Passion for canines sparks small business
Kristin Delaney has always loved animals and when she started to tire of working in health care full time, she decided it was time to start a new company in Newberg. That was the impetus for Leashes and Loops.
The dog walking and pet sitting business is something Delaney has a talent for, so she decided to make a go of it professionally. Her main goal is to release dogs from silent homes and boring days while giving them a chance to relieve themselves during a walk.
"I love dogs, grew up with dogs," Delaney said. "In my last role in health care I spearheaded the animal-assisted program, which is a therapy with dogs for a health care facility. I decided to take this opportunity to start a small business, to see where that goes."
Her services include a meet and greet at no charge and then check-ins where she stops by to let the dogs out during the day, take them for a variety of walks or an overnight stay.
It is not always easy to meet the needs of the clients. Sometimes a 15-minute appointment is scheduled and at other times it can take 30 minutes or an hour. The job requirement is to love dogs and be organized.
"I feel like I have a strong connection with dogs, which helps me to build that relationship with dog walking or pet sitting in my own home," Delaney said.
She only takes one dog at a time when pet sitting at home to provide the attention the animal needs and to make sure that the pet gets along well with her own dog, Raven. She explained that owners use different signals with their dogs and before taking on a dog client, she learns the signals that the owners use so as to not confuse the dog and to make the walk gratifying for both.
Delaney was trained by the American Red Cross for pets and is a certified therapy dog handler.
"It is really learning about spotting any kinds of areas of distress or harm in emergency situations with dogs," she said. "You learn how to handle them and how to treat them, whether it be a cut, a seizure or if they stop breathing. They all these different pieces you learn and have a test on."
Her next step is to take a CPR certification for pets.
"You do it the same way that you would do it for humans, but through the nose for dogs and you put their head back, close their mouth and put your mouth over their nose to help them breathe," Delaney said.
Delaney offers pet sitting in her home instead of going to the home of the pet. She first invites the possible new guest over to meet Raven, a 2-year-old, to make sure that they both hit it off. Then they hang out for a while and get to know each other, not only the dogs but the pet owners and the pet. For the duration of the home visit, Delaney randomly sends off photographs of the pet to the owner throughout the day to inform the owners of Fido's activities.
"Dog sitting in the home is the advantage of the amount of time for playing, going out and socialization," she said. "Naps on the living room floor instead of a crate. It is nice for the dog to be in a homey environment instead of a sterile environment like in a kennel."
For more information, visit Leashes and Loops website at https://leashesandloops.com/.