Our Raison D’Etre: finding our ‘Why’
The dingo that inspired it all
OUR REASON FOR BEING- It may sound simple, but understanding ‘why’ we do anything is not always easy. And when it comes to our work and career, to the thing we arguably spend the majority of our days doing, it is essential to our own personal happiness to remember why we are here.
I spent months soul searching, digging way back to my childhood, discovering the roots of my connection to nature and love of dogs. All to be able to find A Dog’s Life’s voice, clarify our mission, strengthen our team, inspire us to lead our pups, and ulimately answer the simple question, ‘why?’
“A Dog’s Life began on a whim really, with no grand purpose or even intent to become a ‘real business’.”
OUR ORIGIN — In the fall of 2006 A Dog’s Life began, on a whim really, with no grand purpose or even intent to become a ‘real business.’ In the beginning it was just me and this crazy dingo who had stormed into my life and uprooted everything. She was a challenging pup and the one key to integrating this wild dog into our human world was making sure she had her outside time. She needed to run free, to swim, to sniff, to socialize, and simply be able to be a dog. And so together we made a few doggy friends who shared our love of exploring the outdoors and called ourselves A Dog’s Life.
The years passed and more pups joined our gang, one hike a day becoming two and then Zach joined the team, part time to start, full time soon after, and together we continued along, loving the hikes, the time with the dogs, buiding those relationships and discovering the immense satisfaction of helping these pups fully experience life, the way dog intended. As we approached the ten year mark, I started reflecting on all we had built, what it all meant, and most importantly where was this all going to go? I believed too strongly in what we do and had too much love for all our clients to even think about closing up shop so there was only one option left: commit myself 110% and build A Dog’s Life into the most amazing business in the dog industry. My goal is to create a solid company with a passionate team; a place where we can work cooperatively with purpose and build lifelong careers around serving pups and their people; a service for our clients that is honest, reliable, and truly improves the quality of their lives; and a company that can inspire all pup parents to join their dogs in living their best lives; full of joy, exploration, beauty, peace and connection.
WORKING WITH DOG — Now that I had a goal in mind, I needed to figure out how to make that a reality. I poured into books on business, found PetPocketbook to improve our scheduling and billing systems, and was constantly looking for ways to improve and enhance our client experience. And then I came across Nic of Working With Dog, the perfect mentor and ray of light in this often daunting world as a petpreneur.
Nic taught me that to build a strong successful business, you have to start with building your brand. Businesses have ’employees’ who punch in, punch out, and do their ‘J-O-B’ as a means to an ends, work being the necessary evil of life. But brands have culture and personality, they have teams working together, inspired towards a common mission, enjoying their days filled with purpose and doing work that enhances their lives.
Through consulting with Nic I was able to dig deep into the soul of A Dog’s Life, look at all we do and all the aspects of life that came together to create and grow our successful hiking company. I was able to define the pillars that created A Dog’s Life as: Exploration, Joy, Peace, Beauty, Integrity, and Connection. And through that I was able to sum up our purpose into one simple statement: ‘At A Dog’s Life, we believe a dog’s best life is lived outside, so we help pups and their people joyfully explore, connect and find peace through nature.’
“At A Dog’s Life, we believe a dog’s best life is lived outside, so we help pups and their people joyfully explore, connect and find peace through nature”
“I am so excited for the future of our little team and am happy to have you here for the journey!”
IMPLEMENTING THE WHY- Finding the ‘why’ of A Dog’s Life was life-changing. A decade of life love and work finally put into words. It was affirming and validating, clarifying why the work we do is important, and that we are so much more than just a dog walking company. Finding the ‘why’ was an inspiration; inspiration to keep getting up every day and keep pushing forward, to keep working to make A Dog’s Life the best it can be, and inspiration to be my best self, to be the best leader I can possibly be, and to lead the most wonderful team any business could hope for. But perhaps, most importantly, it was clarifying. I finally had a mission, a goal, something to reach for, motivation to keep growing, and a clear direction of where we are headed.
The past few months, I have been working hard to continue to build our brand around this core statement and our brand pillars. I have been designing a whole new website here, it’s still a work in progress but feel free to have a peek around! I have been laying plans for building up our community online for both our clients and for other like-minded pet parents. I have been reading and learning more about being a strong leader, about building ideal teams, and creating positive company culture. Business has boomed, and leading the hikes plus managing daily operations has been more than a full-time job in itself. It has been exhausting and exhilirating and it’s wonderul to start to see it all coming together.
As we move through this month and into the holidays, we will be delving deeper into all things A Dog’s Life: exploring our brand pillars and brand statement and how they connect to our daily work and to our personal lives; what makes a healthy happy team, why you are an essential part, and what we should expect from each other; why our clients hire us, love us, and our commitment to them.
I am so excited for the future of our little team and am happy to have you here for the journey!