WE GAVE UP OUR JOBS FOR OUR PETS
WOMAN'S OWN|September 21, 2021
With working from home coming to an end for many, three women tell us why they’ve walked away from their careers after acquiring a pet during lockdown
SAMANTHA BRICK

‘It sparked an incredible bond’

Helen Garlick, 63, is married to Tim, 65. They live in Fernhurst, West Sussex, with their two cocker spaniels, Pippin, almost three, and Ziggy Stardust, 10 months. Satisfaction for me is no longer found in my decades-old legal career. Instead, it’s with my cocker spaniel puppy Ziggy. We’re kitchen disco dancers — I shimmy my hips while Ziggy wags his tail.

While I’d temporarily left practice a couple of years ago to write my family memoir, No Place to Lie, the plan had always been to return to my job as a lawyer and mediator.

While I’d been writing, my cocker spaniel Pippin had been my companion. As she’s Kennel Club-registered, it’s not surprising I was often asked about puppies.

Eventually, we decided to go for it. Pippin had a litter of six in September 2020. Instead of going back to work, having delivered my manuscript, I found myself caring for her and the pups.

Ziggy Stardust was the first puppy to open his eyes, so I was the first person he saw. It sparked an incredible bond. When he was five weeks old, I decided I couldn’t live without him. Luckily, my husband agreed we could keep him.

Ziggy adores people and other dogs. I’d planned to return to work in January 2021, but in December, I made the decision not to. Puppies need fun, regular walks, and boundaries. Family lawyers work hard and it wasn’t uncommon to start at 8 am and keep going for nine hours. I couldn’t do it to Ziggy.

Giving up my salary would have a significant impact, but having enjoyed writing so much, I’ve decided to make it my career. It’s perfect — in-between stints at my computer, I play and take Ziggy for walks.

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