Hi. I’m Jamie Shanks!
I’m 35 years old and founded Bishopton Dog Walking Services on May 10ᵗʰ 2010. We are based in Bishopton but also offer our services to Erskine and Langbank pet owners.
How BDWS began…
I was a home carer. Before that I was studying computing are Reid Kerr college. Then one day I was informed that I was no longer going to receive carer’s allowance and I was thrown on the dole. On May 10th 2010 I sat on the train from Bishopton to Paisley and watched the trees fly by as an unemployed man. It had taken the last 3 months for me to get to the stage where the job centre was ready to sign me off after letting them know I wanted to be a self employed dog walker. The HMRC told me I needed to ‘sign off’ and then register my business to get working tax credits while the job centre told me I needed to register my business first and then ‘sign off’! It had been 6 months since I’d been made unemployed when I arrived at the job centre for the last time! An hour later and after sorting out some forms I sat back on the train on the way back home and watched the same scenery go by but now I was newly self employed!
Being my own boss and owning my very own business felt empowering but there was a major problem. I had no dogs to walk, no transport, was making no money and had no money to invest in my business! I had to let people know that Bishopton dog walking services existed and were ready to roll, so I made all my own leaflets on the computer, printed them out and then posted them through every single door in Bishopton. I then saved up and got business cards made. With time on my hands and no other options I even learnt how to make this website!! With no car I borrowed a bike from my brother so I could cycle to my pets. Weeks passed but I never received a single phone call and things looked pretty gloomy to say the least. Then one day the phone rang with someone asking me to walk their dog. They were from Renfrew and their dog was a show cocker spaniel named Jay! I was now a professional!!
As summer turned to autumn and I found more dogs to walk and pets to care for I managed to get hold of a 23 year old Volvo estate. It was a very nice looking car that came with a massive boot and all the toys including heated seats which were a god send for the winter of 2010. Sadly the ownership of that car came at a price. Because I never drove far I didn’t think that owning a car (especially a v6) would be too expensive, but it was. In the end and with many repairs to the vehicle I had to let it go.
For over 6 months I went back to using the bike, but eventually and after a bit of saving I bought another car. In October 2011 I bought a 2005 Chevrolet estate! Frustratingly that car cost around £3000 in repairs in one year and in April 2013 I gladly replaced it with a Citroen Berlingo which so far is going great!
Walking dogs from Renfrew, Bishopton,Erskine and Langbank was getting too much, especially the time and cost it took to get to and from dogs and I knew I needed to localize the area.
In October 2011 and after the owners of some dogs I walked in Renfrew no longer required a dog walker and I got some new dogs in Bishopton I decided to let Renfrew go and concentrate on the Bishopton and Erskine areas. It was such a tough choice but I knew that eventually I would either have to choose Bishopton/Erskine or the Renfrew area and that there would come a point where I couldn’t do both.
In the past I used to walk dogs in Langbank around 2 o’clock and meet and chat to many Langbank dog owners and would even meet up with an owner when I visited so our dogs could play. Nowadays the Langbank dogs I walk get walked at the beach in Erskine or taken to Finlaystone for a walk through the woods.
In October 2012 I attended a first aid course with Vets4pets Paisley and along with other Renfrewshire dog walkers! You can read about that here!
I’m very proud of my business that was built from nothing to become one of the largest and best pet services in Renfrewshire and regard BDWS as the best of the best anywhere!
I hope you enjoy the website.
We are police checked and fully insured!
This means that our insurance covers…
- Dog walking
- Maximum 6 dogs walked at any one time
- Can be exercised off lead if owners written consent given
- Pet minding
- Home boarding
- House sitting
- Farm animals and horses in a non-commercial environment
- Collection and delivery/pet taxi
- Family members extension
- Public liability = £3,000,000
- Liability to animals in our care, custody or control = £10,000 any one event
- Loss of keys & replacement locks = £10,000 any one event
- Employer’s Liability = £10,000,000
As well as being insured we are also police checked for your peace of mind. We can prove to you that we have no previous criminal record and are a trusted business.
To enquire about our pet services:
Call Jamie on 07949 348575
Or use the form below