My Economy

She’s a trainer who was schooled by dogs

Marketplace Staff Oct 26, 2018
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Some of Renee Bogaarts' furriest clients. Courtesy of Renee Bogaarts
My Economy

She’s a trainer who was schooled by dogs

Marketplace Staff Oct 26, 2018
Some of Renee Bogaarts' furriest clients. Courtesy of Renee Bogaarts
HTML EMBED:
COPY

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent over $69 billion on their pets in 2017. Of that, over $6 billion went to services like groomers, dog walkers and trainers. It’s this last category that Renee Bogaarts falls into. Bogaarts runs Dingo Doggies in Los Angeles, a dog training service that got its start with a troubled rescue and a lot of Animal Planet.  

My name’s Renee Bogaarts. I’m a dog trainer, and I started Dingo Doggie’s in 2014. And I live in Santa Monica, California.

Before 2014 was a little bit rough for me personally. I’d come out of a relationship quite abruptly that I didn’t see coming. I found that a lot of my happiness came from when I was with my dogs.

The dog I rescued, her name was Lola. I took her home and it was very, very hard. She was so fearful and she’d wet herself and she’d get aggressive. And every day, all I did was watch Animal Planet and talk to trainers and talk to vets and try clicker training and try treats. And whatever she’d respond to in a positive, confident manner, I would keep doing. Beautifully, she transformed and became the most amazing dog of all.

I started getting random calls from people. “Hi, you don’t know me but one of my neighbors said that you had this crazy dog and you transformed it. I was wondering if you could help me with my dog.” I would say, “Sure, I’ll come and take a look.” And then they told their friends, because it worked. At the same time, I was working in restaurants. I didn’t have the main source of income from doing the dogs. You know, I was making $40 some days. Other days I made nothing. So in the beginning, I really wasn’t supporting myself. There came a point where I just said, “OK, I need to start charging people, and I need to get rid of this waitressing thing because there’s not enough hours in the day.” And so I started charging and people started paying, and it took a lot of energy and a lot of time out of me that I just bumped up the prices incrementally.

Dogs have really, in a sense, schooled me. I prefer their company over humans. I love the company of humans as well. But there’s nothing better than having a great dog next to you.

This series only works with your help. Let us know how your economy is doing using the form below, and your story may appear in a future My Economy.

 

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.