An engaging memoir
WHAT’S THE BOOK ABOUT
The irresistibly charming memoir of a young woman who started her own business as a dog walker for London’s busy, well-heeled dog lovers. A true love letter to London, dogs, and growing up.
In 2006, Kate MacDougall was working a safe but dull job at the venerable auction house Sotheby’s in London. After a clumsy accident nearly destroyed a precious piece of art, she quit Sotheby’s and set up her own dog-walking company. Kate knew little about dogs and nothing about business, and no one thought being a professional dog walker was a good use of her university degree. Nevertheless, Kate embarked upon an entirely new and very much improvised career walking some of the city’s many pampered pooches, branding her company “London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency.”
With sharp wit, delightful observations, and plenty of canine affection, Kate reveals her unique and unconventional coming-of-age story, as told through the dogs, and the London homes and neighborhoods they inhabit. One walk at a time, she journeys from a haphazard twentysomething to a happily—and surprisingly—settled adult, with love, relationships, drama, and home ownership along the way. But, as Kate says, “It’s all down to the dogs” and what they taught her about London—and life.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THIS BOOK
Kate MacDougall’s London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency is a beautiful, heartfelt memoir.
Kate gets candid with the reader about her struggles in starting and then, running an unconventional business- dog-walking.
She presents a no-holds-barred portrayal of the difficulties she had to encounter while establishing her business such as skepticism from her erstwhile colleagues and her mother, difficult clients with impossible demands, and being plagued with anxiety through it all.
I loved that she chose to write about her struggle with anxiety. As a business owner, she would wake up each day and worry if everything was going to run smoothly or worse if the business was going to stay afloat. However, gradually, she realizes that life rarely provides a hiccup-free path to walk upon. I also loved how, with time, she stops being a people-pleaser and starts saying “No” to irrational demands of her clients, and in some cases, even refuses to service those clients.
Through it all, her husband, Finlay, supports her 100 percent. While the memoir does share her experiences with the dogs, it also shares her experiences with the dog owners.
This memoir taught me a valuable lesson that at the end of the day, all people have the same worries. So, it’s pointless to be jealous of others and judging others. Her memoir provided me another invaluable message – life turns out to be okay in the end. You just have to keep the faith and keep going.
London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency is also a coming-of-age memoir. MacDougall made me a companion in her journey from an anxious twenty-something-year-old, single woman to a less anxious and a settled thirty-something-old married entrepreneur. I loved her self-deprecating voice poking fun at her immature view of the world.
Overall, it’s an engaging memoir. I heartily recommend Kate MacDougall’s London’s Number One Dog Walking Agency for dog-lovers and people who are looking for a delightful book about life and dogs.
Genre: Memoir || Pages: 368 || Published in June 2021
Many thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book via Netgalley. This does not affect my opinion on the book. I opted to provide an honest review on my blog.
Kate is now a freelance writer, specializing in dogs, the countryside, lifestyle and interiors and write for Country Life, the Telegraph, Homes and Antiques, Horse and Hound and Period Living amongst others. She has three children and two dogs and lives in Oxfordshire with her husband.
Author Link(s): Twitter