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A dog’s life: Specialist Sam offers day care that goes a bit deeper

A man, who has opened up his family home to help man’s best friend, has thanked supporters for getting behind his fledgling doggy day care business.

Sam Davey-Smith launched Waveney Dog Retreat at his home in The Common in Harleston at the start of March.

The 35-year-old, who is a fully-trained dog behaviourist, said his service, which includes half-day and full-day care, came after he noticed a rise in dog ownership during covid.

Sam with Simba, Trigger, Rü and Duke. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Sam with Simba, Trigger, Rü and Duke. Picture: Mark Bullimore

“I have been working in dog behaviour for a long time, travelling all over the country, and lots of people asked me about setting up a dog retreat,” he said.

“I saw lots of people getting dogs during covid and started to see, through my behavioural work, that most had not been socialised with other dogs. That gave me the idea of offering daycare on a small scale so that the focus can be on the dogs.”

After moving to Norfolk from Chiswick in west London, he met his wife, Maria, who works part-time for the retreat and at Harleston Primary School, at Dogs Trust Snetterton 13 years ago.

Sam Davey-Smith of Waveney Dog Retreat, pictured here with his dog, Trigger. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Sam Davey-Smith of Waveney Dog Retreat, pictured here with his dog, Trigger. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Working his way up from a kennel hand, he became a dog behaviourist – a role he fulfilled at the North End Road site for seven years.

As well as helping people and their dogs through online behavioural consultations, Mr Davey-Smith said his day care, which takes six dogs at a time, had been really well received by clients, who appreciate his approach to looking after their furry friends.

The father-of-two said: “The reviews have been great and I am truly grateful for our clients as they are what makes us what we are – we would not be here without them.

“I just find real joy in helping people with their dogs and giving them a home from home here with us.

Sam Davey-Smith of Waveney Dog Retreat. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Sam Davey-Smith of Waveney Dog Retreat. Picture: Mark Bullimore

“Dogs are my obsession – my wife would say that – and I want the retreat to be a one-stop shop for giving structure to a dog’s day, while giving them something their owners will appreciate as well.”

To find out more about the business, go online to www.waveneydogretreat.co.uk.

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