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24-09-2013

Entrepreneur Turns her Passion into her Profession

Natalie started training for her career when she was just 10-years old. She had been begging her parents for her a pet and she finally got one: Hoppeli, a black, dwarf rabbit. Natalie, told the story of what inspired her to become a professional pet care provider and start her own business called wecare4pets.

"As a young girl I used to go riding every Sunday and Wednesday afternoons and there were always so many animals on the farm. I loved caring for them, feeding them, cleaning them, cuddling with them, and playing with them." Natalie's face lit up in a big smile when she talked about it. "When I got Hopple, he became my "one and only".

To help pay her way through school, Natalie earned money by caring for other people's pets. Her partner Rob saw how much she enjoyed it and encouraged her to do it professionally and for that she needed a website.

She hired Zesscom and is thrilled with the result. "The job of a website is to convey what you're like, how you work. Zesscom's programmers and designers made me a site that's professional, dynamic, and elegant. I love everything about it, from the font to the layout! It embodies my business. It's lively and playful." Just like her clients.

Natalie's clients have 4 legs, fins or wings but she treats each like a cherished member of her family. Cats are cared for in their own homes so no stressful transportation or boarding is required and the cat can remain in familiar territory. Dogs are walked in their own neighborhoods and get plenty of playtime when their owners are at work. "Your pets are my priority. I do everything possible so that when a dog goes out with me he can wait happily another few hours until his owner comes back." Dogs are walked individually, which is "super important" according to Natalie. "Sure I could have more clients if I walked a pack of dogs all at once, but for me, my clients deserve my undivided attention."

Natalie is more attentive now when surfing the web, thanks to the experience of working on her wecare4pets site. "Now when I surf the net I don't just get information. I am also looking at a site's layout, the content and how well it functions. Now I'm more conscious, more sensitized. And about 70% of the sites I see are bad. But I am very happy with my Zesscom-solution."

She and Rob have a three-year old Boxer stud named Memory, (he was from the "M" litter,) who is learning tracking techniques in a special class. Since 2008, Switzerland has required that all dog owners who get a new dog must attend a federally mandated and regulated dog obedience class. Though some people who have owned dogs their whole lives find it frustrating, Natalie still feels it's a good idea. "There is a lot of valuable information: how to read your dog's body language, how to properly socialize your pet, tips for taking your dog on vacation and also how to recognize potentially dangerous behavior. Sure the class costs money, but you only have to take it once, and I think it's worth it."

The class is more about training the owners than training the dogs. Natalie says that animals have been some of her best teachers. "Dogs live in the present moment and they are filled with the tranquility which that allows.  They are full of joie de vivre. They remind me to forget the daily grind for a while. An animal lives unencumbered from our social norms."

If you live in the Basel area and have a animal that needs caring for in your absence, call wecare4pets. As her first "client", Hopple, surely would have been proud of Natalie turning her passion into her profession. As a testament to the great affection the tender loving care he received in her hands, he lived to the ripe old age of 12. His bunny legacy? He was an inspiration to an entrepreneur.

Story by: Margo Clare Cummings

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