We were first introduced to Barking Mad several years ago when we became a host family. Our children constantly begged us for a dog but we just couldn’t commit to having a dog full time. We loved the companionship of looking after dogs on a part-time basis, which kept us fit and active. Over the years, we had many visitors to stay, ranging from Jack Russells to a Scottish Deer Hound.
Needless to say, we fell in love with the whole concept of Barking Mad and when the opportunity arose to run the business we jumped at the chance and have never looked back. We knew immediately that Barking Mad was the business for us. We have always been interested in finding a career that we would find more fulfilling and active and one where we could work with animals.
Our previous jobs are a far cry away from our daily routines now – Alan was a roofer and a joiner and spent too many cold winter days up a ladder, and Amanda worked in the fitness industry. We now set our own schedule, enjoy the flexibility of our work and meeting new people and dogs every day. It’s still hard work, but very rewarding and a lot more comfortable on those cold winter’s days!
We were amazed at the positive response and scale of enquiries when we started. Being hosts ourselves, we understood what was important to our hosts and still do to this day. We hold regular gatherings, lunches and BBQs for all our host community, and we know the key is to never stop moving and growing. Our business has grown significantly which has enabled us to employ our members of staff. They are all real dog lovers and it gives us great pleasure to be able to help others in their work.
We have been delighted to be recognised as multiple award winners at the annual national conference over the years especially as competition is so fierce. We received the award for ‘Best Newcomers’ and then ‘Brand Builder of the Year’ and our business growth was recognised again in the ‘Roots for Success’ category.
Our Brand Builder award was dedicated to ‘Popper’ – our Barking Mad mascot. He goes with our customers on their holidays around the world and he is a regular guest on our Facebook and Twitter pages. People come to Barking Mad for a superior alternative to kennels or house sitting. They expect the best from our dog holidays and we make it our mission to provide it, every time.