Creature Cadets - How we started
Hi! Mark, Riley's dad, here. As I'm often asked how I ended up being the PA to a 10-year-old, I thought I'd talk about how we started on this adventure.
Riley wants to be a zookeeper (really, really badly). Worried that he wasn't getting enough experience with animals, in June 2019, he asked Mum & Dad if he could get a pet. We are a family of animal lovers, Mum & Dad have both grown up in homes full of all sorts of different animals. However.... we travel a lot, which is really hard on pets and families. So, we became history's worst parents and said "No'.
Disappointed but not distracted, Riley went away and scratched his head. A couple of weeks later, Riley came back to us and asked the question that changed everything - "Well, can I look after other peoples pets?"
We naively thought "Okay, we're listening.... I mean, realistically, what are we going to get? A labrador that comes to stay one weekend every two months? That sounds okay...". So, we became history's best parents and said "Yes".
Then, it all went a little bit crazy. The labrador did come for one weekend every two months, but, he brought all his friends to stay for all the days in between! People loved the idea of 10-year-old Riley loving their pet while they were away. Families booked us because it was easy to see their family pet being loved by another family when they were away. Once we'd looked after a pet, they'd book us again and again. It just kept getting busier. We had bookings six months in advance.
After the initial shock, we realised a few things:
We love having animals in our home.
We have, somehow, found an incredible group of caring, compassionate, animal-loving clients who support Riley in everything he does.
We are closer as a family.
Being with animals is, without question, where our boy is happiest, calmest, most engaged and most brilliant.
Thank you for reading. If this has prompted any questions about how we started, or how you could get started, just get in touch.