Doggy Dilemmas

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"Lifelong dog lover Debbie Mackay, having been made redundant by the RAC, has set up a service for animal owners in crisis with their pets.

Doggy Dilemmas is Ms Mackay's way of offering help to people who have specific problems with their dogs whether behavioural or just logistical.

She said: "I have been mad about dogs for as long as I can remember. All my projects at school had something to do with them.

"So when my job at the RAC disappeared due to outsourcing to India, I decided to do something I've always loved doing."

Ms Mackay, from Worton, near Devizes, is a member of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers and has applied for Kennel Club accreditation.

She has already achieved much success in training wayward pooches and is also prepared to offer a home from home in the event of someone needing their dog babysat at short notice.

She offers all sorts of other solutions to doggy problems, including dog walking, animal meals on wheels and accommodation if the owner wants to go away on a weekend break.

She has three dogs of her own, all Briards Darcy, six, Dexter, four and ten-month-old Della. The two older dogs have qualified for Crufts and at least one of them is likely to be entered next year.

But she is keen to foster responsible dog ownership and will offer the Kennel Club's Good Citizenship Scheme, with its bronze, silver and gold awards.

Ms Mackay said: "This is not an easy thing to set up as you have to put all sorts of things in place and then approval from a championship show judge and your local dog warden."

Ms Mackay is also happy to help disabled people with dog training. She said she was stunned to hear from a disabled woman in Warminster, who had been turned down by four dog trainers before approaching her.

She said: "I couldn't believe they had refused her help because she was disabled. After all, it is the dog you're training not the owner."

That is not so say that some owners don't need a bit of training as well as advice, and Ms Mackay will be putting out the message about responsible dog ownership loud and clear especially where it involves dog fouling.

Anyone who needs help with their dogs should ring her on (01380) 730564 or 07966 617617. " Interview from Wiltshire Gazette and Herald 15.06.06

TOP DOG: Debbie MacKay encourages Dexter, her Briard, to jump over a pole (19693/04)

How the service works:

Before we start looking after your pets and your property, we will arrange a personal visit for you to discuss your requirements in detail and face to face. This not only enables you to meet us, but for us to meet you and your pets and to find out exactly what you would like us to do in your absence. We are very flexible about the times we can visit so we can fit in easily with your timetable. You never know, you might have to go away in a hurry or you might need someone to check your home if you're out all day - and none of us like to leave our cats, dogs and other animals uncared for.

To guarantee the thorough, professional and loving care we pride ourselves on, our prices cover all aspects of our full service. These include:

- visiting your home while you are away, or simply too busy!

- ensuring that our pet care is truly comprehensive

- making sure that your pets have adequate food and drink

- ensuring that their litter tray is clean

- giving your pets all the cuddles and loving attention they deserve

- ensuring that your home is as secure as possible

- providing basic dog grooming services

- watering house plants

Doggy Dilemmas has been cleared by the Criminal Records Bureau.




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