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Posted on: August 26, 2021

London's Number One Dog-Walking Agency: A Memoir by Kate MacDougall

Londons number one

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. 
 
Aside from the odd biter or growler, the occasional bolter and the one dog who didn’t want to walk, the canines were the easy part. They were a muddy, messy joy in all shapes, sizes and breeds, from greedy Labradors to pampered pugs and everything in between. It was the owners who were the real challenge, a giddy mix of the over-protective, the clueless, the eccentrics and the perfectionists. There is no rule book on how to navigate the obsessions of the London dog owner. A degree in human psychology would have been far preferable to any sort of animal qualification. Not that I had either…
 
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.
 

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