Dogs Love Cornwall LivingSpring 2019

Walks and waggy tails

We catch up with Jackie Warden, the friendly face of Happy Dogs Day Care in Breage.

Whether you live down here and have a busy working schedule, or are holidaying with your hound and are unable to take them to particular ‘human-only’ attractions, it can be difficult knowing what to do. Even harder is leaving your furry friend at a kennel for the day, guilty in the knowledge that you’re having the best of times while they’re waiting for you to return. This is where Jackie Warden, founder of Happy Dogs Day Care, comes in.

“The thing I love most about my job is watching the dogs interact and socialise”

Jackie took the plunge to set up the business around seven years ago, being tired of the mundane nine-to-five that she’d never loved. She tells us: “I’ve never looked back. For years, I knew I wanted to work with dogs. The problem always seemed to be that making a living from it just didn’t seem possible. I guess it’s always difficult to imagine making a full-time living out of the things we love!”

But that’s exactly what she does, and it’s fair to say that Jackie has built a sterling reputation in the local area, attracting residents and holidaymakers alike. Based between Helston and Penzance in the sleepy village of Breage, Jackie takes her four-legged guests on multiple walks every day, all year round. Whether it’s down to Longrock beach looking out to St Michael’s Mount, or in the fields and meadows surrounding Breage, it’s fair to say that the dogs staying with Jackie have a great time!

Jackie continues: “The thing I love most about my job is watching the dogs interact and socialise. Their relationships change and develop – I have a steady stream of regular dogs that come in for day care, as well as boarders whose owners go away. The regular guests soon become fast friends and now, when they arrive in the mornings and see their mates, they’re always really excited.”

But it takes hard work and careful patience on Jackie’s part to earn their trust. “When a dog first comes to me it’s understandably unsure of what’s going on, or whether its owner is even coming back. But after a couple of hours, a nice walk, lots of reassurance and cuddles, they soon start to feel safe and relaxed. It’s never long before my home becomes their home from home, too!”

For Jackie, building relationships with animals is second nature, and it’s in this that her clients have found themselves able to place their trust. It seems that no matter how weird, whacky, excitable or calm her four-legged guests are, the way she interacts with the many and varied characters in her care never fails to bring out the best in man’s best friend.

"The thing I love most about my job is watching the dogs interact and socialise"