A Wrea Green business woman has taken the lead role in a new Redrow film offering top tips for making a house move smooth for homeowners and their four-legged friends,
Alison Gledhill runs the Blackpool and Preston franchise of Barking Mad, a national ‘home from home’ dog sitting service.
She says: “Moving house can be stressful for dogs, with a change in routine and environment, and so much going on with boxes being packed leading up to the move and the moving day itself.
“With people’s busy lifestyles, much as they love their dogs – most of whom are very much a member of the family nowadays – they can be forgotten until the last minute. But there are ways to make it less stressful and to ease the transition into their new home.”
Valuable advice she offers Redrow customers in the film includes:
· Provide lots of reassurance for your pet in the run-up to the move and make sure a friend or someone like Barking Mad looks after your dog on moving day.
· Ensure your new garden is doggy friendly, safe and secure.
· Unpack your pet’s favourite things as soon as possible; toys, a blanket, something that smells of their old home.
· Go exploring the new area and find new walks.
· Don’t forget to get their microchip details updated!
Alison is no stranger to change herself.
She began her business 12 years ago after a career spent working for the Civil Service, for the Benefits Agency and HMRC. Alison says: “Maybe it was my mid-life crisis but I hit 40 and wondered whether I wanted to carry on in the Civil Service until I retired, and the answer was no.”
Alison, who has two dogs and a cat herself, had decided she wanted a career change but didn't know what, until one day when she was looking to buy a book. She says: “When I opened the Yellow Pages looking for bookshops it fell open on the Barking Mad page and I thought it sounded interesting.
“I loved the idea and, when I looked further into it, the business locally was up for sale. It all fell into place.”
Now instead of sitting in an office every day, Alison matches host families with those looking for someone to look after their pets while they go away on holiday and transports them from and to their home-from-home.
“I have gone from sitting in a stressful office environment to speaking to people about their dogs and their holidays; I’m doing something I love. And the business is doing very well as people prefer to leave their dogs in another family home, being cared for and pampered while they go away.
“Host families are often retired people or widows and widowers who want the companionship of a dog and the pleasure of walking them and looking after them, without taking on the full-time commitment of having one.”
The film was shot in the show home at Redrow’s Ricksby Grange development, in Wrea Green, which offers a range of four-bedroom family homes from the homebuilder’s award-winning Heritage Collection, with prices from £299,995.