South Barrington resident works for ‘Puppy Love’
Puppy Love Pet Care owner Corky Hofmeister plays with Golden Retriever's Topher and Wrigley on Friday outside the home of client Caryn Dick. | Jeff Krage~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 8, 2012 2:46PM
BARRINGTON — South Barrington resident Corky Hofmeister grew up loving animals.
After quitting her job in the corporate world and adopting a child with special needs, Hofmeister reconnected with her childhood passion by taking a job as a dog walker with Puppy Love Pet Care.
After five years as a walker, the former owner looked to sell the business, and Hofmeister stepped up to buy it.
“I was getting antsy but I didn’t want to go (back) into the corporate world,” she explained.
Hofmeister said she didn’t have to make many changes to the business, which provides care for dogs and cats as well as birds, mice and exotics like lizards.
“We do any family pet,” Hofmeister said. “We haven’t had a snake yet.”
Of her roughly 300 clients, Hofmeister said about half need their dogs walked while the remainder request care for their pets during vacations or other trips.
Hofmeister credited her staff of about 20 walkers and caretakers for the success of Puppy Love.
“We have the best group of people working for Puppy Love,” she said, adding that many on her staff are trained to administer medications and give insulin to diabetic animals. “They love what they’re doing and they love the animals.”
Hofmeister said she also has given post-surgical massages to some of her clients’ dogs. Some of her walkers, she added, have boarded animals at their own houses when owners leave town so the animal does not have to be alone at the house all day.
“We have a lot of special needs animals,” she explained.
Caryn Dick, a South Barrington resident and Puppy Love client, said she began using the services two years ago after a recommendation from her husband’s business partner.
“I’m going to use them forever,” Dick said. “I hope my dogs last forever.”
Puppy Love also is a sponsor for a fund-raising walk benefitting the Two Million Dogs cause, which promotes awareness and funds research for canine cancer.
Hofmeister said although there isn’t much competition in the area, she does not worry about it because of the high number of families with pets in the area.
“I believe in friendly competition,” she said. “We’re all in it for the same thing, the animals.”
Hofmeister, who was born on the east coast but has lived in the area for more than 25 years, said what she enjoys most about Puppy Love is the unconditional love from the animals.
“This is the best job in the world if you love animals,” she said.