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HAPPY NEW YEAR
Firstly thanks to all the hosts that came to the hello/goodbye party at the end of last year with Andy and Wayne at the lovely Weathered and Worn Café in Hadlow, it was great to see and meet you all.
It’s my first official month with Barking Mad, so far so good, what a great start, I have fantastic hosts remaining with me and already some new ones joining and as you can see by the picture I have met the most charismatic dogs, I can’t wait to meet more.
I have already taken a lot of bookings for 2017 especially in the school breaks, so if you have dates in mind for your holiday breaks get your pooches booked in to secure your host.
NEWS FLASH – NEW LOGO ALERT!!
As I’m sure you can see on the website the Barking Mad logo has been updated, look out for the new branding on all Barking Mad products and correspondence. I hope you like it.
Hope to see you all soon.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
We hope you had lots of Festive fun and the cold grey, windy, wet days of January aren’t too depressing for you. We have decided to fly off to Spain to escape the weather and so I’m writing this in warm sunshine.
Jealous??? Well then get on the internet and start arranging your own holidays for the year – you know you want to! Many of my customers are already on it as I am getting lots of bookings in. Half term and Easter are already looking busy so don’t dilly dally!
DOG OF THE MONTH
Bumble the Newfoundland puppy (8m old but already bigger than a Retriever!) out for Xmas.
MERRY XMAS HO HO HO!
This years Host Xmas Party had another fab turnout with 40 people attending. We held it at a brilliant venue called Weathered and Worn in Hadlow (www.weatheredandworn.me) and they looked after us all really really well. This year we had Afternoon Tea with mulled wine and mince pies to boot. Everyone loved getting together and there was lots of ‘doggie talk’ – comparing notes and exchanging funny stories.
It went down so well that this year we have decided to have more regular get togethers for our lovely host community, including dog walks, pub lunches and maybe even a quiz night!
The Team – Andy, Phil, Mariam, and Wayne
DOG OF THE MONTH
This month we are mentioning our very own dog Bobby (I know – totally biased!). Some of you will know that a brand spanking new Pet Shop called Barkers opened in Sevenoaks recently – part of the Pets At Home family (http://www.barkersfordogs.com) and they had a competition to find the cutest dog to come and open their store. Well Bob didn’t win but we are proud that out of over 400 entries he was runner up, and he received his very own Xmas bauble with his photo on it to hang on our tree. Well done Bobby!
Quick getaway before Xmas?
Don’t mind if I do sir!
We’re always quiet at this time of year – everyone’s preparing for Santa aren’t they? The month just seems to slip by – grey and cold.
So I’m offering THREE DAYS FOR THE PRICE OF TWO on all bookings made for November, just in case it may entice you to go on a Xmas buying trip to Marbella say for a long weekend – beats Oxford Street any day of the week surely!
Seen flights for £50……..just sayin! :)
Dog of The Month
Jaffa the Labrador taking it easy on Denise’s best chair after a long walk– naughty boy lol!
The C Word!
I can’t say it here – I don’t want to upset anyone………….but we all know it’s coming don’t we when John Lewis opens up its tinsel department! Even though it’s still sunny outside. It doesn’t seem quite right does it?
It’s a difficult time of year for us really. Some of our host families will have their own family festive fun planned which doesn’t include dogs, and at the same time of course demand for doggie care peaks from new and existing customers. Even by the end of September we were already half full and bookings are brisk so please don’t leave it too long to send your requests in.
Whilst as you know we always try our best to place your doggie with his/her same host family when they come out, when it comes to peak times like this please understand that unless you book well in advance, chances are that your usual family will already be booked out or of course away themselves too.
But please don’t worry if this is the case – all our host families are absolutely brilliant and you can rest assured that your beloved pooch will be showered with love and affection and always have as great a holiday as you do.
Lastly I just wanted to remind you all that much as we love you, even Wayne and I like to have our own Xmas fun (see I still didn’t use the C word!) and won’t be doing any collections or deliveries of dogs on 25th or 26th December, or on New Years Day.
As usual, these same three dates attract a premium of double the daily rate for any dogs out with us, but this year we are running a special offer where we will give away DOUBLE POINTS on your Loyalty Card for any holidays you book with us over the festive period, to help mitigate this additional cost. Just present your Loyalty Card to us when we collect your doggie and we will return it duly stamped and stamped again.
Dog of The Month!
Mila the Boxer relaxing after ‘flying’ around the fields around Tonbridge with Helen!
Back To School!
So summer holidays are a thing of the past and thoughts turn to school uniforms and new pencil cases instead. For Wayne and I though it’s a blessed relief knowing that the organised mayhem of the last few weeks turns swiftly back to normal. We will even have our own ‘summer break’ now just to make you jealous lol!
I don’t know about you, but the moment life returns to normal after a holiday, all I can think about is booking the next so we have something else to look forward to. I’m sure everyone thinks the same way as bookings have soon come rushing in again for half term in October. In fact we even received a couple of bookings for August next year – wow!! How’s that for organised!
Dog of The Month!
Meg the Working Cockerpoo enjoying the daisies with Dave & Char in East Peckham
Welcome to warm long sunny evenings – perfect for taking the dog for a lazy ‘after work’ walk with a sneaky can of Pimms in the backpack for a halfway break!
We are sooo busy now until the end of August and hunkering down for back to back dog deliveries and collections. OK so the work/life balance has tipped over now, but we try our hardest to even the scales with a glass (or two ;) of wine after a hard day.
Whilst I would say we are fully booked, always check with us as we have a few days here and there and may just be able to squeeze your dog in for a last minute break. Certainly the bank holiday week has a little space.
Of course we could have more availability if we had more host families so if you know of anybody who would be interested in looking after dogs then please ask them to call me on 01622 817518 to find out more.
Dog of The Month
Little Gaius the Cairn Terrier packs his bags for the last time with us as he’s moving house – but don’t worry his local Barking Mad rep will still be looking after him!
Jolly Holly – Days!
So school holidays are at last (some would say..) upon us. Bags are being packed, SPF is the word du jour, and warm sunny climes are awaiting. Now who among you have forgotten your best friend in all the excitement?? Come on I know you’re out there – you’ll be phoning three days before you fly off to Guadeloupe pleading with us to take little Fifi, saying “I knew there was something I had to do!” (believe me it’s been said!)
Well as my existing customers will testify, we pride ourselves on trying our best to sort your last minute requests. In fact we have taken around 2000 bookings since taking over the business and only have only turned down maybe 3 requests. Not bad eh!?
What does this say to you? If you aren’t already our customer then get on the blower (01622 817518) or click that mouse on firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s get Rover and Fifi registered – we’ll need a three day trial sleepover, but then you’re good to go and can have precious thing we seek - peace of mind!
Dog of The Month
Westley the unstoppable Hungarian Vizsla out with Dave and Pat in Tudeley.
Well Summer is officially here!
It is now one year since my partner Wayne gave up his daily commute into London and started working with me in the business. Time has flown by and I’m delighted to say we haven’t killed each other (so far!) and if I’m being totally honest it’s been absolutely brilliant having him with me – someone to bounce ideas off and get advice from. His role in the business is to look after all the collections and deliveries of dogs all around the territory – he’s done about 30,000 miles in the last year doing this.
And for some reason all dogs just love him – I’m sure he smears Chum behind his ears each morning!
Dog of The Month
The gorgeous old Myrtle in Pat’s back garden
We love working with and recommending local business, here are a list of fantastic people we think you might like to hear about:
Just Dog Photography – Barbara Yeo takes the most beautiful photos of dogs being dogs – not stuck in a studio but out and about being themselves. Take a look at her wonderful work www.lifestyledogphotography.co.uk
Culverden Veterinary Group - great vets in the heart of Tunbridge Wells with lots of biscuits and treats for visiting friends www.culverden.co.uk
Kent Greyhound Rescue – volunteers doing amazing work to rehome these gorgeous dogs