London’s No.1 Dog Walking Agency by Kate MacDougall

With the heaviness that comes with a national Lockdown, I have been seeking lighter reading material, and London’s No.1 Dog Walking Agency by Kate MacDougall was a great tonic.

There are quite a few dog-themed books coming through that you can keep your eyes peeled for. Dog Days by Ericka Walker, The Dog Share by Fiona Gibson and Rescue Me by Sarra Manning all publish in 2021. London’s No.1 Dog Walking Agency is Kate MacDougall’s doggy-memoirs of her experiences setting up a dog-walking agency in the mid-00s.

We follow the highs and lows of the business over a number of years. There are triumphs and canine mishaps and the impacts of being hit by the recession. We meet all manner of dogs – posh dogs, scruffy mutts, pedigree champions and rescued Heinz-57s. Alongside the dogs are the owners – couples, singletons, filthy rich divorcees, and their various needs (demands!) We also meet some of the walkers, in particular Tom, whose personal style can’t fail to make you smile. And of course we meet Kate and her now husband Finlay and their journey into the world of dog-walking. At the heart of everything is the love of dogs, which is why, for me as an animal lover, it was an easy pick.

London’s No.1 Dog Walking Agency is a great book for dog-lovers of all ages. As a residential pet-sitter I’ve walked a fair few dogs in my time, and there is an easy-going relatability to the book. I developed a real soft spot for Stanley, and for Cleo the fat-lab who was effectively living lockdown life back in 2008 before we would know what it feels like!

For some other books featuring wonderful animal characters, see these reviews:

The Last Bear by Hannah Gold
The Offing by Benjamin Myers
A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
A Beautiful Truth by Colin McAdam