Dog walker and trainer Michelle Walker runs Michelle’s Canine Care – but she had to stop her walks when lockdown hit to keep in line with coronavirus rules.
Once restrictions eased, the 36-year-old from Failsworth changed the location of her off-lead adventures from local parks and greenbelt areas to local moorland and National Trust spots.
She even started a new treat business for dogs when they were stuck at home.
Now, her dedication to supporting pets in the area has been rewarded with a spot among the finalists for Best Pet-Related Business at the Animal Star Awards 2020.
“It was a worrying time back in 2020 as nobody really knew what was happening or what to expect,” says Michelle.
“Luckily, I have a very close and honest relationship with my clients and thankfully retained their custom coming out of lockdown 1.0.
“We have a group chat where I get to share ideas and information with everyone, so it was really good to see what they thought of moving the location of our walks, renaming them ‘Moors Mooches’.
“I wanted to do what I could to support the dogs whilst everything was happening, so offered online training classes, set up a free Scentwork challenge for clients and the local community and made up Tuck Shop Treat Boxes, which proved very popular.”
So popular that Michelle says she has decided to continue the Moors Mooches and also the Treat Box business.
“They’re a big hit with clients, and obviously the dogs!” she says.
“So it’s been brilliant to begin 2021 with another business.”
And Michelle, who lives with her Staffies, Ryder, Pi and Darwin, could not be prouder to have been shortlisted for the Animal Star Awards, which was created by Mary Burgess back in 2016 as a way of recognising the amazing relationships created between humans and their animals.
“I am truly honoured and humbled to have this recognition for my business as I put my heart and soul into it and it has been a very challenging year,” she says.
The virtual awards ceremony takes place on Sunday 28th March 2021. You can find out more about Michelle and her business at michellescaninecare.co.uk.