Magazine article Management Today

MT Profile: The Sharp End - One Man and His Dogs

Magazine article Management Today

MT Profile: The Sharp End - One Man and His Dogs

Article excerpt

Chasing after pampered pets with poo bags is not for canine creche worker Dave Waller.

'Who let the dogs out?' That's one cry I hope I won't be hearing today I'm off to Bermondsey, south-east London, to Cats, Dogs & Peace of Mind, a canine creche.

Yep, you read that right. Dogs get dropped off here to pass the day sniffing their peers' rears, while their 'masters' go off to earn enough to keep their hounds in Boneos. Such a concept may sound barking mad, but business is booming. CDPoM has been doing home pet visits since 1999, opened the creche last year, and now plays host to as many as 20 dogs - charging from pounds 24 a day per dog. Staff salaries start at pounds 15,000, rising to pounds 35,000 for an experienced hand.

I walk into an open-plan room: one side is the office (where a woman sits processing invoices next to a massive German Shepherd in a muzzle), the other half is a gated wood-floored area where the dogs play. In a regular nursery this would be strewn with toy cars and tea sets, and pictures the kids had produced. Here, there's a knotted rope and a squeaky toy, and a trail of wee a dog has produced (quickly mopped, I hasten to add).

Opening the gate, I get my first lesson: don't walk in holding a hot coffee. Whenever someone new enters the pen, it all kicks off and I'm suddenly surrounded by seven barking beasts jostling for a whiff of this latest wonder. A terrier leaps at my crotch and I recoil, accidentally pouring steaming liquid on its head.

My first task is to join CDPoM stalwarts Natascha and Peter in taking this lot for walkies, through the housing estates of Bermondsey to Southwark Park. Natascha tells me the first rule of dog club: never leave the creche without poo bags. Other rules: keep the leads short, and don't let them play near the road. As the new boy, I'm given the terrier and a dachshund called Hercules. Natascha tells me she once had to handle a Great Dane from Sri Lanka that had just come out of quarantine. It was built like a horse. Even with a muzzle, two leads and a harness it was still too much.

Peter is a Hungarian dog-lover, now five months into his first job in the UK. 'The dogs really come to love you and even cry when they have to leave,' he says. 'It's a really big compliment. …

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