The name of her company – Happy Dog Walks – reveals what Femke Kaspers does for a living: walking other people’s dogs. She grew up in a household full of dogs, cats and turtles, so this was a bit of an obvious career move.
“After finishing my studies, I worked in advertising but being an account manager just wasn’t for me. When I did some volunteer work for a dog-breeders association they offered to put me on a dog trainer course as I showed so much passion for dogs. However, as a dog trainer you’re focused on correcting the owners and that’s not really my cup of tea; I wanted to do something with the animals themselves. So I started walking someone’s dog and now I have my own company with two vans and a few professionals on stand-by.”
“My customers are mainly people working at the Zuidas. I understand how it works: suddenly you need to go out but you don’t want to leave your dog unattended. I’m very flexible and I’m always happy when they call me. I walk the dogs for two hours in the morning, usually in the Amsterdamse Bos or the Diemer Bos. Then the second group arrives and I do another two-hour trip in the afternoon.”
“It is a high-end service. Apart from walking these dogs, I also take care of them in a homely environment. Not a big group of 15 or 20 animals but 3 at most. They receive a lot of personal attention and professional care and get the luxury treatment the owners feel their pets deserve. I take them to the vet or dog-sit them when their owner goes out for dinner. And I help out during holidays: I send them pictures of their dogs so they can see their pets are having a good time – they often have more fun here than at home!”