This Summer we’ll be celebrating the start of our 6th year here in Oakville! It has been an amazing experience, growing the business from a solo effort with just a few dogs & cats to over 200 active clients & a small staff of dedicated animal lovers. When anyone asks what the key to our success has been, it’s hard to answer with only one point, but I’d have to say it’s as simple as “we show up”. Through all weather (and believe me, there have been plenty of really challenging days) and all circumstances, the number one priority is always to honour the commitment made to clients.
I started Leash and Keys when I was at a turning point in my life, as many 40’ish something women find themselves. Having spent my career in luxury travel I had strong organizational and communication skills but I was tired of commuting and the industry was shrinking with the increase in online booking. At the same time, I had been volunteering for a few years with Canadian Dachshund Rescue and we had fostered for them and the Oakville Humane Society. My research led me to believe there was a need for a Full Service, Private Walks & Pet Concierge provider in Oakville and wow, was I right. I built a website, took my Pet’s First Aid Course and with the support of my husband, Craig, I launched the business. It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come.
One of the best aspects of the business has been the long lasting relationships built with clients and their pets. I still care for the very first dog I walked, Bella, and the joy of knowing Bella has also given me the pleasure of a friendship with her parents and now her new (human) baby sister Charlotte. An added bonus for me is that our own beloved rescue dachshund Laverne has many new friends who have helped her gain confidence and social skills as she continues her rehabilitation after life in a Puppy Mill. See the whole story here.
With the help of Jennifer, John, Diane, Jane, Cris & Renee, I look forward to the continued success of Leash and Keys and adding to our many friends, 2 legs or 4! When I take on a new walking dog client I always say ‘Welcome to the Leash and Keys Family’ as that is truly how we want you to feel.