Heather Gardner

"I would personally like to highly recommend her services as a pet sitter or walker as without hesitation she has always been most reliable and competent." TRACEY WARR

Hello! I’m Heather Gardner

Having studied animal related courses and worked in the animal and pet trade for number of years, I identified that there was a local requirement for dog walking and related services. So, In November 2008, I decided to establish my own business, Taking The Lead, which has gone from strength to strength.

I have loved animals all my life, and have had many pets, in all shapes and sizes, from gerbils to horses! At the age of 15 I got my first weekend job at a boarding kennel and cattery, where I stayed for a year, before moving on to work at a pet super store.

There I stayed for 3 ½ years, whilst at the same time boarding all my school teacher’s small pets whilst they were on holiday! This went well, so I advertised elsewhere and got many more pet boarding customers, some of which I still board for now!

After I had completed my school years, I went to Merrist Wood College for 3 years, where I gained an awful lot of hands on knowledge, as well as work experience in many different places. I came away from college with a National Certificate in Animal Care and a National Diploma in Animal Management.

Whilst doing work experience during college, I found another part time job in the ornamental fish trade, which later became a full time job as I fell in love, and was doing that for a further 5 years.

But I want to do what I am most passionate about, so here I am working with DOGS!

My own dog, Bourbon, is my right hand .... erm, dog! She comes to work with me daily and gets along with all the other dogs I walk. We do Agility, Obedience, Rally, Heelwork to Music and she also does Ring Craft classes with a friend's daughter.

Bourbon had completed the Kennel Club Good Citizen Scheme Puppy Foundation, Bronze, Silver and Gold (obedience) all by the age of 14 months. Bourbon and I were selected to display the Kennel Club's Good Citizen Silver as part of a display team at Crufts 2015, Bourbon was aged just 14 months. This consisted of 4 separate days training in Leeds, Yorkshire. In 2016 we were selected for the Gold team! This consisted of 6 separate days training in Birmingham. It has been a dream come true taking my dog to Crufts for 2 years running and we've both enjoyed every minute of it. The biggest highlights were performing in the main arena and racing in 'Temptation Alley'!

Bourbon and I are also proud to be on the Laleham Dog Training Club's Display Team, displaying at summer fetes and Christmas parties.

I regularly familiarise myself with Canine First Aid, I have taken many courses over the years

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