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Meet Marin and Dominique Cachu of Purrs & Grrrs in Sunland-Tujunga

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marin Cachu and Dominique Cachu.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Marin, Dominique. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Shortly after we married in 2012, we began to talk about what we would do for work if we could truly do what we enjoyed. For Marin, his dream was to work with animals and to be his own boss. He has always been a bit of an “Animal Whisperer” – not just with dogs & cats, but really with any furry, feathery, or scaly animal. He grew up around animals and has always loved learning about and caring for them. Marin and I had lots of these “dream casting” types of conversations over the years, and somewhere along the line the conversation transformed from “wouldn’t it be nice if…” to “I really want to do this – how can we make it happen?” Between Marin’s strong animal background and my Human Resources/Operations experience, we knew we not only could take the leap to start a business but that we could do this really well!

We began to take serious steps to make this dream a reality in 2014 – mainly a TON of research in to how to start a business in LA + market research on the area we wanted to serve. And then Purrs & Grrrs Dog Walking & Pet Sitting was born! Later that year we knew we’d be relocating from Glendale to Sunland-Tujunga, so we decided we’d formally launch Purrs & Grrrs when we moved to our new neighborhood in 2015. Our mission is to “Love Pets & Their People”, so it was super important to us to work in our own ‘hood’ to truly know the families in our care. Things took off quickly once we launched, and our Purrs & Grrrs family has continued to grow ever since!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a business from the ground up will always have challenges. It’s a huge leap of faith! No matter how much research you do, or how prepared you feel you may be, there are some things that simply won’t be learned until they’re experienced. What has made our ride so much smoother is that we are not doing this alone – we’ve had each other to talk to, share ideas and also our frustrations. With all that said, our biggest struggle and celebration along the way has been building up our business from nothing to now sustaining a full-time income. It was a really hard grind for about a year a half before our name started to be known and a steady flow of work had arrived. During that time, we were both working 2 jobs – our “office gig” and Purrs & Grrrs. It was a pretty amazing (and scary!) celebration for us when Marin decided to quit his 9-5 and take the leap to be his own boss 24/7 with Purrs & Grrrs. But we wouldn’t trade that decision for the world. Not only do we get to say we love what we do for a living, but Purrs & Grrrs allows us to spend more time with each other and our new baby as well – an added bonus!

So, let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Purrs & Grrrs – Dog Walker & Pet Sitter Services story. Tell us more about the business.
Purrs & Grrrs is a professional dog walker & in-home pet sitter company based in Sunland-Tujunga and serving the surrounding Foothills area, and we’re dedicated to “Loving Pets and Their People”. Dog walking & pet sitting is needed for so many different reasons. Most people who have pets find themselves working a 9-5 job or long hours away from their pet, or they find themselves planning a vacation but realizing they’ll need to find care for their pet while they’re away. This is where Purrs & Grrrs steps in to help! Although a majority of our Purrs & Grrrs family are dogs and cats, we also provide care for equines (horses, donkeys), birds/chickens, reptiles & other enclosure animals such as guinea pigs, rabbits etc.

We provide daily dog walks and potty break visits for pups, as well as pet sitting or overnight care for dogs, cats & other animals in the comfort of their own home. In-home visits help to ensure the pet’s routine is minimally altered which helps to reduce any additional stress they may already be feeling with their pet parent away. We also provide Pet Taxi services for those days when pet parents need help with picking up or dropping off their pet with the vet, groomer etc. In everything we do, we partner with pet owners to give their furry (or fur challenged!) loved ones the best life possible by providing the best attention and care when it’s needed the most. With Purrs & Grrrs it really is all about Loving Pets & Their People!

With the growing number of pet care/dog walker apps and sites, more and more people are deciding to cash in on the growing need for pet care. This tends to bring out well-intentioned “pet lovers” vs pet care professionals. Simply being a pet lover or a low price point shouldn’t be the main factors pet parents look at when deciding who to entrust with the care of their furry family.

Purrs & Grrrs remains heads & tails above many other pet care services because we are truly a professional company with a personal approach. On the business side of things, we’re members of Pet Sitters International (PSI), fully insured + bonded, certified in Pet CPR/First-Aid, provide thorough service contracts for each Purrs & Grrrs family member and also have completed background checks. We’re also continuously growing in our expertise by participating in great learning workshops provided by PSI as well as staying on top of the latest in pet care, health & behavior. As a result of our pet care knowledge, we can help pet parents with leash training and some pet behavioral correction. There have also been several occasions where we’ve been able to warn pet parents of a potentially serious health issue with their pet because we’ve noticed something abnormal during one of our walks or visits. On the relational side, we provide detailed text or email updates to pet parents after our visits, complete with cute photos of their pets enjoying their visit with Purrs & Grrrs, we give little gifts throughout the year to celebrate big holidays/events, and some great friendships have developed within our Purrs & Grrrs family. We also aim to have 1-2 community related events a year – whether it’s a “Yappy Hour” at a local restaurant to benefit a local animal rescue or hosting a Pop-Up Dog Park.

We are so proud of building Purrs & Grrrs from the ground up and for having one of our dreams come true, but we’re also deeply proud of the relationships we’ve made by Loving Pets & Their People. Caring for someone’s pet isn’t simply a job – we’re given the privilege of caring for a member of their family and we’re welcomed in to homes and lives. This has allowed us to celebrate some of life’s greatest joys with people – a promotion, a big move, a new baby – and also some of life’s greatest sorrows – including the passing of their 4-legged best friend. While running a successful business is important, at the heart of all we do is ensuring our Purrs & Grrrs family feels well loved and cared for.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
Every business needs a bit of “luck” to succeed, don’t you think? Putting in the hours and hard work is an absolute must to do anything well – but it’s also super helpful to have your business catch the eye of the right person, or to be in the right place at the right time to meet a potential new client. We’ve experienced both sides of the “luck” coin so far. On the plus side, we are wildly thankful Purrs & Grrrs has grown to be such a trusted name for dog walker & pet sitter services. When we first started out, we introduced ourselves to many of the local veterinary offices & groomer services in Sunland-Tujunga and ended up getting connected with one of our neighborhood’s local animal heroes. People trust her and value her opinion, so when she started to spread the word about us and recommend us to her animal network it really meant a lot! Our reputation absolutely speaks for itself, and to have the added support of such a trusted animal/wildlife professional really puts us over the top in Sunland-Tujunga.

On the flip side, there are some aspects of life you really can’t control. Our Foothills community has been ravaged by wildfires this past year, and some of our Purrs & Grrrs family were affected as well. People lost homes, their belongings…most everything they owned. While we were able to be a help and support in the immediate aftermath of the fires, naturally, vacations or daily pet care takes a backseat when such a tragedy occurs. When something as drastic as this occurs, or even just the natural ebb & flow of business, we know it’s only for a season of time. There may be pain in the night, but joy always comes in the morning! (Can you tell we’re optimists??)

Pricing:

  • Initial Meet & Greet – FREE!
  • Dog Walks start at $20 per visit
  • Potty Breaks start at $15 per visit
  • Pet Sitting starts at $15 per visit
  • Overnight Care starts at $60 per night
  • Pet Taxi service starts at $15

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Team Photos with Great Dane by Edrea Lara – http://edrealara.com/
Animal Photos by Dominique Cachu (property of Purrs & Grrrs)

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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