I met Cecilia while looking around for a sitter for Tumble just a day before I launched this project. It was serendipitous, I suppose, that she was also the first to respond to the Call to Action I issued on Facebook. Funnily enough, the day on which we chose to do this was also National Puppies Day!
Cecilia is French, and hails from a small town in Southern France. She came to the States at 18 on a student exchange program to learn English, and fell in love with Washington. Fast forward 20+ years, Cecilia now runs her own dog boarding and sitting business, Doggies Heaven, tucked away in a corner of our very own slice of paradise.
Cecilia has always loved animals, having grown up with pets, and nurtured that love when she started working in pet care years ago. It was through this job that the opportunity to nanny some dogs fell on her lap seven years ago. Two dogs became five and pretty soon, Cecilia had herself a small business!
If you think dog-sitting and boarding would be an interesting job, you’d be right, but it’s not all fun and games. I spent about eight hours with Cecilia on a rainy Spring day, and at the end of it, I was pretty exhausted! From feeding to picking up poop, to playing with a very active bunch of pooches (about 12-15 of them was with Cecilia that day) several times a day, walking (despite the rain!), dropping off and picking up, this is not a job for the faint-hearted! It doesn’t leave much of a social life for Cecilia, she laments, but she loves her job.
“It’s the best job in the world!” she declares happily.
You can see Cecilia’s passion in how she’s transformed her entire home into a haven (or heaven!) for her doggies. Every inch is dedicated to her guests; couches, blankets, beds, crates, toys, every photo on her wall, even most of her fridge and bathroom! A small room at the back of Cecilia’s home is her bedroom, and even that space is filled with her love for dogs.
Cecilia has plans to expand her space, which is a rental but her landlord has been really supportive of her endeavors and plans are underway to make Doggies Heaven even more of a paradise for dogs than it already is. Right now, Cecilia can take up to 30 dogs to board.
Thanks so much for letting me shadow you, Cecilia, and for being my first subject for Faces of Duvall. It was a really wonderful experience and I am thankful for you!
For more information about Doggies Heaven, visit http://www.doggiesheaven.com.