Dogs can check back into pooch hotel in Hawick

The owner of a dog hotel in Hawick had no reservations over reopening his business despite acknowledging the tough challenges that lie ahead.

By Paul Kelly
Thursday, 30th July 2020, 1:02 pm
Peter Hodgson with his dogs.
Peter Hodgson with his dogs.

Business was booming for Peter Hodgson and the pooch hotel he launched at Scawmill Farmhouse at Wilton Dean late last year.

Set in seven acres of land and just 15 minutes from the centre of Hawick, Peter, 55, semi-retired from the construction business, was building up a loyal clientèle when he was forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic early in March.

As the country went into lockdown he lost almost 80 per cent of his bookings.

Peter, who has two Hungarian Vizsla dogs, said: “ We got back up and running last week but I have to say it has been a little bit devastating because we were 80 per cent full with bookings all the way to the end of August but almost everyone has cancelled.

“Business was going very well but now people are cancelling foreign holidays and going on staycations instead, on which presumably they take their pets with them, hence the cancellations for me.

“Anyway, we hope to build them back up again, as long as we don’t have a second wave.”

Peter has also faced financial and health issues as a result of the pandemic, but still prefers to remain upbeat.

He explained: “Because we are a new business we didn’t qualify for any government assistance in any way so I’ve just been living off savings, really. I was placed at the high risk category so I didn’t move from the premises until a week and a half ago.

“I have some ongoing respiratory problems and the thought of getting Covid on top of that wouldn’t be too pleasing. Obviously we’re taking precautions now when we pick up and drop off. It’s at street level only I don’t go into people’s buildings.

“It’s tough for everybody and I’m not one to moan because everyone is in the same boat.

“I will soldier on and I have had a slow trickle of customers coming back now.”

For bookings call 01450 375133.