Audrey - 16th Apr, 2014
"Due to health issues I am unable to have a dog of my own. Being a host for barking mad means I can have the company and pleasure of a dog, for a period of time with out the resposibility and cost of owning a dog myself.It is nice to know that as a host I can enable owners to have a break safe in the knowledge that their dog is being cared for by someone whose aim it is to give the dog a holiday in a friendly loving enviorment."
erika - 16th Apr, 2014
"I have been a host for nearly 9 years with my husband and now I am on my own. It is an absolute absolute pleasure to have my little dogs come to stay! I have regular ones and find it a privilege to be trusted with someones pet. They are my friends and it gives me something to focus on meet other dog lovers as well.
Posted by: Erika Cockerill on 15th Apr, 2014"
Dorothy - 16th Apr, 2014
"My husband and I thoroughly enjoy being hosts for dogs. Faye is great and runs a valuable service. Every dog we have has it's own wee personality and we grow to love them more and more every day. They are like little rays of sunshine in our home. We are so happy we decided to be hosts. We love it."
Ian - 16th Apr, 2014
"It is a real pleasure for us to look after so many varied dogs and hopefully give them a great time in a caring way close to their home life.Have done this now for over 3 years with nothing but positive experiences and would fully recommend being a host."
Jaclyn - 15th Apr, 2014
"We are the lucky ones that get to look after your lovely dogs my family and i enjoy it because we get to meet so many different characters and they are all individual and whilst they are with us they are treated as part of our family. We love dogs but because of work commitments we can only host during the school holidays so we are always looking forward to our new guest arriving and we hope to be part of Barking Mad for a very long time."
Hello, Let me introduce you to the Northumberland Team. My name is Tina …that’s me 3rd from the right. And the team…from the left, we have Carol Ann, Colin, Susan, Tina, Jenny & Roly.
In April 2005 I launched Barking Mad in Northumberland and in April 2009 Colin came on board, followed by Carol Ann in March 2012. In April 2014, Jenny joined the team as admin support. In Feb 2017, Susan and Roly joined the ‘Dog Chauffeur’ team alongside Colin & Carol Ann.
We work very closely as a team to provide you and your dogs with an excellent, worry free holiday experience. Prior to the first holiday, me or Jenny will come to your home to find out all about your precious pet. This initial meeting is so important, as it allows us to get to know you and your dog and help me match your dog up with the best possible host for their needs. You will meet one of our ‘Dog Chauffeurs’ (Colin, Carol Ann, Susan & Roly) when it comes to your holiday, as they take care of transporting your dog to and from their holiday home. They will settle your dog in with their host, and contact you to put your mind at rest. They will also send you a message the following day to let you know that your precious pooch has settled in, and then they bring your dog home after the holiday and give you great feedback about your dog’s holiday.
Jenny works in the office with me, planning and organising all the dog holiday bookings. She also works on preparing the “Pet Schedule” which goes to the host family when your dog comes to stay. It holds all of the vital information about your dog such as feeding, exercise routine, health, medication, favourite toys etc. We always get in touch 7 days prior to your holiday to make sure that this is up to date.
In Nov 2011, our family dog, Elvis, a foxhound, died after 11 years with us. He was a very special dog to me, my husband and my two young children, and we were so sad to lose such an important part of our family. In fact I credit Elvis for inspiring me to turn my passion for dogs into a career.
Arranging a holiday and worrying about who is going to look after your precious 4 legged friend can be very stressful. In fact, people often tell me that they’ve avoided going on holiday because of their dog…that was until they heard about Barking Mad. Taking away the worry is one of the best parts of my job, as I get a lot of pleasure from giving my customers peace of mind and giving their dogs a home from home holiday. I spent 10 years working for the Travel Agent, Thomas Cook, so I really do enjoy arranging holidays…. for humans and for dogs!.
So, when you are planning your holiday, let us help.
Happy Dog. Happy Holiday. Happy You.
Harvey has had another great Barking Mad holiday, this time with Marilyn and Mick. He has again been so very well looked after, with lots of lovely walks. Harvey had been poorly just ahead of his holiday and Tina and the team took the time to understand the issues, making sure information was passed on. The flexibility from the team and the care he is given, means I can go on holiday and know he is being so very well looked after. I always look forward to reading what I call his 'school report' and hearing what he has been up to. Harvey is booked in again for later in the year. I wouldn't leave him anywhere else now! Thank you Tina and the Team and Marilyn and Mick!
Dylan returned from his Barking Mad holiday on Sunday. He came home happy and content so I know how well he had been taken care of by his host family.
Dylan has been with Barking Mad for about 10 years now and I can't thank them enough for the care they give. We know we can go away with the knowledge that his holiday is going to be full of fun and love.
Thank you Barking Mad from both Dylan and myself for...... being there for us!
Ive used Barking Mad for over 10 years. My dog Stella is now in her twilight years. So for the first time I was concerned. After a phone call to Tina to explain, my fears were soon squashed.
Tina had made sure Stella was placed in a bungalow as stairs are really becoming a problem. Also she needed medication 3 times per day. Unbelievabley it is tricky getting a Labrador to eat a disguised tablet!!
But once again Tina reassured me the family she would be staying with also had an older Labrador.
Stella returned home as always happy and as if she'd never been away. Can't thank Tina & her team enough.
We have used Barking Mad for a number of years now. We can always go away safe in the knowledge Jasper and Roxy are as well looked after as at home. Jasper has been very poorly lately and Tina took comprehensive notes with regard to his care and medication routine and also changes to his diet. I cannot recommend Tina and her team highly enough,everyone is so friendly and helpful. It is lovely to receive the photo of them to see how well they are settling in with their host and also to get a text telling us how they are doing. A brilliant service.
This a fantastic service, which is second to none, I personally would not go anywhere else.
From picking your dog up at your home, to returning him/her back to you, you have total piece of mind, and you know your dog will be loved, happy and well looked after.
If you love you dog, this service is a no brainier
Another very, very successful holiday for our little cockerpoo, Aero!
We hate leaving him behind but sometimes it is unavoidable.Knowing he is safe and happy, being looked after by one of Tina's fantastic hosts, does help us enjoy our little breaks without him.
This is Aero's third stay with Barking Mad foster parents and yet again he has had a great time. He has been walked and played with by Marilyn and Mick and settled into their whole family life very well!
We had no issues whatsoever with the service or the care given by Tina and her team and would fully recommend Barking Mad to other pet lovers....And Aero agrees!
Lillie has had a great time while we were away! I know she is well looked after. I can relax while we are away knowing that Lillie is safe, loved and taken care of. She is taken into their home as if she is their own pet. I love Baking Mad!
A big thank you to Tina and the team for arranging another great holiday for Harvey. He stayed with a new host for a long weekend and Pete looked after him to the usual high standard of the Barking Mad team. Harvey enjoyed his walks and meeting new friends and was well looked after when he had a pain in his tummy one night! Thanks to Pete for his care and kindness and to Colin for doing the usual chauffeuring to and from! I know Harvey is looking forward to his return trip to see you in the new year!
We have now used Barking Mad for 5 years. The big attraction for me is peace of mind which means you can enjoy your own holiday. All the little touches such as the reassuring text messages and photos are much appreciated as it's actually me who gets separation anxiety!
I love everything about barking mad. Felt comfortable from the first time meeting Tina, she really listened to the needs of my dog and placed him with the perfect host family. Phil, my spaniel has stayed with them 4 times this year and has come back a happy dog each time. I love receiving the text updates to see how Phil is getting on, and reading his postcard on return.
Colin, who picks up and drops Phil off is fab. I love how he talks to Phil, not me! Phil jumps into the barking mad van excitedly and comes back home just as happy.
Can't recommend the whole barking mad service enough.
Thankyou to Tina and all of her fantastic team.
Olive our lovely Labrador had a great holiday!
Olive can be excitable on walks and Tina always manages to find the host that can cope with this doggy excitement. Ensuring Olive has as much fun on her holiday as we do on ours !
Peace of mind knowing our dog Penny is in good hands whenever we need her taken care of.
Coco, our lively cockerpoo, has just returned from a second stay this autumn with Lynnis, his Barking Mad host.
He has clearly had a wonderful time with lots of long walks suiting his high level of energy. He is snoring happily on the sofa right next to me
as I write this and seems really happy and content. It suits his personality and needs so much more than being sent to kennels,
being cared for in a family setting. Coco really loves his Barking Mad holidays, I can tell that from the photos and just from how he is on returning home. He adores Colin and all the staff team too and gets so excited when they arrive with their special van, he loves getting into it and looks st us as if to say, "off you go, I'm away on my great holiday too!" It's good to get the message updates while we are away. I feel very confident about Coco being looked after by all the Barking Mad team, they do a brilliant job and I trust them absolutely to do their best for him. If you haven't tried Barking Mad for your dog yet, then I do highly recommend them. And so does Coco!
Very efficient and friendly service from all at Barking Mad. Eugene had a great holiday and seemed so much more relaxed when he returned home, compared to when he stayed in kennels. Worth the money for peace of mind.
I would just like to say a big "thank you" to Tina and her hosts Mick and Marilyn, for looking after Max and Amy so well. There was some late changes to the original booking and this was no problem what so ever. I have used BM for over 9 years now and trust Tina completely with her selection of hosts for my dogs. You can go away and have confidence that they are been well looked after. Thanks..Gill
Just back from an impromptu holiday, Barking mad were brilliant, they had little time to organise for my gorgeous boy Aero to holiday with their excellent holiday hosts. He came back very relaxed and happy and didn't sulk on me because I had gone away. I would recommend Barking mad to any dog owner, thier care and attention to detail is second to none. Thank you Barking Mad for letting me have a worry free holiday, I know Aero is very well cared for by holiday hosts who are dog lovers and enjoy and want their guests in their homes.
As always with Barking Mad we can go on holiday safe in the knowledge Jasper and Roxy are as well looked after and as spoilt as they are at home. This wonderful service provides us with total peace and mind and I love to get the text updates to see how they are doing.
Tina and the team are so efficient and well organised and nothing is a problem. We have very happily used Barking Mad for a lot of years and will continue to do so. The success of this excellent business is all credit to the lovely Tina and we certainly give her team the highest recommendation.
Many thanks for looking after Louis. he looks forward to staying with Ann as she spoils him!
See you soon
Barking Mad - what a lifesaver!! Maggie has been holidaying with Barking mad for many years now. We can go away, knowing Maggie is happy and safe. She goes to the same family most of the time, only when it has been a last minute booking has she gone to another host - but this didn't matter as she has been happy wherever she has gone. We would recommend Barking Mad Northumberland over and over again!
Rosie had a fantastic time thank you,more than happy with everything that you do
Many thanks for looking after Louis. he looks forward to staying with Ann as she spoils him!
See you soon
We have used Barking Mad for our 2 terriers for the last few years. They come back from their breaks having eat well, been walked loads and in great form. They return much happier dogs than when we used kennels.
Both dogs are houdinis who think they can get out of anywhere but they have been defeated by Barking Mad hosts. Knowing this makes our holidays a lot more relaxing!
Peppa's third holiday with Barking Mad was another success. Excellent service, communication and care. Great to have thorough peace of mind so we could enjoy our holiday. Thanks again Barking Mad!
Thank you once again to Barking Mad for looking after Jack while we went away. Jack had a lovely holiday and was very well looked after by his host.
This time I was a bit late in booking a holiday for Jack but Tina and her team worked hard to find a host for Jack so a really BIG thank you for that.
This is the first time we have used Barking Mad and we have been really impressed with the service. Murphy came home in an excellent condition a beautifully groomed coat, very relaxed and trim which was a great relief to us as Murphy hates kennels. His host family were first class and treated him excellently! Pick up and drop off meant we didn't need to worry about it. Thank you.
Another stress free holiday for us and our doggy. Its great knowing he is so well looked after.
Many thanks again.. Until the next time..
We have not used Barking Mad before and as we have only had our rescue dog "Patch" for six weeks we were looking for somewhere for him to stay whilst we are away in October where he would be cared for as at home. He has just had a short stay with his potential host and came home having obviously well looked after and his short holiday seems to have been beneficial for him. We will have no concerns about him going to the same host later in the year.
John & Susanne
Once again Tina and the team have surpassed themselves in making sure our pups were well placed while we were away. This time Molly and Mitzi's little holiday was arranged by my husband as he was taking me away on a surprise trip and even though I had been corresponding with Tina about our main holiday she kept her word and kept this trip a secret. Well done Tina and the team. See you soon.
When Alfie and Max head off in the Barking Mad van I feel completely happy in the knowledge that they are being cared for in the same way that they are at home.
I never worry about them or whether their carers are coping ok - I just know they are. The dogs come home happy and I had a relaxing holiday.
The research done by the team before joe went on his holidays was fantastic, we had no worries about the care he would get.
Communication was great both before and while joe was away.
The home joe went to stay in could not have been more perfect, he seemed so happy while there and even pined a little when he came back!
Obi has just got back from his "getting to know you " holiday with the family that will be taking care of him when we go away for our annual holiday soon. I was so anxious about leaving him but I didn't need to worry he settled in just fine I was updated with texts and a photo which really helped put my mind at rest. Tina and her team are excellent I can not fault the service we have received so far highly recommended
As always we could go on holiday safe in the knowledge Jasper and Roxy were well looked after. Barking Mad is a wonderful service and nothing is too much trouble for them. Tina and her team are so friendly and reliable and it means we can go away with peace of mind. Our dogs are looked after and cared for as they are at home.
Chester our Lakeland Terrier, really enjoyed his holiday with Barking Mad and obviously was very well looked after; he came back fit and healthy and raring to go!. It was also obvious that he was well exercised on a daily basis which is what he needs and loves.
We will certainly consider using Barking Mad again as the take away and carry in service suited us perfectly and we felt happy and relaxed knowing that Chester was in good caring hands which was confirmed by the regular photographs and updates. With this we were able to relax on our holiday knowing that Chester was being well looked after.
I had to help daughter move to uni for a few days and with no one to " babysit" the baby so I booked Tegs into barking mad again as we first used them in February.
I was apprehensive at first as he had a few teething problems on his first stay away, but he was placed with a family who had expierence of puppies and I was kept up to date with pictures and updates of how he settled in, which did settle my worries a little.
Tegs returned home worn out and seemed as if he'd had a great stay. The host family loved him and informed me of his antics with his postcard home, which I love reading.
Great service again from Tina and all in the Northumberland branch. Will definitely recommend to others and use again myself.
Our Maggie, who's a 10 year old Labrador, has been holidaying with Barking Mad Northumberland for several years now. She has been staying with the same hosts each time and I'm sure she feels part of the family!! She always comes home as happy as when she left and I couldn't speak more truly about both staff and hosts - fantastic. A professional, friendly run franchise. Thank you Tina and the team xx
Posted by: Carole Harker on 7th Jul, 2016
This is the third time in the space of months we've used barking mad to home board our 11 month old pup.
A professional and friendly service by all staff in Northumberland franchise, especially a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Tina Young, who when after a last minute mix up by myself over holiday arrival dates and due dates back home for my pup,she easily accommodated Tegs back with the host family he had just left for the extra night.
And when they realised Tegs's water bowl hadn't been returned, the were quick to inform me of this and returned it back to us within a day or so.
Thanks again Tina you're a DIAMOND and your team are STARS
Posted by: Suzanne on 6th Jul, 2016
A professional service which is a good alternative to kennels. My dog would have had difficulty staying in kennels as she likes being with people. With this service the dog stays with the host family. The dog appeared to enjoy her little holiday with the host family . She did not fret and came back happy and healthy. I was pleased with the service and would recommend it
Jester, our 1 year old Labrador, stayed with a family near Alnwick for a "getting to know you" holiday before living with this host family for 2 and a half weeks while we have our main holiday. We worried about him sleeping away from the first time, but our worries were unnecessary. Jester seemed very happy according to several pictures and a video clip of him at the beach. We loved receiving the postcard with more information on. While we will miss him when we go on holiday, we know he will be in safe hands and be well cared for.
Jester, our 1 year old Labrador, stayed with a family near Alnwick for a "getting to know you" holiday before living with this host family for 2 and a half weeks while we have our main holiday. We worried about him sleeping away from the first time, but our worries were unnecessary. Jester seemed very happy according to several pictures and a video clip of him at the beach. We loved receiving the postcard with more information on. While we will miss him when we go on holiday, we know he will be in safe hands and be well cared for.
Coco had another great holiday with Barking Mad and his host Lynnis during May. He came back in fine form, bouncing all over the place, and it is so nice to know that he is enjoying himself and being cared for so responsibly when he cannot be with us.
I recommend Barking Mad to all my friends with dogs. It is a million times better than the alternative of kennels!
Ted our flattie thoroughly enjoyed his stay with Susan and Barry especially his walks along the Coquet as he is such a water dog! The texts and photos were very reassuring and I'm sure he will be looking forward to his next stay with all the attention he got!
I am very impressed with the efficient service which Tina and her team provide, one which is both professional and friendly. After our first meeting with Tina at our home, I felt confident that Lily would be well cared for. Texts and photos showing she has settled with her hosts are most reassuring. The postcards are great to read, we enjoy finding out what she had been up to.
Thank you so much to all involved. Lily has returned home happy and has clearly enjoyed her three holidays so far, and I feel sure she will continue to do so.
Another great stay away for Queenie. This is the third family she has stayed with since we have been using Barking Mad and another successful match. It's great knowing there is a choice of host families as it gives great flexibility. Thank you all the team and families.
Many thanks to Tina and to Alice for looking after Pip so well, while I was in hospital. Good to know he was no problem as well!
I have been sending Maggie on holiday with Barking Mad Northumberland for a few years now. Tina is great, she will always accommodate your requirements the best that she can. There's a great friendly team (I've had Colin and Carol Ann) and they are very professional. The service is fabulousness and I never have any doubts that our Maggie will have a happy, safe holiday - Tina tries to send her to the same host if possible. Thank you barking Mad Northumberland!
Queenie always has a great time with her home stay family, that means we can relax and enjoy our break.
This is the first time we have used Barking Mad we were very impressed from the very start with the professionalism and the time Tina took to not just get to know Macy and Buddy but us as owners too. Because Macy is an old lady of almost 14 years and Buddy who is 8 and has only been with us since July (rescue) we were a little worried about leaving them. We need not have worried!!! Macy and Buddy had a great time with their foster mummy and daddy and this was obvious as soon as they came home they were full of themselves!! Thank you very much Tina and your wonderful team we would not hesitate to leave them in your capable hands again.
We're very glad we found Barking Mad. We don't know the history of our two rescue lurchers and really didn't want to put them in kennels - to the extent that we were reluctant to go away unless one of our sons was around to look after the dogs.
Barking Mad is the answer. Tina does an excellent job of matching hosts to dogs. The door to door service is very much appreciated. For anyone wondering whether this is expensive compared to kennels - no it's not - it's extremely good value.
For anyone who might worry about how the dogs are doing while they're away - Tina thinks of that as well and you're kept in touch with how your pet is doing.
Very highly recommended!
Hi Tina. I can't thank you enough for finding the perfect host for Cassie. She is a nervous rescue dog with issues. I was fearful of putting her in kennels but thankfully that will not be necessary. The hosts really appreciated her like we do, she settled well and came home happy. Now we can go away not having to worry about our girl knowing she will be really well looked after.
First time with Barking Mad, we were a little unsure at first, not knowing where our precious LuLu (Collie) was going. After the pre-holiday assessment/meeting, all of our worries were resolved. Im sure if LuLu could talk she would say "take me back". She had a great time judging by the photographs and she is certainly missing her new found friends.
A massive thank you to Barking Mad and the people who look after the dogs, it makes a big difference not to be worried about your little precious while on holiday.
Posted by: ken Charlton ( LuLu) on 9th Nov, 2015
Never used Barking Mad before but would certainly use you again. Freddie is 13 and showing his age and infirmity quite a bit, these days. He's not a good car passenger, either, because he gets very stiff and uncomfortable. We were delighted Tina did her homework and captured a realistic picture of him. His weekend carer, Lorraine, sounded great and was only a short car ride away. The pick-up and delivery were good as well. Colin's approach was spot on.
I have become a member with Barkingmad, mainly for one specific reason, as I have health problems and I can be hospitalised at short notice. This situation has recently come about and Tina and her team sprung into action. they were so efficient it was unbelievable. I was kept informed how my dogs were settling in and found this very comforting. I can only say that I will use this service again, and fully recommend this team for anyone who wants their dogs cared for with the love you would give them yourself.
A very big thank you to all involved, especially the hosts who looked after my dogs.
Well if ever there was a fussy, spoilt, difficult little minx of a dog, my Sappho meets that criteria. She would not eat her food (fresh chicken, scrambled egg, cheese and pasta on top of dog food) topped off with a little cheese or cat food in order to tempt her to the plate. I was obviously concerned that her hosts would not understand her and she would come back a shadow of her former self. IDIOT. Yes, I publicly announce that I am an idiot. My girl was returned to me, healthy, happy and more importantly she now eats dog food with a little fresh chicken on the side. Nothing else. She needs a little bit of help from Bob Cat to start her off. Once she realises that Bob Cat is eating her food she makes a nose dive for it and clears her plate.
Sappho stayed with a lady called Jenny who has a dog of her own and I believe that my Sappho had a boyfriend, a playmate and more important competition for her food. She has been returned to me a less fussy madam who eats her dog food and I am grateful. She misses her boyfriend though and keeps bringing her tug of war toys to Bob Cat hoping he will play with her. He does not and sticks his claws into her ear.
I look forward to my 4 legged daughter returning from her next holiday in December. I know she will be happy and well looked after during her stay with Jenny and Archie and will thoroughly enjoy having a friend to play with.
I can relax and not worry about my girl. I can actually enjoy my wedding and not fret that Sappho is not eating.
I hate leaving my two Lhasas when we go on holiday and it is always a tearful goodbye. However, as we love seeing new places, it has to be done!
I am so glad therefore we have Barking Mad, where I know they have a 'home from home' while we are away. Their visits are always run in an extremely professional way - I love receiving the texts to say they have settled in, which puts my mind at rest as we go away, and the postcard when we return, telling us of their adventures.
In addition, I know that they receive a lot of love from Alice, their temporary carer - the last two Barking Mad visits, they have returned with new, much loved toys!
Thank you to everyone again, and we will see you again soon!
Having an elderly collie (14years plus) with some tummy troubles and a tendency to run off we never thought we would be able to get away again while we had him as kennels were now out. How wrong we were. He has just had his first Barking Mad holiday and it has gone extremely well. Everything has been handled in a very professional yet caring way from start to finish. My only regret is waiting this long as the break has been good for both us and our dog.
Thanks once again to all the team. Hopefully we will be rebooking soon.
Well, what a great service! Tina spent time with us getting to know our little dog, Aero. She and her team then captured the Aero story so well in the write up. My daughter has kept it as it encapsulates everything about our lovely (in our eyes) pooch!
The collection by Colin was spot on time and he was lovely too, checking final details and getting to know Aero.
Then, while we were at the airport my daughter, who cried when Aero left with Colin, received a picture message showing Aero happily ensconced with his host family. It really did help us to relax.
The drop off was smooth too, but my daughter was a bit disappointed that Aero didn't seem as pleased to see her as she was to see him! I think that is an indication of how well he was cared for by his lovely hosts Mick and Shirley.
On a serious note, I have put previous dogs that I have owned into kennels but Aero has never been kennelled. kennels are very secure but are totally different to a home situation. Aero is such a loveable dog who is so used to companionship I really don't think kennels would have suited him.
It was with some trepidation that we decided that we would not choose the very secure kennel option for Aero's holiday. We were not sure how Barking Mad worked. However, I have to say that after our initial meeting with Tina we were absolutely reassured that this was by far the best way to have our pet looked after whilst we were away.
We would always choose the Barking Mad option from now on!
This was to be our eight year old Golden Lab Oscar's first Barking Mad holiday. We were a little apprehensive as he somewhat reluctantly climbed into the van! Within an hour we had received a text and photograph of Oscar happily playing with Tina's children. A second text that evening assured us he was happily settled for the night, so we could relax and enjoy our break.
One week later our fella arrived home - looking good and happy to see us. He settled back home immediately, and had clearly had a happy time with his hosts. The Barking Mad experience was a great success for Oscar - and for us. He is already booked in for his next holiday! Many thanks to Tina and the team.
An excellent professional and caring service. All the staff we've met have been courtious and friendly. Time and effort was taken to ensure our pet went to the right host to accomodate all her needs and quirks. It is lovely to receive texts and photos to reassure you they've settled and are having fun. Her stay had to be extended by a week due to ill health and they were very understanding and obliging.
I wouldn't hesitate in recommending them. Posted by Isobel and Jim
Baker seemed to have had a great time on his holiday. He has settled back home very well & is a happy little dog! Posted by Julie
A huge thank you to Tina and her family for looking after our two boys while we were away. They've had lots of Barking Mad holidays before but this was the first time they have stayed with Tina. Jake obviously had a great time running around the field chasing his ball (his favourite thing) and we really did appreciate the care Tina took to keep Jack from doing too much exercise after his recent operation. I think the boys loved having Rachel and Adam to play with too. We really loved to receive the text update during our holiday and see a photo of them having fun.
Barking Mad always provide such a friendly and professional service. The boys get SO excited when the Barking Mad car arrives and happily jump in off to their holiday adventure.
Well, it sure was lovely to get our boy back.
Helen's family completed a gorgeous postcard (with a crayon drawing of Harvey) and said they would be happy to keep him, and I understand that Helen had tears when she packed his bags - how fab to known he was such a hit.
You are a very special kind of person Tina, to understand us human-beings so well and be able to perfectly match a host to our beloved four-legged friends.
I have to say we are very impressed how "grown up"Harvey is after his stay in the country. Helen, her husband (who apparently took Harvey to work with him for a day) and her children have given Harvey something we can't - the chance to mix with them as a family unit and socialise with their two dogs Lucy & Poppy.
We've just come back from a walk along the beach with Harvey (no lead once we were down there) and he was magnificent. He ran along with a few other dogs then came back when we called him and was "sociable" with people but not manic as he has been in the past.
We are SO grateful that the host family have obviously invested love, time and energy with Harvey and we can see how that has helped his development into the marvellous 7 month old dog he is.
Will you please pass on our enormous thanks and let Helen and her family know how much we've appreciated it, and the really positive impression the two weeks with them have left on Harvey.
Loads of thanks and love
Katy, George & Harvey
I'm Mel a 5yr old small Jack Russell bitch. I've had lots of fab holidays organised by Tina and her very friendly Barking Mad team. Each time I've been really well looked after, had lots of fun with new temp carers (this time Joan & George), and been for good long walks with new places to search and sniff! Thank you Tina, keep up the good work. Mel x
We have used the help of Barking mad so many times now that we are totally relaxed about leaving our seven year old labradoodle Penny on each occasion. She seems to sense when collection time is and is almost as excited as ourselves at a change of scenery. We know she will be cared for really well.
We were really nervous about leaving our 4 month old puppy, Alfie, for the first time, however, Barking Mad immediately made us feel at ease from the first meeting with Tina up until Colin collected Alfie to take him on his holidays.
When he came home two weeks later, Alfie looked fab and clearly had had a brilliant time. It was lovely to receive some photos from his hosts showing what he had been doing along with a postcard.
We would not hesitate to recommend Barking Mad to our friends.
Thanks again to Barking Mad and Alfie's hosts, Margaret and Roy.
The Horsmans, (and Alfie!!!)
Tina and her team provide a great service for dog owners. From the first house visit, through to the collection and return of your pet, the service is friendly yet professional, and leaves you in no doubt that your dog will be well taken care of. That coupled with friendly text messages and pictures really sets your mind at ease. Our dog, Queenie, a rescue greyhound has had a difficult time prior to rehoming at it was very important to us that she was well cared for by pet lovers. Queenie came back to us in fine condition, very relaxed and obviously showing no signs of any distress or anxiety. Tina does a great job in identifying pets to pet sitters and we will be using her team every time we need to leave Queenie for holidays abroad. Many thanks to Tina and Colin and all the support staff.
Not the easiest dog to look after due to him being over 50kgs and still a puppy but both the family who looked after him and Tina's own family did a great job and we will be using them again in the near future. Cannot recommend them enough. Many thanks from all of us here.
Just got my two dogs back from their holiday and they seem very relaxed and settled. It's great going away knowing they are being cared for properly and getting lots of love and attention! Thanks to their hosts Sharon and Paul! Thank you Tina for sorting everything at short notice!
Thank you so much to Tina and her team for once again arranging carers for our 2 pups, Molly & Mitzi. A bit of a challenge this time as it was for almost 7 weeks! However a lovely couple stepped in and took on M&M despite the older pup needing medication. It is so reassuring that they are being looked after so well as it means you can relax and enjoy your holiday knowing that the pups are enjoying theirs. The text and email updates with photos are a lovely touch as well - loved receiving them and seeing that M&M were happy. Worth every penny!
Dear Tina and Team,
A big thank you for looking after Alfie and special thanks to Laura and Levi K- we know that Alfie had a lovely time with you and we would not hesitate to use your services again. We were impressed with your professionalism and practical approach. This was the first time for us to use this type of service- being new dog owners and not really sure what to expect- we needn't have worried, everything was clear, well organised and having a photo and email update was really reassuring. We know Alfie enjoyed his holiday as much as we did.
Once again thank you to Tina and her team for organising Pips holiday. A special thank you also to Alice for taking very good care of her. She came back happy and with a few extra toys to show us - thank you Alice. It can be very stressful when you leave you dog and Tina is so good at firstly finding the right host for your dog, and secondly keeping you updated with texts while you are away. I would definitely recommend Barking Mad.
Harvey has had a lot of happy holidays with barking mad . We can go away knowing Harvey will be well looked after safe and happy with his host family . The holiday postcards are lovely to read when Harvey comes home finding out all that he has been up to on his holidays. We Will always use barking mad for Harvey and would recommend you to all our friends. A big thanks to Tina and all the team. Janice Ken and Harvey
Sybil our aged Staffy who has various health problems and medication had a fab holiday with our hosts.
Thank you to all involved she came home happy and clearly enjoyed her holiday.
A proffesional company to deal with,
Thanks to Mick and Shirley for taking good care of our lovely Sonny. We loved the photographs of him in your garden, he looked so settled and comfortable. We are able to enjoy our holidays knowing he is happy and safe. The postcard on return always makes us smile too. Many thanks to barking mad for your excellent service.
Maisie had a fab time on her doggy holiday. I wouldn't hesitate to send her to a Barking Mad host when I need to get away again. Thanks to everyone involved in making it happen.
We just wanted to thank you ALL, once again, for taking such special care of Henry and Monty. The host families they have been with have clearly given them a great deal of care, attention and love.
They have returned home pictures of health and very content, clearly taking everything on their stride. We truly believe that they have had a super holiday too!!
Credit to you, Colin and the host family you selected - they've clearly been home from home.
Thanks! We'll certainly be recommending you and coming straight to you in the future.
The Kirby family, Henry and Monty x
It appears that dougie had a brilliant holiday, I was so much more relaxed knowing dougie was able to go on long walks and enjoy himself! I will definately use barking mad again when I go on any future holidays!
Ashlea, nick and dougie
This was our first time leaving our dog Poppy with Barking Mad. The service from start to finish was fantastic and stress free. A big thank you to Barking Mad and to Poppys host, Ann for looking after her. Will definitely be using you from now on and would recommend your services to everyone.
It was great to get home from holiday having had a great relax and see Isla again, Tina dropped Isla back to us a couple of hours later as arranged, and we saw a few more pictures of the fantastic time she had on her holiday.
She came back in great fettle, having remade friends with the kind family who hosted her again. She is obviously loved there which relieves any concerns when we do have to go away and leave her.
Thanks again to Tina, Colin and the team for making everything stress free.
Pearl and Sapphie my Norwich Terriers had a lovely few days away with Barkind Mad. Sapphie was the new girl on the block but as usual Tina was extremely thorough in ensuring that the additional information was spot on. The chauffeur service is also excellent and always on time. Thank you for providing me with peace of mind when I need to go away.
Needless to say we were so happy to have Charlie back with us but once again she had obviously been loved by Ian and Liz while we were away. Please let them know we were so pleased that they were able to look after her again. Charlie is still playing with the toy (Roo?) they sent back with her and please thank them also for the harness. We'll make sure to send it with Charlie the next time they look after her!?
Also thank you to Colin who collected her and returned her safely. He was very calm and organised which calmed me down!!!
And finally a BIG thank you to you for making it all possible.
Thank you so much for looking after our 6 month cocker spaniel puppy whilst we visited our daughter in London. The thought and planning which you put into his stay was excellent and really reassured us that he would be safe and happy with the host family. He has come home full of beans!!
It is always traumatic to leave your pets when you go on holiday but with Barking Mad, we know they will have a loving home from home. The organisation is run in such an efficient way and we love the texts and postcards which help us to share their 'holiday'.
Barney and Baxter returned to us yesterday after another lovely holiday with a loving host. Thank you again to all the team for looking after them so well. We will be booking again soon!
Maddie was delighted with her holiday with Margaret & Bill. They must have even realised it was her birthday which was 29 June because she came back with a new squeaky toy. She seemed so happy when she came back I could tell she had been settled. It might have helped when she was put with people she had been with before. We will certainly use Barking Mad again if we ever need to. If our animals are happy we are happy. Thanks for everything, it is much appreciated.
Well what can I say, thank you so much for Joy's holiday. Host Patricia is obviously an amazing lady. Joy looks so lovely and is so calm and so content. It is just fantastic to have her home and being funny already, she makes me laugh, she is such fun.
Thank you is not enough, I am so so grateful to Barking Mad. My holiday was lovely but how I missed this little bundle, but I will never worry again, no hols in sight at the moment but Patricia will hopefully be free when I do go away in 2016 - I will book early!
Thank you to Lynnis for looking after our 9 month old dog Barney recently for two weeks. This is Barneys second stay with the Barking Mad team, and he appears to have had a wonderful time with Lynnis and her dog. So much so he seemed sad to be without his doggy friend on his return home! Loved the postcard showing all his adventures. Thank you again, and hope to see you all again soon in the future x
Many thanks to Tina and the team for sorting us out at such short notice! Tina spent time getting to know our dogs, Henry and Monty, and made a perfect match! They clearly had a super time on their short stay with Helen, her family and their two dogs, and were extremely well looked after. They're now looking forward to their summer holiday with them too and we're looking forward to seeing and hearing about the fun they get up to. Many thanks, again, to you all!
Paddy has just returned from a short stay with Sue and Paul who he hasn’t stayed with before. As is always the case Paddy with Barking Mad was extremely well looked after and returned home very happy. The holiday report I received from Sue and Paul was lovely and I could clearly see it was home from home for Paddy, there was a picture of home asleep looking very content on the sofa!
A big thank you to Sue and Paul for doing an excellent job.
Also a big thanks to Tina and her team for all their work. The whole booking process is very easy and I don't need to worry about having to drop Paddy off or pick him up its all done for me.
This is Skye's second time with barking mad she loves it and hosts Jenny and Derek are brilliant with her, she's a big dog and can take a lot of looking after! She's going back in December we wouldn't put her anywhere else.thankyou so much.
My cocker spaniel had his first Barking Mad holiday for 2 nights last week. He went to stay with hosts Sue and Paul in Alnwick and seems to have had a wonderful time. He has a well established routine and Tina and the team took the time to fully understand this and pass on and share his details. He returned happy, calm and relaxed and settled straight back in. The postcard and diary were lovely to receive and I am so pleased with the care and attention he has clearly been shown. I have more hols pending thoughout the year and am already planning his next stay with the same hosts. Thank you all so much.
This was Bob and Harry's first holiday with barking mad, and will not be the last. We chose barking mad as normally our dogs go to family when we are away but this is not feasible any more. Barking mad both promised and delivered exactly what we needed; peace of mind the dogs would be safe and looked after well.
The postcard and text updates are an excellent reassurance that the dogs are safe and well. Right from the first meeting with Tina down to the collection and dropping off of the dogs everything has been friendly and very professional.
Generally when we have been away, one of the dogs goes in a huff for a few days to let us know he is not happy, not this time, they both came back settled and happy so I know they must have been happy in their hols!!!
Thanks to Tina and the team for a great job well delivered!!
Sonny has had another fabulous holiday with two lovely hosts. He's happy to go and happy when he gets back. The pick up/drop off service is fantastic and so hassle free. I love getting his post card on return to see what he's been up to. All in all a fab, safe service for dogs to enjoy while their owners are on holiday.
We are always so happy with the service from Barking Mad it means we can go on holiday and not have any worries. Ruby is always excited when Colin comes to collect her and has had once again a fantastic holiday with Richard and Christine. We love getting the photos and postcard to see what she has been up to with her friend Millie. It makes me very happy to know that she is so well looked after. Thank you Barking Mad for a first class service.
Tina and the crew are so professional, we never had any fear sending Isla off. However the texts and pictures we received showing she had settled in and was having a fantastic time were an added bonus, guess she will be even happier to jump in the back of the van the next time Tina turns up.
My dogs have gone to barking mad for 9 years and have never had anything to worry about with updates while on my holidays to give me piece of mind
Thank you to all at Barking Mad for yet another great placement for our dog, Jack. He was very well looked after and came back looking smarter than when he left!
We really appreciate the fact that Jack is having a holiday at the same time as us!
Thank you to Audrey and Alex for giving him such a good time. He would really love to come and see you both again!
Thank you so much for making Carlitos holiday at barking mad
a lovely experience for him.
I am so pleased that he stayed with your family in the end!!
Thank you so much for the lovely photos and I'm so happy he was great with the children.
It really eased our minds when we were away, that a lovely caring organisation
were looking after our little baby.
Carlito will be joining the team at barking mad for his next holiday!!!
He can't wait lol
Angela walker xxx
Our 14 week old golden retriever puppy Harvey had his first Barking Mad holiday last week. Mick and Shirley the hosts really did look after him so well and continued his training, walking him on his lead into town, and returning him with his suitcase full of clean blankets and bedding. I can't tell you what peace of mind it gave us and have already booked him in for a long-weekend in the summer.
Thank you all for such an amazing service and most importantly, peace of mind that our boy was being so well looked after in his "home from home".
The mini video from the hosts on the first night was exceptional and really put our minds at rest.
My wife and I had relocated to the North East and did not have our family nearby, to leave our Parsons Jack Russell with, when we had a few days away. We were really worried as we have never used a kennel or anyone other than friends and family to look after Pippa.
Thanks to Barking Mad and Tina who met my wife and Pippa and took notes of likes and dislikes, where Pippa slept and how many walks a day were required. We were still worried all the time we were away but on our return and seeing Pippa in such good spirits, photographs of Pippa with her new family and a lovely letter saying how good Pippa had been and that they would love to look after her again, we at last feel at ease.
We have now booked Pippa for two more holidays with the same family and have no concerns at all.
A big Thank You to Barking Mad.
Coco came home very happy and bouncy after his holiday and has clearly had a great time, he has settled back home with no problems evident. He enjoys his journey to and from Lynnis (his regular Barking Mad carer) with Colin and the other helpers too. It is very nice and reassuring to know that Coco is having a good time and getting lots of individual attention whilst we are away. He loves playing with Lynnis' own dog as well and this is very good for his social skills with other dogs as normally he is on his own with us.
This was a relatively short notice stay for Max and Amy. Tina arranged a lovely couple (Mick and Shiley) to look after my 2 dogs. Knowing the dogs are all sorted gave me time to concentrate on a family bereavement. Max and Amy seem to have had a ball and were soon ready for bed on their return. I can honestly say that I have full confidence in Tina for selecting the right host for my 2 dogs. I have been a BM customer for many years and know how professional Tina,s team is. Thanks.
First time I have left Lucy. Was very concerned about leaving her in kennels. Came across Barking Mad on the internet. The whole experience from meeting Tina and her staff gave me confidence that Lucy would be well cared for.
On our return Lucy had obviously had a great week with her hosts. I cannot recommend Barking Mad highly enough. A thoroughly professional service from beginning to end.
I would like to thank Tina and Colin and a special thanks to Anne and family for looking after Lucy
Another triumph for Barking Mad. At very short notice Tina was able to arrange for my 5 month old pup to go to a wonderful holiday home for 3 days. She has come home full of bounce and fun and thank you to Alice for looking after her so well. What a blessing is Barking Mad, I am so thankful to have found you. Roll on the next time says Joy!!
What can I say. From beginning to end first class. As soon as Henry saw the van pull up, he was beside himself with excitement and was in the back of the van before we even went through the paperwork. Communication and photos whilst he was away was great. He came back happy, exhausted and settled but he was definately sulking - I think he was feeling lonely and missing Maisy!! Thanks Tina and the team. x
We have known Tina Young and her team for quite a few years and have always thought them to be extremely professional but at the same time very friendly and totally committed to the welfare of the dog concerned.
My small 5month old pup had a weekend away, a trial run before a longer holiday in the summer. I was quite anxious as she is a real lapdog and still a pup but she was collected as arranged and happily got into the car with Carol-Ann and obviously had a fantastic time. Patricia, her host was wonderful and Joy behaved herself which is a relief to me! I had a text msg when she arrived at the home where she was staying and another text the next evening. A post card on her return with a lovely picture showing a happy weekend. I cannot recommend "Barking Mad" highly enough. Tina returned her at the end of her time away and everything was perfect.
Well done "Barking Mad" we are looking forward to the next time.
Attended a christening in London this weekend and William was again looked after so well by Paul and Sue. A big thank you to them and to Tina, Carol Ann and Colin for making it so stress free. Would recommend!
Just want to say a huge thank you to Tina, her team, and wonderful host, Helen and her family. Our dogs have been back and forth (sometimes at short notice) during the last few weeks, while we dealt with a family bereavement, and then went on holiday. Tina went the extra mile to make sure that we didn’t have to worry about Jack and Jake and took the pressure off a difficult time for us. Helen and her family were extremely accommodating and welcomed our boys into their home and gave them a fabulous holiday with their dogs, Lucy and Poppy. Special thanks to Ruby for her wonderful postcards and drawings of our boys having such a fun holiday.
Very happy with service provided. When Mitzhi came back she seemed happy and not stressed at all and Bill and Margaret seemed to have enjoyed having her which was such a relief for us. Mitzhi has become a very special addition to our family and as she can be very nervous of new people so it was good to hear she had settled well within a few days. Just hope they are available when we need you services again. Posted by Gerry Forbes
We have now used Barking Mad for our 30th time over the past 7 years to allow our dogs to have a good holiday while we have ours. We can always be sure that our dog will be in good hands on his holiday arranged by Tina.
So we can thoroughly recommend Barking Mad to any dog lover who wants to be happy that their pet is being well looked after on its holiday as well.
Our little Barney had a wonderful time on his holiday with Barking Mad. He settled straight away on his return home, amazing considering he was only 14 weeks old at the time. Due to unfortunate timing ( our sons graduation) we had to go away for a couple of days. We have always used kennels in the past, but Barney was so young I didn't feel comfortable using kennels again. The whole process from meeting Tina, pick up/ drop off, the text messages and the lovely postcard has been fantastic. I will certainly book again and feel confident and happy my dog is being looked after with care and attention. Thank you
Thankyou Jenny and Derek Skye's had a great time she's came back very relaxed we will definitely be using you again! My mind was at rest knowing my dog was well looked after 100% happy with the whole barking mad experience.
Thanks so much to Jenny, Derek and Archie for giving Broch such a lovely holiday. He has come back remarkably calm and relaxed - maybe Archie told him to chill out a bit more! This is in contrast to when he came back from kennels as a barking hooligan....He has clearly had a wonderful time and hasn't missed us one bit.
We will certainly be using you again - we are thinking about the Galapagos for next year and would be delighted for Broch to go back to either of the host families he has met.
I hardly know where to start, but my dog went for his first holiday and I was 100% happy about the whole Barking Mad experience. Perhaps I'm over anxious when I have to be out, but when I had to go away for a few days this time, I needed to know Pash would be taken care of and well. Right from the start of the interview process I knew it was going to be ok; Tina found out all about our routine so she could find the best possible host where he would settle well. He was beautifully cared for and I got a report back from the hosts with some photos of Pash, also saying that he would be welcome back at any time! Barking Mad is a very professional organisation, well run, with a simple concept but perfect for looking after your dog with care and love. I will ask for help again when I need it without the slightest hesitation. Thank you all very, very much
The whole experience, from start to finish, was very professional and positive. Bluebell is a border collie and only 13 months old and can be a handful at times so we did worry as to how she might handle it, but it was very clear to us that Barry and Susan had looked after her wonderfully well and we are very grateful for that.
Just to reiterate we were delighted with the whole service and would recommend Barking Mad to all.
Sonny had a great time on his first barking mad holiday. He settled well and the hosts liked him. He was quiet when he first got back home but soon got back to his normal loud rowdy self. We will definitely use Barking Mad again.
Posted by: Susan and Malcolm Brown on 26th Nov, 2014
Apologies for the lengthy delay in responding to your message.
The service you provide is really good and Berry definitely enjoyed her stay with Glynis & Gilbert and often mentions them in conversation.
Berry reached her 15th birthday on 29th September and still enjoys a good quality of life. Her diet is still questionable and yet she manages to sustain herself on pretty meagre fare - crisps; markies or whatever although most recently she has been more normal and eats biscuits and chicken etc. She weighs about 5.2k.
She still hasn't managed to catch the cat and though she has had her nose scratched on several occasion, stills looks out for any opportunity to 'do it in'.
Hope you are well and could you please pass on my/Berry's regards to Glynis and Gilbert who obviously provided such loving care.
Thank you very much for your very efficient service in arranging a holiday for our dog. Timmy is now back home and seems to be happy.Thanks again.
Our holiday was possible due to the lovely care our dogs received. From beginning to end we felt very looked after and had no concerns about Hannah and Chester. Definitely use barking mad again. It was flawless.
The dogs came home and seemed perfectly happy - it's good not to worry about them when you are on holiday
My guys have come back full of beans and very happy, it was wonderful to get the card when they came back, also to hear while I was away that they had settled well, I will be recommending you and your team to everyone I know. Thank you so much for taking care of Aero and Skye so well, with Skye being so old and suffering from dementia I was very worried about how she would cope but her care has been second to none. Thank you.
It is always a relief to know that Jack will be well cared for while we are away. Barking Mad have always found a lovely home for him to stay, taking into consideration his needs. I now feel very confident that Jack will be both happy and safe and that he will enjoy his holiday as much as we do!
Henri returned home in good spirits after his holiday with barking mad,I never worry about him when I'm away as I know he is in safe hands and always has a good time,I especially like his postcard and photos.
I have used Tina at barking Mad in Northumberland for many years. With my previous poodle who died last year and now with my puppy.
Both dogs had individual needs one being elderly and taking medication and the latest being full of life and not quite full of sense. Tina has risen to the challenge every time placing my girls in loving families who offered home from home care. That is the strength of Barking Mad I can highly recommend this as the best possible solution when going away without pooch.
I had a wonderful holiday because i was convinced that my dog was in safe, caring and professional hands, and i got the pics to prove it when she got home. Will definitely use the service again.
Wilf had a lovely couple of days with his host family. We found the whole process of pick up and drop off very easy with Colin and felt that Wilf was going to be well looked after as all his little routines and likes were recorded for his hosts. Had a nice postcard from Chris to say Wilf had been good! We will use Barking Mad again!
Thank you so much to you and Beverley for taking such good care of Henry. Please pass on my best wishes to Beverley. I totally relaxed while I was away, knowing that he was in such good hands. Thank you again, I wont hesitate to use your service again and will recommend you to people I know. Posted by Barbara Fleming
Thank you so much to you and Beverley for taking such good care of Henry. Please pass on my best wishes to Beverley. I totally relaxed while I was away, knowing he was in such good hands. Thank you again, I wont hesitate to use your service and will recommend you to people I know. Posted by Barbara Fleming
Cocoa is back home safe and very well after his latest Barking Mad holiday in August. He obviously had a lovely time with Lynnis and Peris, his wonderful carer and her own dog. This was his longest away-stay yet and he also visited new carers for a couple of nights which went very well too. He bounced back in great form and is his usual happy, confident little self. He also clearly adores Colin who most often provides his holiday transport.
It is very reassuring to know that Cocoa is so well cared for and enjoying his own holiday break - while we are away on our own trips. It is also good to know that Lynnis and all the other Barking Mad carers have good back-up and support from Tina, Colin and all the Barking Mad team.
Thank you to all of you,
Louise, Tom and of course Cocoa
Winston and Ralph, my two thoroughly spoilt pugs, have just returned from another fantastic holiday with Barking Mad and their tremendous hosts. I know all of us dog owners feel the same about going away on holiday and leaving part of our family behind; using Barking Mad I have total peace of mind that they are having every bit a fantastic holiday as we are. They always come back healthy, fit and full of beans. Happy dogs = happy owners. We will certainly be using Barking Mad for our next holiday and I always recommend the great service to friends with dogs. Thanks again Tina and your fabulous team of hosts for taking care of Winston and Ralph so well again.
Henry was very excited to be collected by Carol-Ann for his holiday. It sounds like he had a lovely time - although the BBQ people probably weren't impressed! I think the service that is offered is professional, efficient and thorough. I quite like having the contracts on-line and be able to send other documents on-line - it saves all that paperwork. The only thing I would say, it would have been nice to have a photo of Henry whilst on his holiday especially with Saffy as I do like to see this - especially if he has been with another dog. Otherwise, first class and look forward to the next one. Posted by Allison Lawton
Tina says "Ooops, sorry about that Allison. We had photos of Henry on his hols, but were left behind by mistake. I have emailed them to you now".
Sybil came home looking slinky! She was looking fab, relaxed and happy. A big thank you... Diana.
Always a relief to know that the people who look after Roxy love her and look after her so brilliantly. One tired, but contented black lab returns home after a fantastic week. Maybe we should have a Barking Mad holiday next time too???
Thank you so much! As always very efficient and well organised, especially given that we changed dates at short notice. We always have complete peace of mind that Eddie will be well cared for, he always returns home happy and relaxed. Fantastic service xx
A big thank you to Tina and her team for looking after Olive our loving but exuberant 2 year old lab. It is peace of mind knowing that Olive is in a caring home whilst on holiday.
Text messages and the pick up and drop off service help you relax and enjoy your time away.
We always feel refreshed after our holidays and we think Olive is after hers!
As always an excellent professional service. We go on holiday relaxed that our dogs are well looked after and settled. Would strongly recommend using Barking Mad.
Just to say thanks again to Barking Mad! Alfie had a brilliant holiday, as always.
Jack has had another lovely holiday with Barking Mad. Spoilt rotten but enjoyed every minute. Came home shattered but very content as he has done on every other holiday he has had with Barking Mad. Would highly recommend the service. They provide reassurance that your dog has settled and is happy with their host family.
Once again, thoroughly professional and friendly service from Tina and her team. We are always totally confident that Rubble & Archie ( our beloved Beardies )will be well looked after, and probably spoilt rotten.
Thank you Tina for organising another fantastic holiday for our boys. Jack and Jake had a brilliant time playing with the hosts' dogs and children. They clearly had a wonderful time geocaching in the woods! Thank you also for accommodating them for an extra night at short notice. As usual, Barking Mad goes the extra mile to look after customers and their dogs - first class! They're already looking forward to their next holiday!
Robbie returned home after his hols happy as usual.We have used the service many times and always found it an excellent efficient service.
Once again great service from Barking Mad,
went on holiday without any worries about Foster we know he is in good hands.
Once again we had great service for Ruby and we were able to go on holiday without worrying about her. Richard and Chris look after her so well and I know she really loves to play with their dog Millie she always comes home happy. A great service that we will use again.
After many years of holidays knowing that Jack would be well looked after by family members, this was our first experience of taking Jack away from his day to day environment. It was with considerable trepidation that we approached Barking Mad to resolve our problem but we need not have feared as Tina and her colleagues were very helpful and understanding of our needs. Everything was explained fully and left us feeling that we had made the correct decision in leaving Jack in their capable hands. Tina sent an update whilst we were on holiday to keep us informed on Jack's holiday which helped alleviate any anxiety we may have had whilst away. Jack arrived back in excellent condition and had obviously had had a great time on his holiday. To Tina and her colleagues a big thank you.
Posted by: Christopher and Lynette Green on 13th Jul, 2014 you.
Ailsa has had a lovely holiday with Barking Mad.
I love going on holiday but miss her terribly. Barking Mad takes the edge off this with all the little touches such as the reassuring text messages, postcards and photos. The collection service is great when you have 101 things to do before going away.
As always thanks for your wonderful service which enables us to go away with total peace of mind. As you know with Jasper being a rescue dog we did not want him going back to kennels and he now has several home from homes where he is spoilt as much as he is at home. We always highly recommend your service and the award was well deserved, well done. Thank you again.
Dylan has had yet another fabulous holiday. He stayed with Ian and Liz from Amble. I never have to worry when we're away because I know he is getting the best care and love from his 'family'. Thank you Barking Mad, especially Tina and colleagues
Penny returned to us relaxed and happy having clearly been well looked after during our holiday break.
Congratulations on a caring and comfortable service ensuring we are confident Penny is in safe hands.
Bobby has just returned from his recent holiday he soon settled back in to his usual routine at home, although he was happy to see us he is just as keen to go away when Tina comes to pick him up.
we miss Bobby when he is away from us but we enjoy our time away knowing he is with people who love and care for him like we do.
Thanks Tina for another successful Barking Mad holiday for Millie, our chocolate lab, who has just returned from her 20th holiday. She nearly flattened Colin when he came to pick her up as she was so excited. Congratulations on the award - it's well deserved.
Kiera has just returned from another great holiday with hosts Bill and Margaret. She always enjoys her stays with them and since recently being diagnosed with heart disease it was very reassuring for us to know she was going to be happy and pampered by them and looked after as though she was their own. The texts we receive whilst we are away are always looked forward to and gratefully received. Thank you Tina and team for an excellent service.
Bodie has had another great stay. When we know he's in good hands we have a better time ourselves.
We can relax in the knowledge that he is also having a great time himself. Keep up the great work. Well Done Tina on your much deserved award.
This is the first time we have left our dog Pumpkin in 2 years since we got her and it was very emotional, Tina and her team done a great job and kept us informed as we were very anxious, Pumpkin was very well looked after by Pat and Ken. Thankyou and will use you again if we had any more holidays!!
Another lovely stay for william - thank you Tina and of course Paul and Sue. Excellent as always and many congratulations Tina on your recent award. See you next time!
Wyn has great holidays with her host family. She is quite a sensitive dog and we are very much reassured as she stays with the same hosts who now know her very well. We are able to relax and enjoy our holiday knowing she is very well cared for and having a great holiday herself. Tina and her staff are very professional and offer a fantastic service - thank you.
Thanks so much Barking Mad for taking care of Rusty whilst we were away. Despite being a little more challenging than usual due to his recent operation we felt he was in good hands and were really pleased with the care he received. It was so reassuring to know he was with a family who cared and were taking care of him just as we would at home. Thanks again
Rusty and Family
Another successful holiday for our 2 Jack Russels, Molly and Badger. They seem to know when they see the Barking Mad vehicle that they are off on another adventure, always returning that little bit slimmer and little bit fitter than when they left. Thank you to the hosts who do a wonderful job of looking after 'the pups' when we are away. We can enjoy our holiday safe in the knowledge that Molly and Badger are enjoying theirs as well.
A fantastic, friendly and professional service. Everything is always first class, it never falters. Henry is always happy and exhausted when he returns home and even though he is a little hyper and had a bad food habit! he settles well with the host family and the feedback is good. I would never use any other service for him. I have recommended a number of people so hopefully they will use the service too.
Coco has had three lovely holidays with Barking Mad. He has clearly thoroughly enjoyed himself and when he returns home to us is very lively and happy straight away. It is very reassuring to know that he gets lots of love and attention when he is staying with his holiday carers, and that they have the professional backup, should they need it, from Tina and all at Barking Mad. Thanks to Colin and friends for the transport as well, Coco is always happy to see them and very confident about setting off on his journeys in their comfortable and safe transport.
Tina and her fantastic Barking Mad team have always been there for us and our loving and faithful Labrador, Cuba.
From the very first holiday, 9 years ago, when Cuba had been recently diagnosed with Epilepsy and we were naturally very worried; Tina has always provided comforting reassurance, a friendly outgoing attitude and the highest level of professional service.
Even on short notice, she has always made time for Cuba and her level of dedication and passion were proved again when she arranged for Cuba’s holiday after he had undergone major surgery; along with the required follow-up visits to the vets.
Every time Cuba has gone on his holidays we have been fully confident that he is getting the best care and attention from the moment the door bell rings and he is picked up by Tina, Colin or Carol-Ann; and it is always great to see the photos and read the postcards from his fantastic, fun-filled holidays.
We can’t believe he is now off on his 50th holiday to go and stay with one of the many amazing hosts that Tina has in her portfolio; no doubt to be spoilt with the love and attention he always gets.
A huge thank you to Tina and everyone involved at Barking Mad for making Cuba’s holidays so much fun and making our holidays worry and stress free.
This was Alfie's first Barking Mad holiday. As we were staying in a remote part of Scotland we were out of contact but very confident Alfie would have a great time.Tina's registration interview had noted all his needs and our concerns and we were very impressed.On his return Alfie looked really relaxed and well and the the video and photos of him with his host showed just how much he had enjoyed himself and how caring she was. Barking Mad has lived up to our hopes and more besides - thanks so much.
It was great to know that they were also having a holiday and being loved like they are at home.
I had absolutely no concerns and trusted you implicitly to make sure they were well cared for and safe. Loved the postcard! Many thanks, Yvonne (on behalf of Alfie and Max )
Hi Tina, my sincere thanks to you and your excellent team for providing me with a professional service that meant I had a guilt free holiday. I felt reassured by the regular updates you gave me whilst I was away and the photos you sent. The postcard from Lorraine, Clive and Conner was a lovely touch when my girls came back home. Zambi has a spinal injury which means she has additional needs and I'm grateful that Lorraine was happy to have her. Molly is a bit more chillaxed about things and looked very happy in the photos. They haven't put weight on like they have done in kennels, they still had waists when they came home!!!! I have already started recommending you to my friends and colleagues and will most certainly be calling on your services for my next holiday. A huge thankyou once again! Lynne, Zambi and Molly.
Posted by: Lynne Murray on 4th Apr, 2014
Hi Tina, just wanted to say thank you, especially to Clive, Lorraine & Connor for giving Mitzy so much love, care and affection. She's settled back home now with me and I missed her so much but hopefully I am having a week away in September so I definately want her to go back to Clive and Lorraine again. Mitzy wants to send a photo and a little message of thanks to them so could you provide me with an address or shall I send it to you. Many thanks again, Christine & Mitzy Sterling. ps. I'm recommending you to everyone I know. x
I am so grateful that there is an establishment such as Barking Mad, and that people like you are such an integral part of it. If it were not for you, and especially the hosts John and Jenny, I could not have gone on the mission to get my life back on kilter after the death of my husband. The business you are in is beautifully reassuring. I spent weeks of angst wondering what to do. There is no way possible I would have subjected my little black labrador son to a lock up in a kennel, just because I selfishly wanted to go on holiday, which I would not, could not ever do. Please pass on my gratitude to his hosts, Jenny and John for taking such wonderful care of the most precious being in my life. The written and photographic feedback is such a lovely touch. Thank you to you and your team and your bevy of accommodating hosts.
I am so grateful to Tina, Colin and Carol Ann, and of course the hosts, for their excellent and reliable professional service (and stepping in to help often at short notice!), but mostly for the personal attention they take in looking after my crazy pup Cuthbert, getting to know his personality and allowing me to go away to work worry-free. The photos and emails show Cuthbert absolutely loves his holidays with his best pal Finn and his hosts who treat him like a member of the family. He sulks when he comes home! From the first time Tina came to meet us, I could not recommend Barking Mad highly enough.
Marvellous service from Barking Mad. Exemplary.
Ailsa loves going on her Barking Mad holidays and comes home happy and looking great. I love all the little touches like the postcards and text messages which make a potentially stressful time fun. It's great to have peace of mind on holiday and no guilt pangs!
Gwen, our 4 month old Pembrokeshire corgi, was placed with a host who obviously appreciated the needs of a puppy. The home pick-up and delivery was especially helpful. Overall, a very good service.
This was Bobby's first holiday with Barking Mad and he seems to have thoroughly enjoyed himself with the host chosen by Tina. We are very happy with the service provided by all of the team members we met, and have booked Bobby in for another holiday. We will continue to use Barking Mad in the future knowing he will receive excellent care from suitable hosts.
Ruby has just returned from another holiday with Barking Mad and once again had a fantastic time with her friend Millie. Tina and her team offer a superb professional service which allows us to go on holiday without any worries. We are so happy with the care and kind words from her hosts and have no problem with Ruby having many more holidays.
This was our first experience with Barking Mad and we could not be happier. Tina and her team were very professional and extremely caring. We enjoyed our time away knowing Rufus was in safe hands. A super service which we will certainly use again!
Jake has had yet another fantastic holiday with his excellent hosts. This was his longest holiday so far, 3 weeks, and we know that he loves his doggie pals Lucy and Poppy, as well as all the family he stays with. Tina always places dogs with such suitable hosts so that we can have a fantastic holiday without having to worry about Jake. We know he has lots of fun on his Barking Mad holidays.
Danny went on holiday with Barking Mad in early September for 10 days. He obviously had a great time and came back happy and well behaved. We have used Barking Mad for 6 years and find Tina and her team to be excellent and very reliable.
Alfie made himself quite at home with his hosts.This gave us peace of mind comfortable in the knowledge that he was safe and being very well looked after.He was perfectly happy on his return home and had obviously been very relaxed on his holiday thank you.
We were thrilled at your commitment for Orson to have a great holiday, and for us a truly worry free time. From the first phone call and texts, to his postcard, photos and letter telling of his adventures,we were assured. He loved it all. We would not hesitate to call you again and to recommend you very highly Thanks again Sue,Colin but most of all Orson xxxxx
Many thanks Tina for providing a really professional and mainly reassuring holiday for Gypsy. Also send thanks to her hosts for the kind words then gave regarding Gypsy herself. Although I have used your faclities before, this was a first time for Gypsy. From the feedback and the photos provided, I am sure Gypsy had a great time. I am certain I will be back again in the near future. Many thanks, again.
As per usual, Willow (my yorkie) was in the "huff" for a couple of days on her return!! But she quickly settled down into her normal routine. She always looks well on her return and it is nice to know that I can relax on holiday knowing that she is receiving one-to-one attention.
We have used Barking Mad on a number of occasions for Molly and Badger, our two Jack Russell Terriers. Tina and her team are always professional from initial booking through to when our dogs are returned from their holiday. Whenever possible Tina tries to accommodate Badger and Molly with the same family each time and this adds to our reassurance that the pups are having as much fun as possible. The text messages, postcards and photos of what they have been up to are an added bonus. keep up the good work.
This company and service was extremely professional, we felt completely reassured our little dog would be safe and well cared for. The text message, post card and photos from his stay were a lovely extra touch, it was obvious he had been well cared for and if he could talk he would be asking when he could go back!
Skye was happy when he was returned to us, the service was great and we didn't have to worry about a thing whilst on holiday, i would use this service again and I was impressed with Tina's professionalism.
It's really reasuring to know that my dogs are well looked after by caring people. It's lovely to get photos of their stay and the service is professional and well run.
Henry has had the most marvellous holidays with Barking Mad. We know how much he enjoys them and we know he is being looked after so well by his host families. We are off to live in Geneva soon and don't know how we will manage without Tina and Barking Mad - please open a branch out there!!!
We worry about my elderly mum while we're on holidays, but we don't have to worry about Roxy. Thanks to Barking Mad, while we're away our lab is being taken care of by a loving family, having the best of holidays too. Barking Mad for the elderly next please! Then I'll have nothing to worry about except where to go on holiday next time.
Dotty our mini schnauzer was away on her holiday for 2.5 weeks whilst we were in Florida - it would have been too hot for her there. We do miss her whilst we are away but we certainly don't worry about her as shes on her holiday too being spoilt rotten. We were delayed at Gatwick and Tina was on standby to extend her holiday if needed which was reassuring. She just goes away not looking back and trots back in after her holiday and sits back in her seat as nothings changed It certainly takes the stress our of per care Thank you
Once again Foster had as much of a holiday as we did, it's good to know that he is being cared for by like minded people. He's not stressed out and nor are we!
As always thanks so much for the wonderful service you provide. I think Jasper has found someone else who totally spoils him!
It is wonderful to be able to go away without worrying about him.
Winston our Pug has just returned from his lovely holiday in Creswell with Maxine his Barking Mad host, whilst we were on our lovely holiday. It is great to know that he is being looked after so professionally and lovingly whilst we are away. We have used Barking Mad a few times now and the hosts are lovely; I always ask for a coupe of texts whilst we're away to know Winston is settled in well and enjoying his holiday and it is great to get these from Tina. Knowing Winston is happy keeps me happy on holiday. We will definitely use Barking Mad again and we tell our friends about it too. Great service.
Henry has had a wonderful "first holiday experience" with host Lisa and her family, he came home totally chilled out as if I hadn't been away!, I would have no hesitation in recommending Barking Mad to all of my friends and family, and would like to thank Tina and her Team for a very professional service.
As always thanks so much for a brilliant service. We were able to go away for the weekend knowing Jasper was in safe hands and very well looked after.
Having spent a couple of hours with Tina on our initial meeting, we found her very efficient and were totally confident she could find us a host who was both willing and able to cope with Axl, our lively German Sheperd. Unfortunately during his holiday he became lame and ended up spending two weekends hospitalised much to our despair. However, Tina ensured we were kept well informed by herself and vet throughout his stay. We cannot thank both her and Carol Anne (who transported him to and fro from vets) enough. A huge thank you to his hosts Helen, Graeme & family and as he couldn't manage the steep steps into their garden, Maxine for the last few days of his holiday. He will be spending his hols with Maxine again in October - hopefully his leg fully recovered.
My puppy Archie had a great time on his Barking Mad holiday with Maxine.
A super service & will definitely use again. Keep up the good work Tina!
I could tell that Bo was well exercised, as he was tired when he came home. Now he's back, safe and sound....No problems. Thank you.
Tina, you always find Henry such lovely hosts and homes to stay with, thank you once again. Helen
I would like to say a big Thank You to Tina and her colleagues at Barking Mad, and especially Angela and Alf (the Barking Mad hosts) for making Alf's first holiday 'on his own' a real success.
This was the first time in 10 years that all of our family were on holiday at the same time, which meant finding alternative plans for Alf, and Tina made it a very simple and straightforward process.
Yes, Alf was pleased to see us when he came home, but he is already looking forward to a return visit with Angela and Alf later in the year. X
We were absolutely impressed with Tina and the service everyone involved in Barking Mad Northumberland provided from start to finish. We were so anxious before hand as this was Albie's first holiday and he is a 9 month old puppy. Tina reassured us from the start and we were confident that he would be well looked after. Tina handled things with ease, especially when a few issues came her way during Albie's stay that needed last minute changes. We loved the regular updates and photographs. We've already recommend Barking Mad to a few people and Albie will definitely be having another Barking Mad holiday. Thank you.
Very happy with the service. We enjoyed our holiday confident with the thought that Gadget was being looked after. We think Gadget enjoyed his holiday as well. Will definately consider Barking Mad for any future holiday where we cannot take Gadget along.
I am completing this note for Berry who has mislaid her biro. She thanks Glynis & Gilbert so much for her very happy holiday while her owners were away (again) playing golf this time in Scotland. She says sorry for the concern over her slight eating disorder; and a big thanks for her last night which was smashing. She hasn't stop talking about her new type of holiday since her return home and is already talking of her next one. Also, if I can get a word in edgeways, thanks alot Tina for your help which is much appreciated.
I was very happy with barking mad, Trix seemed very happy and relaxed when she came home and had been very well looked after. I would be happy to use them again. please can you thank Lorraine Clive and Connor for the care they took of trix
Very happy with the service throughout and would recommend your service, thank you.
Titch seems to have been well looked after and I think he will have had a good time. Thank you for all your time and attention, please pass our thanks to his carer.
All good.. thank you.
An excellent service, so easy to arrange and I am sure that Dylan enjoyed it to.
For the first time in many years we have gone on holiday and had no worries about our pets. They were returned home settled and happy.
Our dog arrived home totally her normal self, which was very reassuring
When Freda was returned in the past from other types of holiday, she has cried for hours with relief to be home. After her Barking Mad holiday, she came home, settled straight back in, no crying, totally stress free.
For the first time, I was able to have a holiday and not be worrying that the dogs are ok. They came back happy and looking very well looked after. Thank you.
Very happy with Maddie’s holiday. She is now ‘recuperating’ and is looking forward to her next holiday.
I was very happy that you were able to find a host for my dog at very short notice.
We feel that the service you give to our pet is the very best an owner could wish for. Julie Swift, who Harvey has stayed with, is a wonderful host for Harvey. Julie and her family fit Harvey’s needs perfectly. We can go on our holidays knowing he is happy and in good care.
We were more than happy with the service that Barking Mad provided. It is also fantastic to see photographs and the feedback that we received from the host family
We are very happy with the way that Toby was looked after. Please thank everybody concerned.
It was lovely to receive photos of Bailey ‘out & about’ with her hosts. I could see she was having a great time.
Bodie seems to have had a great time according to the host, Julie’s postcard comments. I am delighted with the service you have provided. Thank you
I found the staff very friendly and helpful. They put us at ease on Bobby’s first holiday, as we were apprehensive about leaving him.
What a great service! From beginning to end it was first class. Many thanks.
Bonzo had a fab holiday. Would not hesitate in choosing Barking Mad again in the future.
Thank you, Tina, for making Ruby's first visit so successful, and for everything you did to make the process so easy and professional. Will recommend your service.
We have found the Barking Mad service just brilliant. So much happier leaving her with a loving host. Bess has clearly had a great time.
We were delighted with your service from start to finish. This is the first time that Paddy has stayed on his own with someone he didn't know. We were reassured and relaxed and he seems to have had a brilliant time with Mick and Shirley. The feedback and photos were a lovely touch. Thank you all round.
As this was her first time away, I was rather nervous but she came back very happy and she seemed to have had a good time and had been very well cared for.
Once again, can you pass on our thanks to Jenny, Derek & Archie for doing a superb job of looking after Paddy. Also a very special thank you for keeping him the extra night when we delayed. It was very much appreciated and such a relief standing at the check in desk in Portugal knowing that he was in safe hands. One less thing to worry about.
WE DID IT!.
Team Tina all completed the Great North Run last month. We were raising money for a small, local hospice based in Alnwick, and I'm so chuffed to report that we hit our target of £3000, in fact we went over it. The latest total is £3265 plus £600 gift aid. THANK YOU so much to everyone who donated to our worthy cause, I have been over whelmed with everyone's generosity.
The day was amazing. Anyone that has been part of the Great North Run will tell you that the crowds are fantastic, they literally line the whole route and cheer, clap, high 5 and give you the biggest boost, which carry you to the finish line. There are an army of volunteers, who help throughout to make sure the runners have the best experience. At the end, we headed to the Charity Village, to meet up with the HospiceCare team, and we were treated to a massage, cup of coffee and a snack.
I had the best day ever and according to my running buddies, I smiled the whole way round. I've done the GNR before, but this year was very special to me. Last year I had cancer treatment, and this year I ran the Great North Run and raised over £3000 for charity.. Yippppeeee!
I can't wait for GNR 2018. Thanks again for your generous donations... Tina xxxx
More information about HospiceCare North Northumberland can be found at their website http://www.hospicecare-nn.org.uk/
On Sunday 10th September, I will be running the Great North Run. When I say 'running' I actually mean jogging, shuffling with a bit of walking! I convinced 8 good friends of mine to join me and together we are raising money for HospiceCare Northumberland, based in Alnwick. They were a fantastic support to me last year when I had Breast Cancer. The Hospice don’t only deal with ‘end of life’ patients, which immediately sprung to mind when someone suggested them to me last year. They are a fantastic support for cancer sufferers, cancer survivors, and also their friends and family. It is not a ‘bedded’ hospice, as they do their support and treatments mainly in peoples own homes. They also have a drop in at the Hospice in Alnwick every week. During my cancer treatment, they helped with counselling, acupuncture and reflexology, all very useful when I was going through Chemo. I think they are a fantastic, local charity and they need to raise £500,000 each year to provide their service, which is why Tina’s Team of runners intend to raise £3000 for them. We have a just giving page, if you would like to donate, we would be very grateful.
Search Team-TinaYoung-2017 OR text 70070.. type NNHC99 £..(your donation)
Over the summer, me and the team love to attend summer family shows at our local villages. It’s a great opportunity for us to chat with dog owners and tell them all about our service.
Come and visit us at our local shows.
Sat 12th August – Glanton Show
Sat 19th August – Warkworth Show
Sat 9th Sept – Kirkley Hall – North East dog show
It’s been a busy summer so far. Although I love to have a sunny summer obviously, I must admit that wet, miserable weather does tend to be good for business, as dog owners flee Northumberland via the airport for a warmer climate.
I’m off on holiday myself the last 2 weeks in August, so I will be leaving my trusty team in charge. We’re having a ‘staycation’, so I’m staying positive, and crossing my fingers and toes for some nice weather, to give me and the kids a chance to explore our beautiful Northumberland home.
I have Warkworth and Alnmouth beaches nearby, and I’m a fully paid up member of English Heritage, National Trust and Alnwick Castle. I have both wellies and flip flops on standby, so I just need to stock up on packed lunch supplies …Come on sunshine, we’re ready for you.
Meet the team
I'm Roly (short for Roland) Banks and I joined the team in 2017 after hearing from a friend, Barking Mad customer Steve Crawford, that Tina was looking for more people to help with her growing business.
I'm Tyneside born and bred and I started my working life as a 15-year-old apprentice printer with the Evening Chronicle in Newcastle. It was a tough environment but I enjoyed the challenges of meeting deadlines as I learnt the skills of being a compositor; arranging 'hot metal' type for printing the pages of the paper. I stayed with the Chronicle for nearly 25 years, rising to the position of print manager.
I then moved to work with label printing companies in Team Valley and Cramlington, where I live with my partner Gwen. I was a factory manager for a label printing company before retiring in 2015. And then after a year of not doing much apart from getting up early to walk our ten-year-old Westie, Cally, and completing the household chores, I was frankly getting a bit bored: I needed a new challenge. So, being a dog lover, when my friend (and Barking Mad customer) Steve mentioned the Barking Mad job I was intrigued to find out more.
I'm really glad that I followed up and discovered that I would be required to collect and return dogs from and to owners who lived often in out of the way places in our beautiful county, and that the part-time hours would be flexible to suit us both. I leapt at the chance of landing the job and I have not been disappointed: I've met loads of lovely hosts, customers and, of course, dogs. I look forward to meeting you and your dog.
I'm Susan Seward and in February 2017, I joined the Barking Mad team, collecting and returning holidaying dogs.
I first learned about Barking Mad through an on-line search about three years ago and after meeting Tina, Barry, my husband, and I became hosts. Our lovely old black Labrador Brock had died a few months before and we didn't feel we wanted the full-time commitment of another dog, so looking after other peoples beloved pets seemed an ideal compromise.
We've thoroughly enjoyed being hosts, and living in Coquetdale surrounded by wonderful countryside, we are ideally located to give dogs plenty of marvellous walks.
I had retired as a nurse at Wansbeck Hospital in Ashington, where I specialised in ortho-geriatrics and orthopaedics care, and was looking for a part-time job when I learned that Tina was looking to extend her team. I jumped at the chance of getting the job; driving around our lovely county meeting terrific dogs, wonderful hosts and pleasant customers - what could be better?
The job allows me the flexibility to pursue our ambitions to travel; we have visited many countries in Europe and Asia and my hope is to go to the Indian sub continent in the near future.
I also enjoy visiting my nine-year-old grandson Marcus, taking part with Barry in quizzes at our local pub, the theatre and reading. My favourite author is Georgette Heyer and I think I've got all her books. I am also an inveterate scribbler and would love to actually finish one of the many manuscripts which are lying gathering dust in the house.
I look forward to meeting you and your dogs.
In April 2005, I launched Barking Mad in Northumberland, so this month I am celebrating 12 years of organising dog holidays. I have organised thousands of holidays for lots of very lucky doggies. I started the business on my own, (with the help of my faithful hound Elvis). Sadly, he is no longer with us, but my team has grown over the years and now we are a team of 6.
Here are some photos to show how we have grown over the years.
We had a great team meeting this month. We get together every 3 months to review the business and discuss all operational issues. We are now a team of 6 and it is vitally important that we work well together, and communicate really well. I’m so proud of my team. We support each other, work hard, have good fun and enjoy working together. And it all pays off. One of the agenda items was showing the team the amazing feedback that we get after dogs have had their holiday, and I showed them our repeated 5star Trust Pilot reviews. Please have a read of our customer comments on my page here, or go to the Trust Pilot site, and you will find us in the Animal & Pets category.
We started our meeting with a photo shoot, organised by my photographer husband Brian. I love the location, with Alnwick Castle in the background.
March has been a pretty exciting month so far. I was asked to speak at an International Women’s Day event at The Hope St Exchange in Sunderland. I was so proud to be asked and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. I was one of 8 speakers on the day, and I loved hearing my fellow speakers telling their inspirational stories. International Women’s Day is an annual, global event which celebrates achievements by Women all over the world. It challenges discrimination and pushes for equality for our girls and boys. As a mammy myself, I recently told my 9 year old daughter that when I was her age, I wasn’t allowed to play football at school. I asked my PE teacher and he said “No, of course not, you’re a girl”. I just accepted it. But someone, somewhere didn’t accept it… which lead the way for our girls to be given the same chances and opportunities in life. #IWD2017 International Women’s Day 2017.
I was also invited onto BBC Radio Newcastle for an interview this month.. that was very exciting and I really enjoyed it. I hope I’ll get the chance to do that again. Anyone that knows me, knows that I love to talk!!!..... They asked me tell my story, how do you come to run a business organising dog holidays? You can listen to the interview here.
As usual the year has started off busy with lots of customers getting in touch to book their dogs in for their holidays. It’s always a good idea to get organised and book your dog in for their holiday, when you are arranging yours. We do get booked up, especially at busy times, and we don’t want to disappoint your dog. As we always say at Barking Mad….dogs deserve a holiday too.
I am meeting lots of new customers too. They are mainly finding us through google searches (you keep telling us that you love our website…thank you) and also through word of mouth. When our customers recommends us to their friends, they get a FREE days holiday for their dog, as a way of saying thank you. When dog owners find a service like ours that they LOVE, they tell their friends. So thank you everyone for spreading the word…..Your dogs’ really do appreciate it.
Happy Dog. Happy Holiday. Happy You.
Well, what a year it’s been. I don’t mind admitting that I’m very pleased to see the back of it. I haven’t been very well this year, so have really leaned on my amazing team to support me.
Barking Mad in Northumberland is my baby, or should I say puppy! I started this back in 2005, on my own, in my spare room. BUT, nowadays it is so much more than just me… We are now a fully developed TEAM. Me and the gang work so well together and pride ourselves on delivering a fantastic, top notch service to you and your dogs.
Back in January, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and immediately thought “Aaaargh, I haven’t got time for this. How will I run my business”… So, I called a team meeting and we discussed every aspect of the business and what needed to happen to ensure that everything ran smoothly. If I was struggling through chemo, I couldn’t afford for anything to get missed.
The last thing I wanted was unhappy customers, unhappy hosts or worst still unhappy dogs. So the team rallied around and we delegated duties and came up with a new 2016 plan. I still worked throughout my cancer treatment, but I was able to take a little step back… and at times I certainly needed to. Chemo and surgery certainly take their toll on your body and mind! But knowing that the day to day tasks were getting done and that we were still delivering our top notch service put my mind at rest.
Throughout the year we have continued to get 5star reviews from our customers, whether they are brand new customers or customers who have been using us for years.
We continue to review, during our quarterly team meetings. We talk about what’s going well in the business, and what can we do to improve even more. We have solid systems in place to communicate within the team so that nothing gets missed.
And lets not forget our amazing team of host families who love and care for our dog guests. I recently had a coffee morning for our hosts to say a massive thank you. They always go over and above the call of duty. They open their homes and their hearts and make your dogs’ feel loved and welcome.
2016 has been a fantastic TEAM effort.. 2017 here we come..
We had a fantastic time at our host coffee morning this month. We held it at Stannington village hall and had a couple of hours to chat, drink a constant supply of tea and coffee, and eat a few tasty treats. The yummy catering was supplied by Nelsons coffee shop in Swarland, a firm favourite of mine.
I love to organise this event, as it gives me a chance to thank my amazing hosts for taking such good care of our dogs. There was a great atmosphere in the room as all hosts chatted to each other and compared dog stories. We displayed lots of photos of dogs on holiday and the theme that ran across all the photos was “happy dogs” & “happy hosts”. Hosts left the event with a little goody bag filled with biscuits, chocolate and our annual Barking Mad calendar & newsletter.
After the event, I received a lovely email from one of my new hosts, it reads…
“Hi Tina, I enjoyed the coffee and get together today and thank you so much for the goody bag. We loved the calendar which has some super photos. And thank you for matching us with such super dogs, we have loved them all. We are so pleased that we became hosts’, it certainly meets a need in me”…. Jeanette
I really love to hear that my hosts enjoy caring for your dogs. I firmly believe that dogs are very clever and pick up on the atmosphere in the home. So when your dog feels welcome and happy at the hosts’ home, they relax and enjoy their holiday. When they come home to you, you will see the difference. They will behave as though you have never been away.
They will be relaxed (often very tired) and happy. Their home life routine has been maintained, they have had lots of cuddles, strokes, play and exercise. They have had lots of company and attention. If they could talk, they would probably say “thanks for a great holiday, I had a pawsome time”.. woof, woof!!
MEET THE TEAM
I'm Brian Young and apart from being married to the boss, I am the newest member of the team.
It was following Tina's breast cancer diagnosis that I became more involved in the business. Initially I helped with admin but with Jenny taking over much of that work I concentrated on dog collection and delivery.
I try to juggle Barking Mad's needs with those of my photography business which I have been building for ten years. Currently I work Mondays to Thursdays on photographing interiors and exteriors of up-market houses with Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays devoted to Barking Mad.
I really enjoy the contrast of the two: there's the isolation of working alone in large empty properties and the more sociable activity of meeting hosts and dog owners.
I grew up in Newcastle and educated at Walker Comprehensive before starting a degree course in astrophysics at Queen Mary's College in East London. I decided the course was not for me and then enjoyed, or should that be endured, a wide variety of jobs from bin man and road sweeper to builder's labourer before becoming a foreign exchange bureau operations manager.
I moved back to Tyneside in 1988 and joined Thomas Cook as a foreign exchange cashier which is where I met Tina.
We got together and set up home in Hebburn and later Jesmond. We married in 1997 and later moved to Guyzance with newly acquired and now much missed dog Elvis; both of us keen to start new careers. Tina began Barking Mad in 2005 and I started my business following a foundation degree in contemporary photography practice. My work can be viewed on brianyoungphotography.com
As well as helping to look after our children - Rachel and Adam - I enjoy fell walking, running and Japanese horror movies.
I'm Carol Ann Grey and I've been a member of Tina's team since 2013. But my involvement with Barking Mad began a couple of years earlier when I was a host to holidaying dogs.
I was born in Glasgow and moved to Northumberland when I was about six. My career has included a variety of community-based roles; I was employed by Gateshead Council as a neighbourhood management officer which involved working with various council departments, schools, local organisations and councillors. In this role I worked closely with voluntary groups, young people and residents, helping with social, unemployment and housing issues.
I took redundancy from the council a few years ago but have continued, on a part-time basis, to get involved in community work. I currently work with young people with learning disabilities either on a one-to-one basis or with a group, in south east Northumberland.
My job with Barking Mad gives me the opportunity not only to meet loads of lovely people - hosts and customers - and a wide variety of pooches, but also to discover some beautiful parts of Northumberland when I drive out to collect or deliver dogs.
When I first became a host I had Gina, a lovely gentle mongrel and she was very welcoming as each holidaying dog came to stay.
Apart from looking after dogs, my other interests include Ceroc dancing, scuba diving, badminton and reading. I attend my local church St Nicholas where I am involved in baptism visits and ceremonies, and I am a member of the Parochial Church Council. I am also a Foundation Governor at Cragside C E First School in Cramlington. But a lot of these activities are juggled around babysitting one or more of my five grandchildren, Ethan, Olivia, Jacob, Matthew and Joseph.
I'm Jenny Beaumont and I help Tina with the administration of her Barking Mad franchise. I first met her ten years ago, shortly after moving to Whittingham from London with my husband, John. At that time we had a lovely old English Bull Terrier cross called Margo. Not wanting to place her in kennels when we took a holiday, I found out - through word of mouth - about the service provided by Barking Mad. Margo had many wonderful Barking Mad holidays.
After Margo died in May 2011, Tina suggested we became hosts and we’ve had lots of lovely dogs to stay on holiday. In October 2011 we acquired an energetic young Setter cross from the Dogs Trust called Jake and in January 2014, we rehomed a Labrador, Jack, who is a perfect pal to his housemate.
We continue to use Barking Mad as customers and host dogs too.
Over the years Tina and I got to know each other pretty well. When Tina, who was dealing with an ever-increasing administration workload, asked in April 2014 if I could help out I was more than happy to get involved. Previously I have worked as a PA with a firm of Consulting Actuaries and a firm of Accountants; both jobs in Yorkshire. I have also worked as a Medical Secretary to an Oncologist and a Cardiologist at Charing Cross Hospital in London.
With my background Tina felt that I would be really well suited to helping out in the office. I now help her by going out to meet new customers, preparing pet schedules and general office administration.
My spare time is largely spent volunteering at Cragside as a Guide, Conservation Assistant and Administrator. I also love walking the dogs, reading and making stained glass projects at a weekly class.
I'm Colin Heathcote and I've been working with Tina since 2009. We first met when my wife Pru and I were Barking Mad hosts. I had long since retired from my job as Public Relations Officer for Northumberland County Council and I was scaling down my freelance PR consultancy when Tina suggested she might be needing help with dog collection and deliveries and would I be interested?
Following an interview with Tina, Brian and her lovely old dog Elvis I was offered the job. (I think it was Elvis, whose bark of approval when I surreptitiously slipped him a biscuit, who swung it for me.) Since starting I have met hundreds of lovely dogs and many smashing BM hosts and customers.
I was born in Watford and worked in journalism and PR in Hertfordshire, London and Hampshire, until we (Pru, myself and kids Ben, Selina and Anna) moved to Northumberland in 1981.
In my spare time I enjoy community radio broadcasting, amateur dramatics, sport (I still play five-a-side football), doting on four-year-old granddaughter Sophie and writing. I recently completed my first book - "No Fires In Tring", a fictionalised account of my time as a reporter on a local weekly newspaper in Berkhamsted. It was first published as a Kindle download in April 2015 and recently as a paperback with Tina's husband Brian, who took this picture, producing the cover design.
Happy New Year from the Northumberland team!
As usual the year has started off busy with lots of customers getting in touch to book their dogs in for their holidays. It’s always a good idea to get organised and book your dog in for their holiday, when you are arranging yours. We do get booked up, especially at busy times, and we don’t want to disappoint your dog. As we always say at Barking Mad….dogs deserve a holiday too.
I was really pleased to see a feature in Luxe Magazine this month. Luxe is a lifestyle magazine in the North East, featuring all the very best things in life. They wanted to run a feature on me and I gladly obliged. Read all about it here… I’m still chuckling at the thought of my “Luxe life”.. Running a busy business, working with dogs and I have 2 young children. As I said in the article, “My life is anything but Luxe… but I love it"
We recently had a fantastic host get together at my favourite coffee shop – Nelsons at the Park in Swarland (yummy food, great atmosphere.. you must check it out).
I invited all of my lovely hosts to the party to thank them for the fantastic job that they do caring for our holiday dogs. I really couldn’t do this without them and I want them to always know how important they are. They absolutely love welcoming visiting dogs into their homes and always go over and above the call of duty when caring for their Barking Mad dogs.
They appreciate the responsibility of caring for someones’ else pet and they fully respect the owners wishes in terms of feeding, exercise and sleeping arrangements. They love the dogs like they are their own; they cuddle, play, walk and talk with their dog visitors. And in return their 4 legged friend showers them with licks, cuddles, companionship and make a great walking companion.
I uploaded a video of the party on my Facebook page.. please check it out www.facebook/BarkingMadDogCareNorthumberland
If you would like to care for dogs whilst the owner is on holiday, please get in touch. You are fully supported by Barking Mad. We bring the dog to you with all of its holiday essentials, full instructions on the dogs’ home life routine. My hosts tell me that they love meeting all the different breeds, they love the company and a 4 legged furry friend to walk with.
Paws to consider… could you be a host for #BarkingMad?
October has been a very exciting month here at Barking Mad Northumberland.
Firstly, I took a trip down memory lane as it is one year exactly since I was awarded Franchisee of the Year with The British Franchise Association & HSBC. I was so honoured to win this top award, competing against big and small franchises across the UK. I really can’t believe that was one year ago, this month… time flies!!
As more and more dogs’ lovers in Northumberland choose Barking Mad as their first choice for their dogs’ holiday, we have continued to grow year on year and are so busy all year round. In October, the business became VAT registered and we also moved into new office premises. And finally, with all this extra business, we needed an extra pair of hands, so my husband Brian joined the team.
He has been working with me in the background for the last 10 years and is now out and about taking dogs on their holidays, alongside Colin and Carol Ann. We can collect and return your pooches 7 days a week, so having Colin, Carol Ann & Brian available across the 7 days ensures we can keep up with demand.
I’m mainly based in the office organising holidays, matching dogs with hosts and meeting all new customers and hosts. I am assisted in the office by Jenny, who does a fab job of preparing all dogs’ notes in advance of their holidays.
I couldn’t run my business without my fantastic host families, who do such a great job of welcoming dogs into their homes. They love and care for your dogs and treat them as part of their family. Once a year, we all get together so that I can tell them how much I appreciate their hard work, and introduce them to each other.
They really enjoy getting to know new people and chatting with like-minded folk. So we’re in the process of organising that for next month. I’m always looking for more host families, so if you would like to hear more about being a host, why not give me a call, or come along to our Host get together and you can hear all about it from the hosts themselves.
So October has been a great month to take stock of this year and get ready for next year… Bring on 2016..we’re ready!
Wishing you all lots of happy holidays, from Tina & the Team.
We're getting bigger!!
Thank you to all my loyal customers who keep on booking holidays and keep on telling their friends and family about Barking Mad dog holidays. Barking Mad, Northumberland is growing, and growing, and as we are getting bigger, we now have to charge VAT. So as from 1st October 2015, all prices will be plus VAT.
If you have any holiday plans coming up, why not get in touch now. If you book and pay for your holiday before 1st October this year, then it would be at Pre-VAT prices.
As you know, you can book your hols via email email@example.com or telephone 01665 575981
Wow, last month was my busiest month EVER! In my 10 years in business, I have never had a month like it. And as June came to end, there’s no chance to take a breather and put my feet up! July, August and September look to be busy, busy, busy… The dog owners of Northumberland are certainly booking lots of holidays this year. And the dogs of Northumberland are enjoying lots of #BarkingMad holidays.
So, with all of this extra demand, I need more and more host families. A typical host is retired or a stay at home parent. They have dog experience but have decided that they no longer want to have a dog full time. Some of my hosts found it so upsetting when their precious pet died, that they decided not to go through the heart ache again. But they really missing having a furry friend around the home and decided to become hosts for #BarkingMad.
Others enjoy their overseas holidays and therefore don’t want to commit to a dog full time as they are away for long spells. But when they are at home, they love to have a dog come to stay. For other hosts, there reason is financial. If they have a friendly dog of their own who loves other dogs, they would love to get a 2nd dog, but the cost of vet bills, food, holidays, insurance etc really mounts up, but being a host doesn’t cost you anything…in fact we pay you!
New host Roy told me “When I worked, I walked up to 10 miles a day and was very active in my job and now that I am retired, I am really keen to keep my fitness up. As a man, I wouldn’t go for a walk on my own, people give you funny looks! But walking with a dog is great. It keeps you fit, and it’s very sociable as we often get chatting to other dog owners
So, if you are #BarkingMad and would love to look after a friendly dog whilst the owner is on holiday, please get in touch. #companionship #exercise #love&licks
I have two lovely children aged 7 and 4, and as most working parents will find, school holidays can be tricky. On the one hand I want to have lots of family time, but on the other hand I still have my business to run. Here at Barking Mad, Northumberland, we are busy all year round but especially busy during school holidays. Thankfully, both my husband and I work from home and can juggle work around to suit family life. I also have a fantastic team at Barking Mad, Northumberland. (A big thanks to my team…Colin, Carol-Ann and Jenny).
On Saturday, I was on duty and had 3 lovely dogs to take on their holidays. Over breakfast I asked my daughter (aged 7) if she would like to come to work with me. It wasn’t a childcare issue as my husband was at home, but I thought it would be a good way for us to have some mammy/daughter time. I didn’t have to ask her twice - she raced upstairs into her bedroom and put on her Barking Mad uniform, and off we went. She helped carry the dogs belongings in and out of the car and held onto my paperwork such as dog photos/postcards and vaccination certificates. She was so pleased to have an important job and be able to help mammy for the day. I was so proud to work alongside my little trainee especially when she told me that this was “the best day EVER”. Of course, I agreed and I also thought that I must have the best job EVER.
The next day, it was family time…swimming pool, park, ice cream followed by several games of Top Trumps…the latest craze in my house!!
Does your dog have star quality?
The glossy magazine Living North have started an ongoing Dog of the Week competition, and all you have to do is send in pictures of your pooch with a little bit about them. Do they have any funny little quirks? And bonus points if there’s a Living North magazine in the photo too!
Each week’s winner will receive a bag of gourmet snacks from Jasper’s Dog Treats, and the overall winner at the end of the year will win a luxury doggy photoshoot with the dog photographer Rebecca Ashworth of Sit, Stay, Capture.
You can send your photos into Living North via Facebook or Twitter, or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by post to Living North, Studio 2 St Nicholas Chare, Newcastle NE1 1RJ.
I'm sure that the Living North team are looking forward to seeing lots of cute pics.
In April 2005, 10 years ago, I launched Barking Mad in Northumberland. Wow, TEN years ago, where has the time gone? When I was younger, I can’t recall telling my careers advisor that I wanted a job arranging holidays for dogs! So, how did I get here?
I had been working in call centre management for two blue-chip companies and although there were financial rewards, I had very little job satisfaction and I felt “like a square peg in a round hole”; I just didn’t fit. My husband was in a similar position with his job and we both came to the conclusion that things really needed to change. It is a well-used cliché, but we do only have one life so we didn’t want to waste it doing a job that made us unhappy.
So, we sold our house, moved into a little cottage in the country and resigned from both of our jobs. My husband went back to college and now runs his own photography business. I spent about 9 months searching for something that would fulfil me. I’ve always been very passionate about my job and I like working hard, so it was so important to me to find something that suited me.
At the time, we had a Foxhound dog called Elvis. He was quite a challenge and I spent all of that year attending dog classes to try to socialise him with other dogs. I also read lots and lots of dog behaviour books and took advice from dog behaviour experts. As I was having some time off work, I volunteered with a local dog charity. Suddenly, my corporate life was replaced with dogs, dogs and more dogs. Somebody somewhere was trying to tell me something!
And then early in 2005, a friend told me about Barking Mad and the founder Lee Dancy. At the time, Lee did not have anyone representing Barking Mad in the North East. After a chat with Lee, we arranged a meeting at head office. We talked in detail about the business and I loved the fact that my ‘interview’ kept getting interrupted with Bronte, Lee’s Dalmatian, who would stick her nose in for a stroke or a treat! I thought, this is the type of business that I want to be involved in!
I could see that Lee was absolutely passionate and professional about her business and she had made it a success through lots of hard work. But, she could still be herself and fuss her dog mid-interview, because after all, this business is all about giving pleasure to and caring for our dogs.
The business model really appealed to me. I could run my own business and be part of a franchise organisation that would clearly support and guide me. As I had never run my own business, I felt this would work really well for me, so the decision was made and in April 2005 I launched Barking Mad in Northumberland…and I’ve never looked back.
Are you wondering, how your dog will cope being transported to their host family?. Perhaps you are wondering if it would be better if you took them yourself. Barking Mad are your dog holiday experts and we have this covered, let me explain…..
Back in 2005 when my Barking Mad life began, a lovely little poodle called Poppy had her first holiday. Poppy didn't like travelling in the car and I remember worrying that her reluctance to travel in my car meant that she didn't like me and didn't approve of my idea of a holiday. But I was wrong, once she arrived at her hosts’ home, she bounced in, made friends with the hosts dogs and jumped straight up on the sofa...she made herself at home and continued to do so for many years. Many of you have dogs that are not keen on car travel. Trust me, once they arrive at the hosts, they forget the journey and settle in to their holiday home. My hosts do a fantastic job of welcoming your dogs into their home.
Poppy - My first customer!
At Barking Mad, we have our very own dog behaviourist. Lisa’s advice and our many years of experience has told us that us transporting your dog works very well for your dog. We have every confidence in your dog settling in to their holiday home and don’t have the emotional attachment that you will have. Therefore, we can confidently and calmly introduce your dog to the host and as a result they are very accepting of their new environment. Dogs live in the moment and at that moment in time, these other humans are making them feel safe and secure, and of course they are getting lots of attention. Your dog is the priority, so please don’t worry about us transporting your pooch to their holiday home. We will call or text you as soon as have settled your dog in with their host and we’ll let you know how the introduction went. We call this your “rest easy” call, as after you have received that call/text from us, you can rest easy and enjoy your holiday.
Your dogs' holiday works well because your dog and our host both get a lot of enjoyment from the holiday...cuddles, company, exercise and much much more.
When you buy a new product, do you read the instruction manual? Do you fully read the terms and conditions?
We all take in information in different ways depending on our learning styles. Some people like to read it, or see it. For me, I like to hear it. So for all of those auditory learners, I worked with a local company called Audioclicks who recorded my voice describing our service at every stage of the holiday booking process. I really enjoyed doing it and the results are now ready and live on my webpage. So please click on the paw prints and you’ll hear me describe all about your Barking Mad experience. We work hard at Barking Mad to keep our web page current, interesting, informative for you. We have the words, the pictures and now we have the sound. I hope you like it.
Happy New Year from the Northumberland team.
As usual the year has started off busy with lots of regular customers getting in touch to book their dogs in for their holidays. It’s always a good idea to get organised and book your dog in for their holiday, when you are arranging yours. We do get booked up, especially at busy times, and we don’t want to disappoint your dog. As we always say at Barking Mad….dogs deserve a holiday too.
I am pleased to say that 12 new host families joined the team in 2014 and with another busy year ahead, I am looking to increase my team of Barking Mad hosts even more. Hosts are usually retired or stay at home mums and have experience of owning a dog. Dogs come with everything that they will need, we transport the dog to/from the host and we pay the host a daily fee. Hosts just need to provide lots and lots of love, affection and exercise. If you are “Barking Mad” and would love to share your home with a dog on holiday, please get in touch. Or pass this message on to a friend, neighbour or loved one who would love to have a 4 legged friend for company.
Tel: 01665 575981 or email email@example.com.
I couldn’t run my business without my fantastic host families, who do such a great job of welcoming dogs into their homes. They love and care for your dogs and treat them as part of their family. Once a year, we all get together so that I can tell them how much I appreciate their hard work, and introduce them to each other. They really enjoy getting to know new people and chatting with like-minded folk. This year, we went to the Northumberland Arms in Felton, which is a lovely pub with a swanky new conservatory on the side, which is perfect for parties. We had tea and coffee and cakes and scones. We had created a display of lots of dogs on holidays and the hosts loved to see photos of their favourite dog visitors. They chatted to each other and swapped stories about their dog guests. They all left with a Barking Mad goody bag which included the 2015 Barking Mad calender. They’ll need this to write down all of their dog visitors. 2015 already looks to be a busy year, so I’m sure my hosts will be booked up all year.
I also asked all of my hosts to spread the word, as I really would love more hosts. My hosts are typically retired or stay at home mums, who have had dogs before and understand the responsibility of caring for a dog. They are “Barking Mad” about dogs!
Here are a couple of photos of our 2014 host party, held on Sun 30 November at The Northumberland Arms, in Felton.
I have had a very exciting month, scooping a top business award….Read all about it here!
TINA WINS TOP UK FRANCHISEE AWARDS
A Northumberland businesswoman's excellence in running a home from home dog care venture has been recognised with two national awards.
Tina Young of Guyzance has been crowned winner of the British Franchise Association HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards.
Tina won the Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year award – a category for businesses with less than £100,000 turnover – and then triumphed over five other category winners to take the overall winner title.
Following a rigorous judging process, the awards ceremony was staged in Birmingham Town Hall and hosted by BBC business correspondent Steph McGovern.
Recognised for their exceptional contributions to franchising in the UK, six category winners each received £1,000 for their efforts, while Tina collected £10,000 for taking home the top prize which was presented to her by former BBC Chairman, Lord Michael Grade.
Tina said: “It’s unbelievable to be recognised for all the hard work that has gone into running my successful franchise. Barking Mad has allowed me to balance having children and running a successful business.
"With the invaluable help of Carol Ann Grey, Jenny Beaumont and Colin Heathcote I have strived to build and maintain a high quality of customer service. And we must be doing something right as about half of our business has come from customer referrals."
Cathryn Hayes, head of franchising at HSBC, commented: “Tina impressed the judges by turning her Barking Mad franchise into a management franchise, changing her business model to allow her take on staff– the first in the Barking Mad network to do so. At HSBC, we are very privileged that we get to work with some of the country’s most exciting and forward thinking franchisees and Tina epitomises just this.”
The BFA citation stated: "Tina has provided a great example to other entrepreneurs of how you can turn your lifestyle into a business opportunity. When she realised she was spending a lot more time with her dog and organising his social life with other dogs, Tina saw a business opportunity. The support and flexibility offered by Barking Mad meant that Tina was also able to pursue one of her other goals which was to start a family. In 2009 she adopted her first child and now has two children, crediting her franchisor for their support in adapting the Barking Mad model to allow her to take on staff, a first for the network. She now professes to having an excellent work-life balance combining her roles of business owner and mother. Tina is also recognised as an influential figure within the Barking Mad franchise network, and is regularly called on to deliver presentations on motivation, social media and customer service. A rigorous staff selection process also contributes to her success, and ensures that all staff know how important customer service is to the business."
Now in her tenth year of operation, Tina has organised more than 2000 dog holidays for clients throughout north, mid and south east Northumberland.
Back in 2005 when I launched my Barking Mad business I was all alone in the North East, and I used to hate turning away customers that were too far away from my area of Northumberland. And now I am surrounded by my lovely Barking Mad colleagues. So, wherever you live in the North East, I’m sure that we can help. You may live in Northumberland but have friends, relatives or work colleagues who live in another area. Spread the word and you and your dog will be rewarded. At Barking Mad, we get so much business through referral, and we run a Recommend a Friend scheme. So, if someone books a holiday because of your recommendation, we will give you a free days holiday for your pooch as a token of our appreciation. Spread the word because…Dogs deserve a holiday too!!
I love having my own business, but being part of a national Franchise and having local neighbours is great. We are always around to support one another and after the photo shoot… we went for coffee and cake and a good chat…. About dogs of course!
From left.. Tracy Johnston – Cleveland, Darlington & Teesside, Sue Seward –Tyne & Wear, that’s me…Tina Young – Northumberland & Carrie Jarvis – Newcastle & the Tyne Valley.
Please HELP. I have a lot of wonderful "hosts" already but I am so busy that I am looking for more. Would you like to give a dog/s a holiday in your own home?
*Are you retired or a stay at home parent?
*Have you recently lost your own dog and really miss the company of your 4 legged furry friend?
*Do you want to get out and have more exercise?
*Do you miss the social side of owning a dog?
*Or do you have a friendly dog already who would love a playmate?
You have full support from me, so if you have any problems, just give me a call and I take care of everything. You have no expenses, we bring the dog to you and they come with their holiday suitcase with all of their food, toys, bed etc. for their stay. You get all the enjoyment of having a dog without the full time commitment and you earn a little bit of pocket money too! Being a Barking Mad host is so enjoyable. If you are interested or know someone who would love to welcome a dog into their home, please give me a call on 01665 575981 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last month, we had a fantastic team meeting. Jenny our latest member of the team joined us for the first time. I first met Jenny when her dog Margo came on holiday. Margo sadly died, and she now has 2 lovely dogs called Jake and Jack, who have lots of holidays. Jenny is also a host. Colin and Carol Ann were hosts before they joined my team. We all work very hard to see things through our customers and hosts eyes and we are all very committed to providing the best possible holiday experience for you and your dog. And then afterwards, we went to the lovely Running Fox in Felton for our lunch.
Last month, I was awarded Barking Mad Franchisee of the Year and I have just learned today that I am a finalist in the British Franchise Association 2014 Awards, in the category of Micro business Franchisee of the Year…Wow, I am so pleased and proud to be chosen from other franchise businesses. I am one of 3 finalists and we have been invited to London to for the next stage before the award winner is finally announced in Birmingham in Oct 2014.. Watch this space. www.bfa.org
Every year, Barking Mad franchisees are invited to the Annual conference, held in the beautiful Lake District at the Lakeside hotel, on the shores of Lake Windermere. It was a fantastic two day conference with lots of input from franchisees on various issues, so there was lots of learning and sharing of best practices. Everyone is so passionate about providing top notch service for our customers and dogs, and we all love to catch up and spend time with like-minded people.
In the evening, we had the awards ceremony hosted by Nikki Hird Brown, National Operations Manager. I couldn’t believe it when I was awarded with the top award “Franchisee of the Year 2014”. This is my 10th year running my Barking Mad business and I was so pleased to receive such a big pat on the back. It really means the world to me. I absolutely love running my Barking Mad business and get so much satisfaction every day when I get positive feedback from my happy customers and hosts, and happy dogs (I know they can’t talk, but they definitely have a way of telling us that they have enjoyed their hols).
Lee Dancy, MD said “Tina really has been an outstanding asset to the company. She is passionate and committed to her business and I would have no hesitation in recommending her work ethic as a template for how to run a successful Barking Mad franchise'.
And on the subject of awards, tonight at bedtime, my little girl who is 6 gave me a very special award. She gave me a bracelet which has the words “brilliant work” written on it. She said “that’s because you tidy my bedroom, made us a nice tea, pick up our stuff and feed the fish”… Priceless!
Wow, March was the busiest month ever. It seems that lots and lots of you are going away this year. Please don’t leave it too late, if you are going away this year, please get in touch and I will organise your dogs’ holiday… Dogs deserve a holiday too!
Do you know anyone who might like being a Barking Mad host? Perhaps they have recently lost their own dog and are really missing the company, but don’t want to commit to another dog full time again. As we all know, dogs offer companionship, exercise and plenty of licks and cuddles. We're always looking for dog lovers to join our ever growing team of hosts. Our hosts get so much pleasure from looking after a dog whilst the owner is on holiday, and they love to see their favourites come back time and time again. Why not get in touch for a chat. We'd love to hear from you.
In February, the Northumberland team attended a Dog First Aid course, organised by Sue McCabe from Muttamorphosis Dog Training and Behaviour's and veterinary nurse Emma Foxall, from Companion Care Vets, Cramlington.
The course included practical tips and common sense advice on how to deal with a wide range of health and behavioural problems. We got to practise our bandaging skills on three live and one stuffed 'patients'. These were border collies Sage and Guinness, golden retriever Alfie and toy dog Spud. The session was most informative and has given us a basic grounding in recognising dog-related ailments and how to deal with them.
The day was packed with lots of tips such as dealing with bruising, grazes, deep wounds, burns, electric shocks, reviving an unconscious dog using CPR techniques. We picked up a good tip for stopping dogs fighting: if possible, bang tin trays together; don't physically intervene. Emma stressed the dangers of throwing sticks for dogs, due to the numerous injuries that she has seen. And when tempted to give your pet a tit-bit, never offer grapes, currants, chocolate, macadamia nuts, avocados or onions; all are poisonous for dogs.
A big thank you to our local papers, who all recently ran a feature on our First Aid course. Thanks to The Journal, The Northumberland Gazette and The Morpeth Herald.
Happy New Year from the Northumberland team.
As usual the year has started off busy with lots of regular customers getting in touch to book their dogs in for their holidays. It’s always a good idea to get organised and book your dog in for their holiday, when you are arranging yours. We do get booked up, especially at busy times, and we don’t want to disappoint your dog. As we always say at Barking Mad….dogs deserve a holiday too.
I am pleased to say that 11 new host families joined the team in 2013 and with another busy year ahead, I am looking to increase my team of Barking Mad hosts even more. Hosts are usually retired or stay at home mums and have experience of owning a dog. Dogs come with everything that they will need, we transport the dog to/from the host and we pay the host a daily fee. Hosts just need to provide lots and lots of love, affection and exercise. If you know anyone that is “Barking Mad” and who would love to share their home with a dog on holiday, please get in touch.
Brrrr, it’s cold. The winter tyres are back on the Barking Mad car so we’re all set to deliver your dogs to their holiday homes, whatever the weather! . Back in 2005, when I started my Barking Mad life, holiday bookings were very seasonal and November and December were very quiet months. After all, who goes on holiday just before Christmas…. Well, it turns out a lot of you do just that. I have been busy during November and December with lots of holidays from short breaks in the UK to those of you jetting off on long haul holidays. A lot of my customers have also taken advantage of my advance warning of a price rise. After holding my prices for 4 years I have decided to increase my daily rate from £20 to £22 from January 2014. I informed all customers in November to give them plenty of time to book at 2013 prices…There is still time…. please get in touch. Bookings can be made by telephone, email or via the website, and you can pay for your holiday by credit or debit card and on line banking.
I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Has your dog been good this year? Treat them to a Barking Mad holiday in 2014…they’ll love you for it!
Our Northumberland team meeting went really well last month. It gave me an opportunity to thank Colin and Carol Ann for their hard work and efforts. Without them, I would not be able to run such a busy business. I am so lucky to work with two fantastic people who are so dedicated to delivering fantastic service to our customers.
I have been organising dog holidays for over 8 years now, (since April 2005) and even at traditionally quiet times of year, I am still busy, busy, busy. It seems that our holiday habits have changed over the years and we now go on holiday all year round. Are you escaping the winter chill for some winter sun or perhaps you are going skiing soon. If so, please get in touch and I will organise your dogs’ holiday…..Dogs deserve a holiday too!
I’m planning a team meeting this month with Colin, Carol Ann and myself. After our meeting, we’ll head to The Running Fox in Felton for lunch. If you live in Northumberland, it’s a fab coffee shop/bakery that has a great reputation for excellent food and excellent service.
The main topic on the agenda of our meeting is Customer Care. We pride ourselves on delivering a fantastic service to our customers. So are our customers the humans or the dogs. The answer is both. I place a great deal of effort into matching dogs up to the best possible host to suit their needs, and when my dog customer goes home happy, then my human customers are happy too.
Does your dog sleep in the bedroom and like cuddles on the sofa?. Or does your dog sleep in the kitchen and is not allowed on the furniture. I will match your dog up to a host who can look after your dog as you do at home. Is your dog boisterous or nervous or young or old. Matching up your dog with the host is such an important part of my job. Having plenty of hosts and a good variety of hosts is so important so that I have lots to choose from. I am so pleased to say that this year, 10 more dog lovers have joined my Barking Mad team of hosts. If you know anyone who is ‘Barking Mad’ about dogs and would like to care for a dog in their own home, please give me a call.
Here are some photos of my hosts with their Barking Mad dog guests.
When it comes to holiday time, you will meet Carol Ann and Colin. They are on hand to collect your dog and ensure they arrive safely to their holiday home. Colin recently had a bit of time off from Barking Mad, to concentrate on his community radio station. 5 years ago, Colin and a team of volunteers set about launching a community radio station broadcasting to South East Northumberland called Synergy radio, 87.7fm. They had a temporary licence and broadcast for 28 days during August and September with great success. The next step is a full licence from Ofcom, which will be decided near the end of the year. During his time as broadcaster on Synergy radio, Colin invited me for an interview. We had a great interview on Monday 9th September and chatted about all things relating to Barking Mad. I have also had adverts played throughout the broadcast; you can listen here by clicking on the link.
When booking your Barking Mad holiday, here are some tips for a stress free holiday
*If you can, try to organise your dogs’ holiday as soon as you have arranged yours, rather than leaving it until the last minute. This will give you peace of mind and ease the worry about who will take care of your precious pet when you go on holiday.
*When planning your dogs’ holiday, think about what time you will need to leave for the airport/train station etc. If you have an early departure, why not ask us to collect your dog the day before. Dogs often pick up on anxieties and any change in the home. If your home is anything like mine, the day my family goes on holiday the atmosphere is somewhat stressful, washing and ironing, packing and have we remembered to pack all the essential things!!! Our precious pets are amongst this chaos and it might be more helpful to let them start their holiday the day before. We pride ourselves on our punctuality, but if we were caught in traffic or had an unforeseen delay, we would hate to affect your travel plans and cause you undue stress, so collecting your dog long before you leave is a good idea.
*We can collect and return dogs between 9am and 5pm, 7 days a week. A lot of our customers prefer us to bring home their pooch the day after they return from holiday. This can allow for any travel delays and will give you a chance to pop to the supermarket to stock up, and sort the pile of washing out!
*When it comes to your dogs’ holiday, we will ask you to pack their essentials such as food, bed, bowls, lead etc. But please also pack anything that you feel is important to you and your dog such as a favourite toy. I often tell customers that they don’t need to wash the dogs’ bed prior to coming on holiday, as it will have your family smell on their bed which will be comforting and familiar to your dog.
*If you have a mobile (who doesn’t nowadays), then I can send you text updates if you like. Just a short sentence about how well your dog has settled in, will hopefully put your mind at rest and you can enjoy your holiday as much as your dog is enjoying their holiday.
*When your dog comes home, you will get a lovely photo of your host and dog, as well as a Pet Postcard, which is a holiday postcard written by your host, as well as verbal feedback from us. So you can be rest assured, we will let you know what your dog has been up to during their holiday.
*Our aim is for you and your dog to have an enjoyable holiday experience. We want to give you peace of mind, and ease any worries that you may have and give your precious pet a lovely home from home holiday. At Barking Mad, we believe that Dogs deserve a holiday too!
Roxy and Chris at Budle Bay.
Please HELP. I have a lot of wonderful "hosts" already but I am so busy that I am looking for more. Would you like to give a dog/s a holiday in your own home?
*Are you retired or a stay at home parent?
*Have you recently lost your own dog and really miss the company of your 4 legged furry friend?
*Do you have a dog already who would love a playmate?
*Do you have children (must be over 5) who keep on at you for a dog but you don't want the full time commitment of owning one?
*Do you want to get out and have more exercise?
You have full support from me, so if you have any problems, just give me a call and I take care of everything. You have no expenses, we bring the dog to you and they come with their holiday suitcase with all of their food, toys, bed etc. for their stay. Being a Barking Mad host is so enjoyable. If you are interested or know someone who would love to welcome a dog into their home, please give me a call on 01665 575981 or email me on email@example.com.
Your feedback is so important: After your Barking Mad holiday, I am very interested to hear how you feel about your Barking Mad experience, whether it's your 1st holiday or 51st holiday. Our super duper new website shows up to the minute feedback, as customers comments go directly onto our website for other customers to read. This can be so helpful for new customers who might be feeling anxious about leaving their precious pet, so reading about other people's experiences can be very reassuring.
If you have had a recent holiday, or if you would like to leave me any comments, you can visit the link here.
* Please note that you will need to scroll down to the bottom of the page to use the form to send your comments.
How do I pay?: I am very excited as this week as I ordered my hand held card terminal for credit and debit cards. I should be trained up and ready to go by next week. I have been looking for an alternative to cheques, as most of my customers often say they can never find their cheque book (a lot of us don’t write a lot of cheques nowadays). A colleague in Scotland ran a trial using this terminal with great success. Customer feedback has been very positive as it is very convenient and the fact that we can now accept credit cards is helpful too.
I recently attended the Barking Mad Annual Conference. This was my 9th conference and it was the best yet. I love to meet up with other Barking Mad franchisees from other parts of the UK. It’s a great opportunity to share ideas, and be inspired and motivated by like-minded people. Everyone got involved and the atmosphere was very positive, professional and fun. I’m looking forward to the next one.
Have you seen our Facebook page. Check out www.facebook.com/BarkingMadDogCare to see photos of dogs on holiday, and read comments posted from customers, hosts and franchisees.
It’s been a busy, busy month. Lots more customers and hosts have joined the Barking Mad revolution!! Here are some photos of dogs enjoying their holidays this month.
As the clocks changed and we came into April, we are seeing no sign of spring weather. Dog owners are dreading the thought of a wet, cold summer and are jetting off for some well needed sunshine, and obviously booking their precious 4 legged friend a Barking Mad holiday. Business is very busy, so if you are planning a holiday this year, please don’t leave your dogs’ holiday arrangements until the last minute. I would hate to disappoint your dog…. After all, dogs deserve a holiday too!
Last month, lots of dogs enjoyed their holidays. Here are a few pictures….
Wow… February was my busiest month since I started the business nearly 8 years ago. It was all down to lots of very organised customers booking their dogs in for their holidays early. I get very busy during peak times and often get booked up, so booking early really is a good idea. I also met a lot of new customers who will be using Barking Mad for the first time in 2013. A lot of those customers came through recommendation. I’m so proud of the service that my team and I provide and when my customers recommend me, it makes it all worthwhile.
I am really pleased to be driving around in our newly liveried car, with the lovely Max, the cocker spaniel as the face of Barking Mad. Max is one of my customers and has had many happy holidays in Northumberland. I first met his owner, Gill, when she became a host for me back in 2007. You can also see Max on the website. Thanks to my husband Brian for the photos www.clothworksstudio.co..uk
I couldn’t run such a busy business without my fantastic hosts, who do such a good job of caring for your dogs. They are so committed, flexible, trustworthy and above all mad about dogs. They shower their guest dogs with so much love and attention that it is no wonder why dogs always settle into their holiday homes so well. Of course, it is a two way deal… in return the hosts get lots of unconditional love, licks and cuddles from their dog visitors, as well we a companion to walk with, talk to and snuggle up on the sofa with!
As my hosts are so important to me, I recently arranged a little thank you lunch for them all. I was so pleased that everyone came, especially considering the awful wintery weather! I hired a local village hall and asked The Running Fox (Felton) to do the catering. We served drinks, food and introduced everyone to each other. We had lots of photos on display showing all the fantastic dogs that have been on holiday over the years. All the hosts loved meeting like-minded people and loved chatting about the dogs that they have looked after. It was a great success…now I just need to organise the next one!
Happy New Year from the Northumberland team !.
As usual the year started off busy with lots of regular customers getting in touch to book their dogs in for their holidays. It’s always a good idea to get organised and book your dog in for their holiday, when you are arranging yours. We do get booked up, especially at busy times, and we don’t want to disappoint your dog. As we always say at Barking Mad….dogs deserve a holiday too.
I am pleased to say that 10 new host families joined the team in 2012 and with another busy year ahead, I am looking to increase my team of Barking Mad hosts even more. Hosts are usually retired or stay at home mums and have experience of owning a dog. Dogs come with everything that they will need, we transport the dog to/from the host and we pay the host a daily fee. Hosts just need to provide lots and lots of love, affection and exercise. If you know anyone that is “Barking Mad” and who would love to share their home with a dog on holiday, please get in touch.
Brrrr, it’s cold. The winter tyres are back on the Barking Mad car and I ordered a new scraper for the car windscreen for those cold winter mornings.
Eight years ago, when I started my Barking Mad life, holiday bookings were very seasonal and November and December were very quiet months, after all, who goes on holiday just before Christmas? ... Well, it turns out a lot of you do just that! This cold weather is encouraging you all to jet off to somewhere warm. I am also really popular for weekend breaks, Christmas shopping trips, and skiing trips. This November was my busiest so far and December looks to be the same.
As usual, a lot of my new customers find me via a recommendation. If you use Barking Mad and you tell others, you would get a free days holiday for your dog when your friend books their holiday. It’s just a little token to say thank you for spreading the word.
I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Has your dog been good this year? Treat them to a Barking Mad holiday in 2013…they’ll love you for it!
I organised a very productive team meeting with Colin and Carol Ann. We reviewed the year so far and discussed what was going well and what we could do to improve out service. We work very hard to deliver fantastic service, as we really want the holiday experience to run smoothly and worry free for you and your dog. One of the ideas that we implemented immediately was Sunday working. In the past we have been unable to collect and return your dogs on a Sunday, however after taking on board customer comments and demand, we are pleased to be able to offer a 7 day service.
After our team meeting, we headed to my husbands’ photographic studio www.clothworksstudio.co.uk for a team shot for the website. Thanks Brian for the great shots. Over the years, Brian has taken some great dog photos for the business, which have been used in the Barking Mad Calender, Newsletters and coming soon, the livery on the company car.
Since launching the business in 2005, we have grown steadily and our reputation is spreading. I have a lot of new business through recommendation. Thank you to all my loyal, happy customers for keep spreading the word… The dogs of Northumberland are truly grateful. After all, they deserve a holiday too!
Christmas Fair at Kirkley Hall, Ponteland, Northumberland on Sat 17th and Sun 18th November. www.kirkleyhall.co.uk
Feedback from my customers is very important to me. It confirms that we are getting things right for you and your dog. I received an email today that I thought I would share with you.
Jenny & John have trusted me with their precious pets since 2006. Margo had many holidays before she sadly died in May 2011. As a lot of you will understand, their home was so empty without their beloved Margo but they were too sad to get another dog. So they became Barking Mad hosts. They really enjoyed having dogs in their home again. By the end of 2011, Jenny & John decided the time was right to get another dog of their own and after a few trips to the Dogs Trust, Jake joined the family. Jake has also had lots of Barking Mad holidays and so far they have clocked up 30 holidays. After the 30th holiday, I received this email.
"Just wanted to drop you a line to say next time you speak with Helen let her know that we loved the wonderful photos they sent of Jake on holiday, and also a big thank you to Ruby for writing us such a lovely postcard. So you know Ruby wrote "we love him so much we don't want to give him back"!
"It's so lovely to know that he is well loved when he goes to stay with them. He clearly has a fantastic time playing with Jessie and relaxing on the sofa with Lucy and Skye".
We love Barking Mad!
Jenny & John
We love working with and recommending local business, here are a list of fantastic people we think you might like to hear about:
Jacquie Hall runs Northumberland Canine Centre, based in Lee Moor Business Park, nr Alnwick. www.caninecentre.co.uk
Sue McCabe runs www.muttamorposis.co.uk
If you are coming to Northumberland on holiday with your dog, there are a few attractions that don’t accept dogs. Happy Hounds day care, situated just outside of Alnwick could take care of your pooch during the day whilst you enjoy the local attractions.
Doggy Day care and grooming salon. Doggy Days is an established business, set up in 2002 by Paula McArthur. Paula is busy all year round and is based in Cramlington, Northumberland.
High quality, heavy duty PVC coated fabric boot liner for the boot of your car. I have used one in the BM vehicle since I started the business in 2005 and they are tough, washable, waterproof, and great protection for your car.