Kate MacDougall always knew her heart wasn't really in her job at Sotheby's. All around her, friends were finding their dream jobs and whooshing up career ladders. After yet another breakage, this time of two precious porcelain pigeons, she had enough, and walked out of her snoozy, back office existence into the unknown world of the then-nascent gig economy.
London's No. 1 Dog-Walking Agency is the story of her next 9 years and the dogs (and people) she meets along the way. There's Winston, the Labrador, who isn't allowed to get muddy, even after his owners split up and then enlist Kate in their custody battle. There's the chic trio of Islington couples whose immaculately arranged dog walking schedule is thrown off when one of them gets off with the dog walker Kate has employed. There's Kate's long-suffering, dog-agnostic boyfriend Finlay, and her mother, who is always on the alert for wedding bells.
Amongst all this, there's Kate herself: trying to work out what she wants from life, and when and how to get there.
I really enjoyed this read.
The narrative from Kate herself was charming. The story was funny in parts and I found myself chuckling along with the various doggy characters and their unique behaviours.
It was inspiring to see Kate see out her ambition of starting a dog walking business when everyone around her, other than her husband, seemed to be against the idea.
It was also really interesting to hear about how the recession hit her business and how she came out the other side.
Overall, it was a really solid read with a good, joyful narrative.