KRISTA'S CRAZY CANINE CAPERS I'VE GOT THE PAW-FECT JOB
New Zealand Woman's Weekly|November 29, 2021
Must love dogs! Clearly, the animal-madner of telly’s pooch daycare was to the manor born
Fleur Guthrie

There are class photos and report cards, time-out areas and different school houses based on temperament. The “kids” are of the four-legged variety, however, and their school, Barkley Manor, isn’t run by some strict headmistress, but rather the vivacious Krista Strong, who considers herself “their mad surrogate mum slash teacher”.

The English ex-pat moved to New Zealand 20 years ago and set up the luxury doggy daycare in central Auckland. She’s now starring in new local series Barkley Manor, which chronicles the life and times of the hundreds of dogs – and their adoring owners – in her care.

It’s a huge career change for Krista, 52, who in a previous life worked in commercial media and once launched an internet business with British What Not to Wear presenters Trinny and Susannah from a basement flat in Notting Hill.

“But after nine months, I realised I hated it and thought, ‘How can I work on something that’s not really reflective of me?’” she says.

“I was burnt out from living in London and chasing the dollar, so I decided to go travelling around the world and find myself… sit with the Pygmies and laugh at the moon sort of thing!

“I got to New Zealand as part of that process and found there’s something about this country that’s magical. I think I took my first breath here in a long time.”

The idea to start a dog daycare came after she initially saw the concept while working in the US.

“I walked past one in Denver that included five acres of dogs running around, with a bone-shaped swimming pool. It must have left an imprint in my mind because after deciding I wanted to settle in New Zealand for a ‘tree change’, I got my first dog, Dudley,” shares Krista.

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