Est. 2021

Golden Hounds

Toronto, ON

Services include group walks and in-house boarding

Who knew an unassuming encounter with a veteran dog walker could turn into a life-changing opportunity? Imagine receiving a call from someone you've only exchanged glances and gestures with at the local dog park, offering you their entire clientele amassed over nearly three decades of service. This remarkable gesture of trust and recognition is what propelled Mary Keeping into entrepreneurship, setting her on a path to success and marking the beginning of Golden Hounds!

A Typical Day with Golden Hounds 

Mary’s day starts with the aroma of coffee and the anticipation of the day’s adventures. By 7:15 AM, she’s out the door, ready to gather her first group of dogs for their pack walk. With six dogs at a time, she services various neighbourhoods in Toronto including Forest Hill, Midtown, Rosedale, and Summer Hill. She provides structured pack walks and in-home boarding services. For Mary, it’s not just a walk; it’s an hour of bonding, and many owners are gleeful about the photos she sends them throughout the day.

With a leash in hand, Mary normally guides six dogs at a time, with their adventures ranging from hikes in the ravines to trail walks. For those dogs with impeccable recall, their owners’ wishes for off-leash adventures are honoured. After months of careful trust-building, these dogs reach a new level of exploring with more liberty.

Memories and Milestones

Of course, Mary’s favourite memory is the one that started her business. How could it not? After four years of honing her skills and two years of working for a company, it was the observant eyes of a dog walker, whom Mary would meet occasionally in Toronto’s dog parks, who chose to pass on her treasured clientele to Mary. “It was such an honour to … have this woman who had been in the dog walking business in Toronto for like almost 30 years saying, you know, I trust you, here's my clientele on a silver platter.” It was an offer made out of respect and confidence in Mary’s work ethic and attitude, a gesture that transformed Mary’s dog-walking path from contractor to entrepreneur.

TinyHorse’s Impact

For Mary, TinyHorse serves as her daily tool belt. It’s a system that goes beyond mere leashes; it’s an organizer, a holder for keys to clients’ homes, spare car keys, poop bags, and treat bags—everything a professional dog walker needs. For Mary, “just having the ability to add on things to the waist belt is probably one of my favourite things.” Even outside of work, TinyHorse is a part of her life, providing convenience and security whether she’s taking her dog for a walk or meeting friends at a pub. 

“TinyHorse fits in my daily life every single day. Even if I'm not working, I'm using TinyHorse gear… I have the leashes attached to me, I have my keys to all of my clients' homes, my extra spare of car keys, you know, poop bags, treat bags, the whole nine yards.”

The adjustable loops and vibrant colours of the leashes allow her to stay organized and in control, even in the busiest of situations. Whether she's navigating crowded streets or exploring off-leash trails, TinyHorse ensures that Mary and her pack are always prepared for whatever comes their way and the gear’s adjustable loops are a standout feature, allowing Mary to attach essentials with carabiners directly to her waist belt. The vibrant colours of the leashes not only add a dash of brightness to her day but also serve a practical purpose, helping her quickly identify and manage each dog in her care. 

“My second favourite thing is the colours. I love bright colours! So the leashes, all my dogs have different colour leads, which makes it so much easier if we are all walking on leash, you know, [if] one dog is kind of verging off to the side, I can see what colour lead they're using.”

TinyHorse isn’t just equipment; it’s an extension of Mary’s professional image, showcasing her as a dedicated and well-equipped dog walker. These thoughtful details make TinyHorse users stand out in the industry for being prepared but also stylishly equipped.

“[When] they see that you come with your own gear… you look like a professional dog walker.”

Lessons Learned

In her journey as a dog walker, Mary has learned invaluable lessons about patience and the importance of self-care. She emphasizes the need for dog walkers to set boundaries and prioritize their well-being, both physically and mentally. With TinyHorse gear, Mary can work smarter, not harder, minimizing strain on her body and maximizing efficiency on the job.

For those considering a career in dog walking or looking to elevate their current practices, Mary has one simple piece of advice: make the switch to TinyHorse. She swears by the transformative impact that TinyHorse gear has had on her work, from reducing physical strain to enhancing professionalism during client meetings. With TinyHorse by your side, you'll not only look the part but also feel confident in your ability to provide the best possible care for the dogs.

Official Website

Thank you, Mary!

Connect with Golden Hounds!

Disclaimer: All views and opinions expressed in this blog series are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of TinyHorse.

Photos and videos were submitted by the featured dog walker.