We had the good fortune of connecting with Leticia Raymond and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leticia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In 2016 I was recently divorced with two little boys full time, and also a teacher working on completing my Principal license. As you know we don’t pay our educators nearly enough, and on a single income a side hustle was necessary. I had no child support, and no help from my boys’ father, and wanting so badly to be able to stop living month to month. I wanted to be able to pay my bills without worrying, and have the freedom to hire a babysitter now and then. I needed something that worked with my teaching schedule and didn’t take time from me being at home. I had done tutoring, babysitting, etc…none of those were really an option for me because I’d be away from my boys. As a dog lover myself, and our little family had just lost our big pup of 12 years to bloat, we weren’t quite ready for our own puppy yet, but we thought loving on someone else’s would be perfect. I signed up on an app and quickly booked my first client, Sasha, she still comes to us today. The boys and I had a blast and started getting requests quite frequently, after about 3 months I decided to venture out on my own and so began The Carefree Pup, LLC. Within a few months I had a steady client base and we have grown rapidly from there.
What should our readers know about your business?
The Carefree Pup is a dog sitting business that is run from home. We welcome pups into our house for doggy daycare and overnight stays, and love each one like they’re our own. Doggies have run of the house, well most of it anyway, just like they would at home. You’ll find them playing outside, chasing balls, running zoomies, and lounging on the couch…sometimes even watching cartoons, depending on what they boys pick for the pups. At night, doggies follow someone to their bed and snuggle in for the night. Our business is run primarily on word of mouth and referrals. Our amazing clients and their sweet pups have kept us going, even through the pandemic, and has helped us to build our business to what it has become over the last six years, truly a family owned and operated labor of love. It hasn’t been smooth 100% of the time. I’ve navigated the business route, researched LLC’s, licensing, insurance, and state/city laws, and developing my care agreement. It took some time to find our groove with routines, drop off and pick up times, personality types, the best way to keep up the yard, and the most durable couches, dog beds, and wall paint. During the early months of the pandemic when it seemed like the world stopped, all of my vacation bookings had been canceled, yet, I had a core group of clients that stayed with me and still brought their pups for daycare, it kept us afloat. I was worried my business would fold, but instead it grew into a full time gig, well beyond the side hustle that I originally thought this would be. We’ve gone above and beyond to truly provide exceptional care for our pups. I taught elementary for almost 20 years, about half of that in Kindergarten, and I love my pups as much as I loved my students, taking personalities, likes/dislikes into account, and most importantly making trusting relationships with their owners. The Carefree Pup is built on personal connections and trust.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Denver is a blast, and such a fun place to live. While I miss the beach, I grew up in San Diego, you can’t beat the Rockies out here! Being a mom, my recommendations are certainly family friendly. I’d suggest grabbing breakfast somewhere fun like Onefold in Denver, or head out to Boulder and hit Southside Walnut Cafe. Then head up to Nederland for a hike and a ride on the Carousel of Happiness, take the long way to drive back home. Grab dinner somewhere fun like Quero Arepas, then hit up a Rockies game at night and enjoy the cool summer nights…I definitely recommend taking the train instead of driving.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Above anyone else, my mom and my boys. My mom has always been there for me and has been an incredible model of female strength in my life. She’s supported all of my dreams and helped me to purchase my home where my business runs. My boys, we couldn’t make The Carefree Pup work without them, they are the best helpers, and even better dog whisperers than me.
Photos taken by myself Dogs featured Ellie, Waffles, Taco, George, Meli & Remy, Masha, Gatsby, and our own pup Bigsby Tucker