Meet Nancy Hutson, ballwalkpark's first official employee! Nancy has been helping me out with individual walks and puppy visits. She has raised and trained numerous dogs over the years with her family, mostly retrievers trained for hunting. The most recent addition to her family is Woody, a Jack Russell Terrier. Nancy has been dedicated to learning about the terrier breed and training Woody to be a wonderful little dog. She was very involved in training classes at Ahimsa and practices positive reinforcement with a never ending pocket of delicious treats. While I didn't intend to hire an employee, and wasn't looking for anyone, I am so grateful to have Nancy working with me and don't know what I would do without her. She is very knowledgeable about dogs, very good with them, and really understands and loves them. She is the only woman I know who can host an 8 person BBQ with 9 full size dogs in attendance. Yes, that's right, we call it dog fest. Only a true dog person can hold an event outnumbered by dogs, while serving food, and love it :)
As you can probably already tell, Nancy was not a Craig's List hire, she is actually my best friend's mom, and someone I consider my second mom. We've called each other "Fr-om" (friend + mom) and "Fr-aughter" (friend + daughter) for nearly ten years. She married my best guy friend's dad when we were in high school, so my best girl friend and my best guy friend are now step-brother/sister. I have gone to more family holidays and events of theirs than my own in past years.
So there's the relationship - Nancy was leaving her job a few months ago and offered to help me out with walks. I was running with a pretty tight schedule with two park trips a day and really wanted to be able to provide individual walks and puppy visits for those clients who weren't going on park trips. I was delighted to have the help, especially from someone who I trust and respect as much as Nancy. People had been asking me for months when/if I was going to hire someone, and I kept saying that I just didn't see it happening because I didn't think I would be able to find anyone that cared about my dogs as much as I did, and was worried about trusting someone to take care of the pups to the high standard I expect and strive to provide. Nancy exceeds every hope and expectation.
One of the best things about having Nancy work with me is that she is able to provide walks with a more flexible schedule, which means not being rushed and just enjoying the walk. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbSrbd2W-Dg] She and Jambo, the adorable Golden Retriever puppy, have explored all over Queen Anne - they visit Highland drive on a nice day, stop by the pet store for treats and smell flowers in the neighborhood pea patch. On one of their walks a few weeks ago, Nancy made this adorable video of Jambo tromping down the streets, and put it to the song "Jambo #5". Now that's going the extra mile ;)
I am so lucky to have Nancy working with me and am proud to have her walking and taking care of any of ballwalkpark's clients. Her sidekick, Woody, is a great help too -providing a little canine companionship impromptu playtime on walks.
Thanks Nancy! ballwalkpark loves you :)