Having a pet in your life can bring a lot of joy. From daily playtime to nightly snuggles on the couch, animals are as caring as they are energetic.
But no matter the personality of your furry friend, there is extensive work involved when it comes to caring for your pet, including a need for frequent walks, grooming and overall health protection.
In 2004, Leslie Barron and Amy Reed, who both live in Ashburn and are neighbors, noticed a need for proper services for local pets, which eventually led to a departure from their corporate jobs and the start of Woofie’s, LLC, a company specializing in all-things pet care. While the company began as solely a dog walking business with one location, it is now a franchise that caters to animals in a variety of ways in Ashburn and Leesburg, as well as the Reston and Herndon area.
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And this summer, following the celebration of the company’s 15th anniversary, the duo partnered with international training center Pet Tech to offer CPR, first aid and overall crisis prevention workshops to local animal owners.
“It’s something we all went through a few years ago and we found it really helpful,” says executive team member Caroline Murphy, who has been with the company since 2009. “The reality is we are responsible for these animals. So we wanted our team to be equipped to handle potential health issues, and we wanted to be able to educate our clients, too.”
From proper restraint techniques to rescue breathing, each lesson in the four-hour course will teach attendees how to act in the case of an emergency with a real dog present. Other skills learned include choking management, bleeding protocol, how to notice insect bites and what to do in the case of poisoning, among others.
While any NoVA resident can participate in this recently launched program, all of Woofie’s other services are restricted to only those who live in one of the three regions the company caters to, which according to Murphy, is a big part of the team’s success.
“For just our Ashburn location, our client database has roughly 6,000 people,” says Murphy. “We found the larger the service area, the more challenging it is to give our clients’ animals the best care possible.”
Since the program began, courses have been sold out in advance with about 30 to 40 people attending each one. And according to Murphy, the key takeaway of the course is learning how to understand when your pet is in pain or in need of help.
“Animals react differently to stress than people do, in that they don’t typically panic or freak out like a human would,” says Murphy. “These classes teach people how to identify those reactions and provide the proper care your pet needs, should an emergency occur.”
If you’re interested in participating in one of the upcoming pet tech classes continuing through December, click here.