WORK YOUR WAY: Our dog is part of the team!
Advising on strategic acquisitions is all par for the course for Steve and Carla Holmes of Dow Schofield Watts in Reading but lockdown saw them make a key acquisition of their own with a furry four-legged friend joining them. Summer, a golden Labrador, is now a regular in their office at Berkshire Place, Wokingham.
When did you decide to get a dog?
Steve: My sister is a vet and had recommended a Labrador as the ideal dog for our family as we had been idly considering the idea of having a dog. But we hadn’t quite expected a phone call from her practice saying they had an eight-week-old golden Labrador puppy weighing just two kilos who had been abandoned and needed a new home – and quickly!
I tried in vain to resist but once Carla saw the photo I knew there could only be one outcome. When we broke the news to our son, Oliver, I think he was so excited he couldn’t quite wrap his brain around it. It was such a shock to him that he thought we had agreed to adopt a child and not a puppy!
Why did you call her Summer?
Carla: It was Oliver’s choice. Whilst she arrived in the depths of winter, the name really matches her colour and sunny personality.
How has Summer settled into office life?
Carla: Summer now comes in with us every day after a good hour’s walk and settles down whilst we’re working. If someone had told us a couple of years ago that we would have established our own business, had an incredible first 12 months including the completion of nine deals AND have a dog working with us, we would never have believed them! There are a few other dogs that also come along to the office with their owners and Summer loves catching up with her office friends.
How has Summer changed your life?
Steve: I’d worked for big accountancy firms before, as Carla had in the past. Our life is all about balance now. Whilst we have client commitments like everybody else, we work differently; just as hard in many ways but I’d definitely say we’re less stressed and we’re in charge of our own destiny. Having Summer is part of that balance. We wouldn’t have been able to take a pet dog into the office in our previous careers or take time out at lunch to walk Summer. Dow Schofield Watts are firm proponents of bringing your life back into balance and taking full control of your time – 12 months on we can testify 100% to their approach. It’s been a very refreshing change.
How have clients reacted to Summer?
Carla: They’ve been absolutely fine, really welcoming of her but if there’s the need for a spot of bribery, Summer is quite partial to pigs’ ears. If she does occasionally fuss a little when we’re having a meeting, one is quickly popped in her direction. When she was younger, they’d last for about two hours, now it’s about five minutes!
Have you spent time training Summer?
Carla: One of my clients is a dog behaviourist and she’s been helping us train Summer. We also involved our son, Ollie, in her training and he frequently walks her with us in between his studies
If it hadn’t been a dog, what pet would your family have had?
Carla: If it were up to Ollie, he’d have chosen a snake – he loves them! However, I’d have to say his chances of owning one were (and continue to be) very slim indeed!
Thank you Carla and Steve for giving us a glimpse into what working with DSW looks like to you! If you would like to join our network please visit our careers website here.