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Conversations with Charlotte Bayne

Today we’d like to introduce you to Charlotte Bayne.

Hi Charlotte, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Growing up in Seattle, I always had two passions: acting and animals. I moved to Los Angeles in 2001, but after several years working on my acting career and waiting tables and a two-year stint as a certified massage therapist, I had hit a wall. I was in a bad relationship and struggling with panic attacks and fatigue, and just generally looking for guidance in terms of what to do next. I knew I needed to make some changes, but I wasn’t quite sure how.

Then, in 2009, I stumbled upon an outdoor dog adoption in Santa Monica, where a 42-pound terrier puppy caught my eye. I felt almost possessed in that moment, as though a force greater than myself was pushing me toward this scruffy pup! I adopted him right then and there. At the time, it had never occurred to me that I could make a living spending time with dogs, but after just a few short months with Chance (as I named him), I was inspired to start a dog walking and care business called Hiking Tails, serving clients on the westside of Los Angeles. Eleven years later, the business has grown into a fulfilling career in ways I could have never imagined. While I am not actively training dogs at the moment, I am certified in Positive Reinforcement Training and am continually pushing myself to learn new things. Which is why, after caring for other peoples’ dogs for so many years, I’ve decided to share what I’ve learned with my new venture The Baroo, a lifestyle website offering guidance, products, stories, and tips for the mindful pet owner. The Baroo has been up and running for a few months, with a podcast in the works and The Baroo online shop opening soon!

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Luckily for me, Hiking Tails grew organically and at a really nice pace over the years as I slowly expanded my client base. Working with animals can be incredibly rewarding and in addition to the sweet dogs I am so lucky to care for, I am so grateful for the wonderful community of supportive humans that I have created! It’s not all playing fetch and giving out treats though. In addition to the regular challenges of owning your own small business, managing upwards of 30 dogs per day can be physically stressful, and after many years of leading group walks I realized that the work was starting to take a toll on my body, with chronic neck and shoulder pain and other issues cropping up. I needed to pivot and create something that I was still passionate about but that had less impact on my body. The Baroo was born out of that need.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I’m still active in the entertainment industry and still caring for dogs on a daily basis, but I’ve dialed back my commitments some and have a few part-time helpers now so that I can focus on The Baroo. It’s designed to be a space where I can share what I’ve learned over the past decade-plus in dog care and a way to grow the community I’ve built. In addition to product tips and anecdotes from my own experience, I’m reaching out to other professionals in the field and inviting them to share their expertise: holistic and allopathic veterinarians, trainers, groomers, nutritionists, healers and rescue organizations. Some recent topics The Baroo has covered include what to look for in a pack walk for your dog, how gua sha can help your canine companion, and what to do if your beloved pup is getting in the way of your love life! As you can see, it’s pretty wide-ranging, and I’m excited to see where it takes me in 2021.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
During this year, I have tried to find the small moments that can bring me joy. Obviously spending time with Chance and all the pups in my life, but also planning a future trip when the pandemic is over. I have always wanted to really get out there and travel and was planning on a big trip to Japan with my sister in 2020. Obviously that has been put on hold but dreaming about my next adventure does bring me happiness. I am also a total goofball, and dancing and laughing with my quarantine team definitely gets me through. I don’t get to the beach as often as I would like—even though I live so close!—but every time I do the vast expanse of the ocean and the play of light on the water brings me peace and joy.

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