There has never been a better time to be a pet. With most Canadians isolating at home, our furry companions are getting more love, attention, playtime and walks than ever before. But what does that mean for people like RBC client Jennifer Johnston, owner of Dog Scouts Walking Company? “Business is down 85 – 95 per cent,” she says. But Johnston is a helper, and she has pivoted her business to serve essential workers, vulnerable individuals and their beloved dogs who have no other way to get out.
“We have a doctor, an emergency room vet, and someone who is in the hospital right now with a broken leg,” reveals Johnston. “We have an 87-year old woman in isolation with a large dog and a client with mental health challenges who can’t get out. These are the kinds of clients we are helping now.”
While Dog Scouts Walking Company used to take dogs running off-leash in the park, closures to these public spaces have forced Johnston to pivot. Now, it’s walks on a leash in the neighbourhood with no-contact pick up and drop.
“We text the owner before we arrive, they let the dog out in the backyard, and we use our own leashes. We don’t touch the collar, and there are no snuggles with the dog,” Johnston explains.
Response from the customers she is serving has been heartfelt and emphatic. For many of these owners, their dogs are their main companions. “They tell me: Thank you so much for helping me out, because I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have you.”
RBC clients across the country have been stepping up to face the COVID-19 crisis with courage, generosity and compassion. Discover other stories of how clients are making a meaningful difference during this difficult time.
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