What I Know: Claire Lee of Dogs and Mogs
I started Dogs and Mogs when Jonathan, my partner, and I talked a great deal about what we could do with our skills.
Both of us have worked with and had animals all our lives. We wanted to be our own bosses, be outside and in nature. I had the opportunity to start and see how it went... and so far it’s been brilliant. I love the job, it’s going really well and Jonathan starts full time in January.
The way Dogs and Mogs works is that I collect the dogs from their homes for either half-hour or one-hour walks, depending on their needs. I have two set one-hour walks a day with four dogs and a few individual walks. My morning walk is more relaxed with older dogs and my afternoon is high-energy youngsters. The dogs I’ve been walking the longest from the start are two cairn terriers, Taz and Tiff, and I love them to bits. Tiff is a sweetie, though she loves rolling in anything stinky and Taz is the cheeky one.
The only special equipment I have is treats and leads and as I only walk four dogs at any one time, my Rav4 is perfect. I don’t like caging the dogs – I want them to feel it’s more of a family outing. Also, I very rarely do lead walks if I can help it. I think it’s really important for dogs to run and burn off their energy.
I work in the east of the Island, so I take the dogs to St Catherine’s Woods, beaches, fields and the golf course (for the well behaved non-ball-stealing dogs! Golfers don’t appreciate that). They all seem to like a mix of walks and act differently in the various places.
I’ve learnt so much about the different breeds that I’ve walked, the cheekiness of terriers and the energy of collies, but most of the time it comes down to their individual personalities.
I can’t say whether I prefer cats or dog – I have both. I love a cat’s independence and a dog’s unconditional love.
Most of my friends are envious of my job – but not when it’s blowing a gale and peeing with rain!
I don’t prefer dogs to people, but I would prefer to spend my days with lots of dogs than lots of people. I love it when I go and pick them up and they are so excited to see me.
The best place I’ve lived is Tanzania – I loved the craziness and the wildlife.
And the greatest lesson I learned from my parents was to travel and open your eyes to different perspectives.
The most important thing in life is to be able to do the things you love and if you can find the job that makes you happy, you’ve got it made.
I fear for the future because of the damage we are doing to the natural world – that makes me very sad.
I am optimistic for the future because my children are in it.
I’m not sure I have a definite favourite place in Jersey – too many beautiful beaches – but St Catherine’s Woods holds a special place in my heart. I spent my childhood in them getting muddy and building tree houses.
If I could re-live one day of my life it would be sitting with gorillas in Rwanda, it was so special. Sitting seven metres away from a wild silverback and his family leaves me speechless.
My favourite time of the day is sunrise on a calm morning – such serenity.
My favourite word is schmakos – it makes dogs putty in my hands.
My biggest fear is heights.
The thing that makes me most angry is bad driving.
I really don’t have any regrets in life. I have been lucky enough to have a great life so far and all the bad things that happen have made me stronger.
The thing that makes me happiest is… being in nature, my children, Jonathan, chocolate, wine...
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