nicola the director of wagtails holding four leads with dogs on them at a park

Having a job where you get to spend the day looking after dogs sounds like an absolute dream.

For Nicola Drew it's a reality.

Owner of Wagtails Dog Walking and Pet Care in Norwich, Nicola has spent the past decade building on her specialist knowledge of animal care and in particular, dogs.

After spending a year building up her client base, Nicola left her old job to run Wagtails fulltime in October 2016.

Today, she takes care of 11 dogs on a regular basis (as well as others on a non-regular basis), walking them, taking care of them and making sure they get lots of love, cuddles and exercise to tire them out before she takes them home again.

"I previously worked with horses, but for a long time wanted to work with smaller animals, and dogs in particular. So I put in a flexible working request and went part time - working every weekend for a year while I built up my business during weekdays," says Nicola.

As well as individual walks, Nicola offers group dog walking sessions, puppy visits and cat or small animal visits – perfect for anyone who has a pet but can't get home to look after them during the day.

Definitely not faint-hearted, Nicola is out walking the dogs come rain or shine – every day! But with a love for animals, a passion for dogs and a strong will to run her own business, she has made her dream come true.

Equipped with a spacious van, fitted with secure crates for transporting animals safely, we were lucky enough to be visited by Nicola for the afternoon, and we met some of the dogs she looks after!

We met Rosie the French bulldog, beautiful Nyla, handsome Fellow, and Nicola's own dog Molly, the most full-of-life Jack Russell you could ever hope to meet!

beautiful fellow the dog satnding outside in the garden looking very happy

Without a doubt, dogs are the very best companions. If you're lucky enough to have one, you will understand just how much they are a part of the family. They're understanding, loyal and will always bring a smile to your face.

And this rings true for Nicola too: "The best thing about owning a dog is the rewards that they bring on a daily basis as you learn and grow together. They will make you laugh, they will drive you mad but you would never be without them!"

And if you've never had a dog but would love to own one, there are steps you can take to learning about them and become more experienced in handling them, before you own one.

Nicola says: "Many rescue centres are often looking for volunteers to come and walk their dogs so this would be a brilliant way for someone who has never been around dogs before to get used to them.

"It would also give you experience walking a variety of different sizes and breeds, which will help you make up your mind if you are unsure what type of dog you want to get.

She continues: "Perhaps if you have a friend with a dog, then they wouldn’t mind you looking after it for a day. Or even offer to look after a friend’s dog if they are going on holiday."

Being able to take care of so many dogs at once takes lots of knowledge and experience which Nicola has built up over the years.

However, if you're looking for more information on dogs, she advises getting a dog encyclopedia. These cover everything from the evolution of the dog breed you're looking into as well as things like their specific dietary needs. It will also cover all the different types of breeds – perfect if you're still undecided about what type to get.

"I can honestly say that I absolutely love what I do," says Nicola.

"The best part of my job is not only the relationships that I develop with the dogs, but with the owners as well. And I am really lucky to have lots of very lovely customers!"

A massive thank you from all of us here goes out to the lovely Nicola for giving us her time and advice – as well as a few free doggie cuddles with her fluffy team of loyal companions!

tiny black and white dog called darcy walking around in tall grass and daffodils

Read more about Wagtails here: http://wagtails.one/index.html

 

Disclaimer: This content in this article is intended for information or entertainment purposes only, it is not intended to replace the advice of a vet or animal health professional. Your use of the information is entirely at your own risk and Me & My Pets assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of the information found on this site. If you have any questions or concerns over your pet's wellbeing you should consult your vet immediately.