Paws in Work founder - Ashley, explains how the company was formed, its core values and how the company continues to evolve into one of the most unique, sought-after wellness programmes for the modern workplace.
How it began.
Dogs have a way in bringing out a side of you that can't be replicated. A side that's special.
My most memorable experience to this was my family pet Nelson. He was like no other. He was a cheeky, stubborn, lazy, but loveable English Bulldog who was extremely in tune with all human emotion. Nelson was brought up in a loving home, as a gift for my ill Mother who was fighting a long battle with cancer at the time.
Years later, Nelson moved into my London flat with my wife, Rebecca. He continued to provide untold amounts of love, and very quickly became famous in the local pub in Wimbledon where he was known by name. It was clear to see, that Nelson had not just an effect on us, but anyone whose path he crossed.
Support when needed.
After my mother sadly passed away. Nelson provided comfort in helping us all to grieve. Days when you simply needed a cuddle on the sofa. He was there, not saying a word. He gave me the headspace needed through long dog walks and sloppy wet kisses.
Time's a healer.
Over the next few years, we would take regular walks and long visits to see Mum. Nelson would become a rock to me like no other. His presence reminded me of Mum, and we sat for hours just silently in our thoughts.
A grey morning late in 2016 awoke us with a moment we will never forget. Our beloved Nelson had sadly passed away in the night, silently where he slept aged just 6 years old. Instantly we felt the hole in our home. I was broken. There's not many things that can relate to the feeling of losing a best friend.
It's clear why people become dog lovers, and why dogs have a special place in our hearts. With London life especially not suited for working families to own a dog, I wanted to find a way in which people are able to still benefit from the love and warmth they can give, without the logistic difficulties of prolonged time away from them. I wanted to give back to these special animals, and help them to live healthier, happier lives.
A new arrival.
With Nelson being a support system in my journey with Mum, and wanting to find a way to help fill the space in our home, I surprised my wife Rebecca with an anniversary present that was soon to become extremely fitting. A little English Bulldog girl aged just 9 weeks old. We called her Margot.
Sadly, however, Margot didn't settle as well as we hoped. She wouldn't eat, wouldn't drink and was worryingly lethargic. After an emergency visit to the Vet just 24 hours after picking her up, we thought we were going to lose her. I couldn't bear to go through it all again so soon.
A brain wave.
Thankfully our little Margot was okay. The Vet informed us she simply became flooded with so many new experiences that were all very new to her. I didn't even realise this was a 'thing'. Especially something that could have such an effect on a young puppy.
After some research into 'fear periods' and the long-term effects that a lack of early socialisation can have on dogs, it all became clear. There was a demand crying out for the proper socialisation of pups, whilst at the same time benefiting humans with the escape they so desperately needed.
Paws was born.
With the development of our socialisation programme and working with experts in their field, we created Paws in Work.
A fundamental stepping stone to help truly socialise puppies in a way that benefits them long-term into happy, healthy dogs, whilst providing a 5* employee experience to aid mental health in the workplace, and help unite teams over a mutual love and care for dogs.
As we branch out into more and more businesses, both big and small, the reception of our work in turn also grows, with heartwarming stories from employees of how our sessions have helped them open up and provide a gateway to trapped emotion. Some attendees laugh. Some attendees cry. Some just sit in silence and take in the feeling of being truly present.
As our brand continues to grow, along with Margot, we invite you to come and be part of our playful journey into making a difference in people's work and mental health, joining us for a few puppy cuddles along the way!
On a mission.
We endeavour to support your employees through their struggles and provide a unique experience your teams will be talking about for years to come. Through heartfelt puppy therapy sessions, advanced socialisation practices and in-depth Mental Health training, we're on a mission to create a better life for people and pups.
Meet the team
We are a diverse, passionate, dog-loving team who are focused on delivering world-class events.
What's puppy therapy?
Understand how our events work and why they are so beneficial to staff.