If there is any photo that encapsulates what the craziness of coronavirus and lockdown has meant for me – its this one. What a strange few months we have had!
At first – I’m not embarrassed to say that I felt absolutely distraught and upset when I realised I had to close the business down for a while. I was very concerned about the staff, worrying that I would need to make all of them redundant..that the business would fold..all of the things that I’m sure many businesses have also gone through.
Once I found out that the staff would be ok, that the furlough scheme would support them, I immediately felt better, and I started to try and think about what I could do with the free time that I had been given. I decided to make an investment with the School of Canine Science and purchase their Business in a Box course, to learn how to go online with dog training, and learn how to edit videos etc.
I invested in a microphone, and started filming courses. This has meant that inevitably – I have spent a lot of time with my own dogs, and my long suffering husband Matt, working through exercises and covering the basics, as I decided that the puppy course would be the first one to go online, as we had clients that were in the middle of classes when lockdown happened.
I have laughed, cried, got frustrated, triumphed whilst filming the course – all of the things that make training your own dogs so amazing, which if I’m honest, you start to forget to make time to train when you are busy training other people and dogs.. This period of lockdown will always be full of precious memories for me – I have never been so proud of my dogs as when I watch those videos back. Without realising I made so many permanent memories of them – more of that in the next blog!
I’ve always been one of those people that rushes about, from one thing to the next, I work extremely hard, and I have hobbies to keep up with (scubadiving) and without the work that I put in recording and editing the courses, I think I would have been going round the twist! When I finished – I had a couple of days of feeling quite fed up – and then I thought, I will just make another course. It had kept me busy, motivated so this time I decided on the kind of training I love – tricks! Tricks 4 Kicks was born and is up and running.
You can see the online courses here :
I realised that having videos to back up the real life stuff was actually really useful – so I decided to put the traditional course and the online stuff together – so that clients could have some videos to refer back to when practising at home. This course is our gold standard for puppy training – as far as I know, no one else in West Cumbria is doing anything like this. Which makes me proud in a fuzzy kind of way 🙂
We have been lucky enough to restart our training classes at the beginning of June, in conjunction with Purple Paws who have an outside venue – I think that the other really cool thing about lockdown has been working with other businesses and bouncing ideas about. In my very first blog, I touched on my friendship with Alex and Jim from Purple Paws and having Alex to talk to during this time has been so valuable. Its friends and cheering squads that have got me through this time, and Alex counts as both of these.
If you have been thinking about signing up for puppy classes here’s the fancy new form that I learnt how to do the other day!