We’re dotty about dogs here in SW14, so it’s little wonder that we want our canine companions to be well loved and cared for, wherever they are and whoever they’re with.
For all owners, though, there come times when our pet’s care must to be handed over to someone else, whether for an hour, a day, overnight or longer. That can be a daunting prospect because, after all, you want your pooch to be looked after every bit as well as you would by someone who is mature, knowledgeable, flexible, reliable and professional.
Martina Tomandlova, owner of Babyblue’s Petcare knows this better than anyone.
“I spent a long time researching and observing before I decided to quit my job and dedicate myself full time to the thing I am most passionate about ~ petcare. I understand that clients need to feel absolutely confident that the person caring for their dog is competent, knowledgeable, kind and energetic. ”
As a dog owner herself, Martina’s vision for her business is for it to be small, local and special.
“Personally, I’m only comfortable walking up to four dogs at a time, occasionally five if two are from the same home. That’s the maximum number of different personalities I feel I can give really great attention and fantastic exercise to whilst ensuring that they get along well and are safe and under control. To me a walk means a walk, not me standing by and watching… dogs need action and interaction!”
In order to maximise the time the dogs get exercising, Martina has focused her business in the immediate SW14 area. That means short times between pick-ups/drop-offs, minimal time (if any) in the car and getting to the park quicker for the fun to begin. It also means that if a client needs her to step in at short notice, she is close by.
Martina has a charming, friendly personality and masses of petcare experience with a variety of animals, as well as an evident love of animals, too. Perhaps that’s why her former boss brings his dog down from Northampton for her to look after when he’s away?
Born in the Czech Republic but having lived here for over 21 years, working with and owning animals is something that she has actively pursued.
“I’m a city girl but always adored animals. When I was a child we used to go on holidays to the mountains and I would always help milk the cows! I went on to study Animal Care and Welfare at the leading Agricultural & Natural Science College in the Czech Republic, where I began horse riding. I was hooked and began working hard and saving to buy my own horse.”
Martina’s love of horses has continued and she is now the proud owner of three, having bred, broken in, schooled and competed with hers.
Over the years, she has also owned a number of dogs and cats, including the Great Dane, Babyblue, in whose memory her business is named. She and her partner, Ramon, now own a handsome, friendly Weimaraner called Dobby and a cool cat that thinks he’s a lion!
Martina will make sure she meets you and your dog, ideally in your home, and then take a walk together, so that she can tune into your dog, their habits, character and routine before you hand responsibility over to her. She will complete a questionnaire with you to ensure that any little idiosyncrasies are noted, vaccinations are up to date and so on. She is, of course, fully insured.
“It is really important for owners and their dogs to see that they are comfortable with me and vice versa. I know that handing your dog over to a third party can be difficult – my aim is for your dog always to be pleased to see me, knowing that they will have a relaxed, fun time.”
Martina walks dogs locally in Richmond Park and Palewell for a minimum of an hour at a time and has applied for a Royal Parks dog-walking permit which will come through in January.
Prices start from £12 for a group walk or £20 for an individual walk. Other services include boarding and daycare for a maximum of two dogs at a time, pet visits and home checks if you need someone to pop in and collect your post.
With her energy, passion for and understanding of pets, Martina is a great local resource for discerning pet owners.
Babyblue’s Petcare, East Sheen
Telephone: 07702824181 ~ Website: www.babybluespetcare.com
Words ~ Jacquie Duncan Images ~ Babyblue’s Petcare