AFTER coming home from holiday to find their cocker spaniel unloved and unkempt, a dog-loving couple decided to offer a more caring approach.
Susan and Peter Seward have opened a franchise of Cumbrian firm Barking Mad, which finds a home for pets while their owners go on holiday.
Medical practice manager Susan and her accountant husband would often go abroad and leave their beloved gun dog in professionally-run kennels, before they suffered a bad experience.
Peter said: “When we came back from holiday one year, our cocker spaniel hadn’t been given the extra walks and cuddles we had paid for and requested.
“She smelled as if she hadn’t had a bath for several years, never mind two weeks, and it took her several days to get back to her normal self.
“We’d heard of a lot of similar experiences from other dog-owners and we didn’t go on holiday for a few years until we discovered Barking Mad in the North East.”
The couple took over the franchise from Tina Young, who left her job as a Barclays call centre manager to run the North East arm of the business.
Founder of the operation Lee Southern developed the flourishing enterprise from an idea originally conceived when she failed to find suitable care for her own dog. She discovered some pet owners simply did not go away if it meant leaving their pets behind.