Hello and welcome to my first ever blog post!
Please bear with me as I find my feet.....there's always a first for everything I guess! I've started writing a blog to let you get to know me a bit better, and share all things "The Dog House" related.
My name is Hazel and I'm 30 years old.
I got the keys and moved into my new house on Friday 2nd June. Very excited times ahead, as this is the first property I have owned, having previously rented a shared house with two others in Bath for the past five and a half years. The main reasons for moving to North Bradley are:
- to set up a dog boarding and day care business - I am providing a home from home service for dogs in the company of other hounds!
- the attraction of the open fields just a couple of minutes walk away (I grew up in the country, so love the open space!), but being close enough to Trowbridge to feel part of a town as well
- the community feeling in the village.
I have grown up with dogs, which is where my love of dogs stems from. I was born in Scotland and lived there until I was 7/8 years old and then moved to a small countryside village just outside Chipping Sodbury. On the farm in Scotland, we had a black labrador called Kip and when we moved down south, we got another labrador who we named Sooty. Some of the memories I have of Sooty include:
- he had a stump of a tail - his mum stepped on his tail when he was a few weeks old, which killed the nerves etc making it limp. The vet had decided to cut it off, hence the stump of a tail!
- enjoying the paddling pool - whenever we had the paddling pool out in the hot weather, Sooty would always join in by climbing over the sides and wanting a splash to cool himself down. He even enjoyed getting in when he thought no one else was looking
- Sooty's half brother, Charlie, was my cousin's dog (they had the same dad).
A few years ago, my mum became a puppy walker for Guide Dogs. Puppy walkers play a vital role in the early socialisation and education of guide dogs. This meant she took on a puppy at about six weeks old, puppies start their early training (sit, stay, waiting for food etc). The aim of puppy walking is to produce a puppy that is socially well behaved, friendly and responsive to the handler. It is also important that the puppy is at ease in all environments, including town conditions, is relaxed and confident when using all types of transport and learns an acceptable standard of behaviour on the lead.. When they are about a year old, they are transferred to a training centre to begin their specialised training. Mum got a black labrador called Uschie. Each new litter that is born, is named after a letter in the alphabet. So the puppies in Ushie's litter, were all given names with the letter "U". Ushie went on to complete her intensive training and graduated as a working Guide Dog.
I've previously worked as a dog walker and boarder/house sitter, before going on to doing various other jobs. Having done that, it made me realise how much I missed spending my time with dogs and being outdoors on walks with them. When thinking about a career change, the opportunity came up to buy a house and it all fell into place to set up a dog boarding and day care business. THE BEST DECISION EVER!
In my spare time, I like to:
- read - a mixture of sci-fi, crime, mysteries and the classics (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austin, Treasure Island etc)
- listen to music - Elbow, P!nk, Radiohead, Chvrches, Feeder, Imogen Heap, Jess Glynne, Mumford and Sons, Regina Spektor, film soundtracks and Radio One, to name but a few!
- watch films - Home Alone 1 and 2, Elf, Arthur Christmas, Pitch Perfect, Miss Potter, She's The Man, the Narnia films, the Harry Potter films, Beauty and the Beast (2017), all Disney and animated films
- go for walks - recently I have gone to Clanger Woods, the fields between North Bradley and Southwick, The White Horse at Westbury and Southwick Country Park
- explore new places - need to get some more use out of my National Trust card, but also love castles and old properties, but need to go to the beach more as love being by the sea!
- spend time with friends and family
- go swimming and over the last couple of months, I've been going to a couple of exercise classes - Zumba and Clubbercise....both are intense but the instructor Michelle is great, the songs are current and everyone's so friendly, which spurs me on to keep going back!
- go to choir every Tuesday - I have been part of Bath Community Gospel Choir since January 2016. We meet at the Forum in Bath and do a variety of gigs throughout the year, which have included being back up singers for the Wiltshire Young Carers, the Rotary Club's Carol service at Bath Abbey and much more.