DOGS AT WORK

159

They greet the customers, supervise delivery drivers, travel in the works van or snooze under the desk. These are the dogs gainfully employed in the equestrian trade. (Due to Covid-19, some dogs are working from home.)

FLORENCE & MABEL

These happy Labradors – and their little ‘brother’ Freddy – belong to Bea Blakeman of Crewe Saddlery in Cheshire. 

As president-elect of the Society of Master Saddlers (SMS) Bea gets to choose the topic for the President’s Choice class at next year’s SMS National Saddlery Competition. And she’s decided upon ‘for the love of dogs’ – so entrants will be making canine themed items in leather. 

“My world revolves around my dogs,” says Bea. “I can’t imagine a life without dogs in it; they’re therapy, fun and company all rolled into one.”

MINNIE

Nine-year-old Minnie is top dog at innovative European brand HKM’s UK office. 

“Minnie brings lots of fun - some would say chaos - to the office, and she definitely suffers from little dog syndrome,” says HKM’s Laura Parry who owns the delightful Chihuahua cross.

“All hell breaks loose when the postman or a delivery driver arrives, but then she greets them with a smiley face and wagging tail when the door is opened.”

Hard working Minnie is well-known to many HKM retailers - and is a sucker for a good, strong cup of tea.

BILLY & JIGGER 

These two tenacious terriers – known as The Boyz - are brothers. They work at Buckets Animal Feeds & Tack near Louth, Lincolnshire.


“They love long walks and doing dog agility – and dislike squirrels,” says their owner and work colleague Denise Padbury. “At work, they’re great fun and smile at all our customers.”


As well as being in charge of security, another of Billy and Digger’s jobs is to inspect the quality of the store’s stock of carrots. They are very diligent… 

During the coronavirus pandemic, Buckets has stayed open with Denise and The Boyz running one branch all on their own.

BALLY

This gorgeous English pointer has been working at EquiSense, a family run outlet at Springfield Farm, Maulden Bedfordshire, since he was just 12 weeks old. 

Bally is now six-and-a half and his owner and retail manager Rachel Williams says: “He really enjoys coming to work and greeting all our lovely customers. 

“He’s part and parcel of the team; many of our customers and their children say hello to Bally before engaging with the staff.”

A work highlight for Bally is a visit from a customer’s or rep’s dog.  

“He takes them for a quick gamble around the field by the shop before returning to the office for biscuits,” says Rachel. “Then he has a few ZZs in his bed with his favourite blankie, before continuing his supervisory role.”

Equisense is owned by David and Craig Hildred from Lincolnshire. 

VINNIE

Handsome black Labrador Vinnie has been working with owner Liz Heyman, managing director of equestrian fashion brand Equetech, since he was a puppy. 

“Vinnie is very helpful around the office,” says Liz, “he picks up the post from downstairs and brings it up to my office manager.

“He also enjoys greeting the couriers, in return for a biscuit.”

Equetech encourages staff to bring their dogs to work. “It’s proven that pets in the workplace help relieve stress,” adds Liz. “It’s also good for the dogs’ socialisation towards becoming well-rounded pets.”

  • Dogs at Work is a regular feature in ETN’s monthly magazine. We love hearing about the dogs that work with you. Please email editor@equestriantradenews.com to tell us more and include a picture. 

Image by rawpixel.com