The Founder of Forest Hill Dog Walkers & Pet Services Ltd. – At Home With Murphy & Chauncie
By The Get Leashed Doggy Style Team
When dog owners are looking for the best in Toronto, they look no further than Forest Hill Dog Walkers. While you may be familiar with founder Andrew Wood and his service tips, you probably don’t know his story of combining passions to start this successful business, and the pups who are right by his side. We had the opportunity to get to know more about Andrew, and what inspired him to create this concierge service, going above and beyond for clients for over four years. Take a look at our afternoon with Andrew, Murphy, and Chauncie.
Please tell us about yourself, your profession, and what a typical work day is like.
I grew up in Forest Hill and own a large pet service business. I’ve always been an outdoorsy kind of guy, interested in nature, science, and astronomy. Previously I was the head of an outdoor recreation program in Haliburton, teaching kids all kinds of things about nature.
I wanted to combine my passion for the outdoors with my job and start my own business. Before I started Forest Hill Dog Walkers, I was at a job I didn’t like, having worked in finance and real estate. I was looking for an all encompassing, upscale pet service – really New York style – and I couldn’t find anything like this in Toronto. For us, it’s more than just dog walking, it’s a more professional approach covering everything from grooming to food delivery. At the moment, we have a waiting list and I’m trying to hire and grow our team faster than I can! We need to be very careful, to ensure we maintain the quality of service that we currently offer.
I’m lucky in that I love what I do and love my business.
Please tell us a bit about your dogs. How did they come into your life?
Chauncie came into my life when he was 2. My good friend Ryan Silverstein and I share him together. Chauncie would come to camp with me in the summers and the kids of course loved him.
I decided Chauncie needed a friend and that’s when I found Murphy. I was looking at dogs online just for the fun of it, but then I saw Murphy and knew he belonged with me. The two boys got along right away!
How would you describe your personal style?
I would say my style is casual but put together. I go for what’s comfortable and usually wear more earthy, natural tones.
How would you describe the look and feel of your home?
My home is also earthy and very relaxed. There’s nothing super modern, and living in a 1930s Art Deco style building, I’ve maintained some of that aesthetic with some of the elements in my place. I host friends often, so it’s important for my space to be super inviting with a chill vibe.
What does your ideal weekend look like?
Really for me, it involves being up North at the family cottage. Swimming, sun, and good conversation, bringing Chauncie and Murphy along of course – these are the best weekends. Playing guitar and watching the stars, what’s better than that!
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by my family and friends, as well as my clients and their dogs. I like to help people bring out the very best in their pets. Now that I’ve had some success in building a business, I’m also inspired by the hope to share my life with someone. Being an outdoorsy person, I’m inspired by natural beauty and astronomy, and the unknown.
Finally, can you leave us with a funny story about your dogs?
Murphy and Chauncie are super close, and they live a pretty good life, having a dad who works from home often and takes them on adventures.
Murphy has a baby (a stuffed version of Chauncie), that he carries around all the time. He even knows it by name if you say ‘Murphy, go get your baby’.
Chauncie is super friendly, but when he would come out of the woods at summer camp, the kids thought he was an actual bear. I even put a light on his collar but he would still get mistaken.
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