Doggone mad about daycare
Reporter Rexine Hawes speaks with the owner of a doggy daycare for our series, On The Job.
Red Brae Farm haven.
It is currently home to four, four-legged friends Tussock, Grace, Clyde and Baxter who all answer to owners Marian Brenssell and husband Cameron.
Marian was prompted to start her own business after her former job was made redundant. Running a doggy daycare business allowed her to work at something she loves, spending time with dogs.
‘‘People who really get dogs, can see every single one has their own personality, it’s like having a big group of friends who think you are absolutely awesome.
‘‘They are very intelligent and very responsive. Dogs do give a lot away, they try to communicate with us.’’
And Marian has the experience and knowledge to understand a lot of that behaviour and personality. Both she and Cameron are dog trainers and behaviourists.
‘‘I have always had dogs, we had up to 16 at one time.
‘‘I used to run a team of working dogs down south and people would randomly ask if I could take their dog and train them, or ask questions about their dog’s anxiety or they way they relate to other dogs. is a doggy
‘‘It was all about word of mouth, so most times we had at least one other person’s dog at our house.
‘‘It’s not just about understanding the dog but helping dog and owner understand each other.’’
So it made sense to start a job where she can spend her days at home with her own four dogs as well as being paid to provide a space and company for dogs whose owners cannot be with them throughout the day.
‘‘It was always on the cards for myself and my husband. We moved here from Dunedin in the past year.
‘‘I read that you should do the job you love and you will never work another day in your life and that is exactly what I am doing.’’
Her day starts by picking up each dog from their home and then driving them out to the 30-acre (12ha) Paparamu Rd property, nestled between Pairere and Tirau.
During their stay the dogs get the run of the property, complete with lush paddocks and ponds enclosed by fence. But the dogs don’t just get to frolic around. The days are structured to provide the right kind of stimulation.
The size of the property means there can be separate areas where the big dogs can play without hurting the smaller ones. It also provides security for the dogs who have anxiety around others until they are comfortable to mix and mingle.
Marian has mixed reactions from people when she explains her job, but for the most part, people are interested, especially dog owners.
‘‘Most people say, isn’t that the best job ever? But that’s only from doggy people,’’ she laughs.
Marian Brenssell is living her dream, running a doggy daycare at Red Brae Farm.