Anne Brennan works at Dog HQ in Wairau, and is absolutely passionate about caring for our canines. She’s an Aussie who lived in Queensland for 20 years prior to moving to New Zealand five years ago to look after her husband’s family. Anne was a professional photographer for many years before she decided to follow her dream of working with dogs, gaining a Diploma in Canine Behaviour and Training. After studying, she quickly landed a job at a pet resort in Sydney, which gave her the opportunity to work with some of the best dog trainers and behaviourists in the business. Anne says that experience was invaluable for her work she now does at Dog HQ. Channel Mag asked Anne a few questions about what makes her job the 'best job ever'.
CB: What’s the best part about being in the doggie daycare business?
AB: You cannot help but smile every time you see those happy wagging tails come though the door. How many people can say they have a job that gives them that every day? We provide a very important service to people that want to have a dog in their life and give it the very best that they can, socialisation and play with lots of other dogs is about as good as it gets for most dogs.
CB: Have you always had a passion for animals?
AB: Yes, ever since I can remember I have loved animals, dogs in particular. I was lucky to have an Aunty who shared that love and I grew up around her dogs until I was old enough to have my own. I also have a great passion for the sea and all it's wonderful creatures - I’ve swum with whales, dolphins and seals and spent a lot of time on the Great Barrier Reef and all the amazing wildlife it offers.
CB: Tell us about your dogs?
AB: I have two gorgeous Border Collies, Tenzing and Aussie, and yes they are Australian too. Tenzing is five now and came over with me when I moved here and I got Aussie last year. I adore them both. They have given me the chance to meet so many lovely people while out walking on the beach or at the park and of course every day at work. Without a dog you wouldn't just get talking to people you don't know and it helped me settle into a new country very quickly.
CB: What do you think makes a good doggie daycare?
AB: In the case of DogHQ , it’s our business owner Louise. She had a strong vision of what she wanted to achieve and the determination to make it happen. Plus a key component is the quality of supervision and a safe environment. Managing lots of dogs in groups is not an easy task so experienced, dedicated staff that love what they do is vital to the success of the business. We had Customers that were willing to trust us with their beloved pets right from the start and have been loyal ever since and a whole lot of happy dogs that go home each day completely satisfied after a great day of socialising and playing with all their friends.
CB: If you could do another job for a day, what would it be and why?
AB: I always wanted to be a chef when younger but went on a different path instead. I would just like to experience what it is really like in a hectic kitchen but only for a day... otherwise I would miss all my dogs too much.
CB: What does a typical work day look like for you?
AB: Mornings are very busy with a rush of super eager dogs racing in to get stuck into their day of play. Once everyone is in and we have done "roll call" I get on with updating the parents with the day's photos on Facebook, reports we send out to let them know what their kids are up to today, organising and enrolling new dogs that are about to join us AND making grooming appointments. The afternoons are then the reverse of this when the dogs start to go home, so we have lots of happy excited dogs then coming out to greet their parents when they come to pick them up.
CB: What's your favourite country you’ve visited and why?
AB: I love going to the USA. Not sure what it is I enjoy so much but I have been many times, maybe it's the food and just the huge scale of everything there that keeps drawing me back. Hawaii is the one place I can never get enough of.
CB: Which business people do you admire and why?
AB: Louise O'Sullivan, owner of DogHQ. She has never wavered from what it was she wanted to achieve with this business so I admire that grit and determination. My husband too, he owns Ray White Forrest Hill and Sunnynook. Like Louise, he has had a vision right from the start and works extremely hard every day to make it happen.
CB: What do you do in your spare time?
AB: I do everything with my dogs and a variety of our daycare dogs that I look after from time to time while their owners are away so it's the beach, park or anywhere to exercise a couple of very active dogs. But I wouldn't change any of it for a minute.