You already know that Petsly is not only the team responsible for the application. There are also people without whom our project would simply not be possible: trainers, physiotherapists and others who tested our solutions, suggested new ideas and supported them with valuable feedback. When talking about them, it is impossible not to mention Paula Gumińska, who helps to grasp both dog’s motivation and cares for a healthy approach to the movement of pets. Here’s a conversation with Paula about working with animals and how Petsly will help her forget about the thick binders on the shelves.
Paula, you work with animals – can you tell us what your job is?
My main professional activity revolves around dogs. First of all: I run workshops and seminars all over Poland, mainly in the field of motivation, basics for dog sports, but also everyday life with a dog. The other side of my job is physiotherapy. I admit dogs for visits, perform manual therapy and recommend appropriate exercises. As it is nice to say in physiotherapy: I issue a prescription for exercise. Of course, I also have pets – at the moment there are five dogs with whom I train frisbee and agility, so I know my work inside out. I laugh a bit that I was a human physical therapist and went down to the dogs.
You are one of Petsly’s good souls, without whom the project would not go ahead. How do you remember the beginnings?
The creators, Marcin and Emilia, visited me at trainings and seminars, and I supported their dogs with physical therapy. We have known each other for several years and the topic of managing my business has been present in our discussions for a long time. Especially since they have seen more than once what it was like to make records for my patients, when I painstakingly typed all these recommendations into the computer and at the same time checked some information in a huge binder with data from visits. I had a very crazy wrench that allowed me to grasp all this documentation, but it wasn’t the most convenient. It was during one of the meetings that Marcin promised to create something that would make this work easier for me and that was probably the beginning of Petsly.
Paperology was a challenge?
Yes. For me, maintaining order in customer management is a big challenge, because I see the dogs that come to me regularly. This means that after some time I go back to the previous excerpts and check the old recommendations. Organizing it so that I can not only efficiently create new excerpts, but also quickly dig out the old ones and check what came out at the last visit, is definitely the most difficult for me. It is also not easy to create an excerpt so that it looks professional, is accessible to the client and I can send it quickly. It took me a long time. Therefore, for me Petsly, and especially the Meetings tool and the option of adding records to individual patients, hit the spot. This is what I missed the most when I used various other tools, calendars or other methods of work organization.
What do you think is the most valuable in Petsly for you?
At the stage of joining the testers, it was extremely valuable for me that I can influence the final shape of the application. I could have wishes, complaints and conclusions. It was also valuable that Marcin kept the testers informed on an ongoing basis whether their ideas were even possible to implement, so working on this project was a dialogue. I am glad that I could be part of Petsly at this initial stage and put in my 3 cents. In turn, at the stage of using the application on a daily basis, the best thing for me is that I have everything in one place – I do not have to navigate between different applications and programs, because Petsly is enough for me. I can see the time and date of the visit right away, I can make an extract for my dog and send it to the owner in a few moments. It all really makes the work easier and shortens the time of such paper work.
Were there any funny moments?
Yes, this case comes to mind when I sat quietly at work and acted on discharge for patients. Suddenly, a mistake popped up out of this one – I didn’t understand at all where it came from and why, and then suddenly, after a few seconds, I see that my phone vibrates. It was Marcin who let me know that he saw my error and was already dealing with it. So you could say I felt followed! Of course, it was very positive and it only shows how much support we got from Marcin and the team.
Do you think that a tool like Petsly is needed by people working in your industry?
When I started to conduct any training, the dog profession was treated very neglectfully. Very few people owned a business and approached training or seminars as their main source of income. When strangers asked what I was doing, they also approached my answer with a pinch of salt – as a specific hobby rather than a job. However, this has changed a lot in the last 10 years. I have a registered business, I run the company “And everything is clear” and also many of my friends went in the professional direction. Zoobusiness has become their main or even only source of income. That is why I think there is a great need for animal services to be at an ever higher level. It is no longer a game of training and stroking dogs, but it is really work, serious services that cost a lot of money. So I think that a professional approach to providing these services should follow – instead of making entries on some pieces of paper or in a dismal PDF, it can be done better. Petsly makes it possible.
Tell us more about working with animals – what’s the best thing about it?
No monotony. My dog job is something I have endured the longest in my professional life, and I have already done various things. Unfortunately, I cannot do something that does not give me satisfaction and that bore me. I definitely can’t get bored when working with dogs, especially combining training and zoophysiotherapy. There is something else that is a huge advantage for me – it is impossible not to develop in this work. If you do not go to training and do not observe new developments, you will be out of circulation after a few years. For some it is a minus, but I really like learning and reaching for new things. This external motivation and the need for development are very valuable to me. The second thing? Puppies! Is it obvious? I meet a lot of cute little dogs!
Which part of your job is the biggest challenge?
Contact with people. There is a lot of powerlessness in this, because not all of us have a consistent approach to dogs and the same priorities. Sometimes it is very hard for me to accept the fact that there are neglected, obese dogs, those that limp and live in pain. For me, this is probably the most difficult element, because the situations with difficult cases do not scare me – it is even a motivational kick, because I look for new solutions and broaden my knowledge.
Do you think that people are acquiring pets more and more consciously and care for them better?
Definitely yes. I can also see it due to the increasing number of patients – there are more and more of them every year. There are also more and more people interested in taking care of animals holistically. Two or three years ago, the people who showed up were mostly canine athletes or human physical therapists who knew that physical therapy actually helped. However, for a year now I have a lot of so-called ordinary Kowalskis, who were advised to take their dog to a physical therapist or read about it somewhere. This shows that awareness about animals is growing rapidly. There are also a lot of people with puppies, right after buying a dog, so this dog care from the very first days is much more thoughtful than it used to be and it is fantastic.