Thursday, July 15, 2021

London's Number One Dog Walking Agency - Kate MacDougall

At first glance, the cover of Kate MacDougall's new book - London's Number One Dog Walking Agency hints at a fun rom-com read. Well, there is romance, there is comedy...BUT! This is a memoir - a wonderful recounting of an idea and a life and so much more. Oh, and dogs. Lots of dogs. :o)

In 2006 Kate was putting her degree to use at Sotheby’s in London. But she wasn't happy. And so, London's Number One Dog Walking Agency was born. Kate grew up with dogs and quite liked them, but had no special expertise with either dogs or running a business. And at this point in time, professional dog-walking was in it's infancy.

There's so much to enjoy in this memoir. I loved Kate's 'voice' - her take on life, her honesty, her sense of humor and more, making me wish I could sit down for a cuppa with her. I'd also like to visit many of the neighborhoods and parks that are the setting for the dog walks. 

The book is told in twenty four chapters. Each chapter begins with how many dogs are being walked in total and the name of the dog featured. We meet the dogs and their owners, hear about their issues (dog and owner!) and meet their agency walker.

I must admit, I am a dog lover. My favorite dog in the book? Stanley - a mutt of mixed lineage with his own opinions. We catch up with many of the dogs as time moves on with additional entries. Stanley has five or six. Fair warning - he and his walker, Tom had me reaching for the tissue box. The walkers are a mixed bag as well, with some working out and some not. The owners run the gamut - from kind and caring to unbelievably rude and arrogant. And wound into every chapter is Kate's life as she grows and changes and moves forward.

"But, as Kate says, “It’s all down to the dogs” and what they taught her about London - and life."

It's difficult to 'rate' someone's life or experiences. Thank you Kate for sharing! I really, really enjoyed your memoir.

I chose to listen to London's Number One Dog-Walking Agency. The reader was Anna Popplewell. Her voice is very pleasant to listen to - rich and full. She has a lovely British accent that is easy to understand. She has lots of movement in her voice and easily captures the emotions and events in the book. Her reading kept me engaged from first chapter to last. And she did justice to MacDougall's work. A great performance. Hear for yourself - listen to an excerpt of London's Number One Dog-Walking Agency.


Mystica said...

Thank you for the review. An unusual story I think.

Luanne said...

Thanks for reading Mystica! It was different and refreshing!

Vicki said...

I was sold when I saw the cover because I've loved dogs all my life. Going to find a copy ♥

Luanne said...

Wonderful Vicki! I hope you enjoy it as well!