Do You Want to Become Part of the Solgave Family? (What we’re looking for)

Posted by on May 19, 2013 in Blog

Do You Want to Become Part of the Solgave Family? (What we’re looking for)

Do you want to work for the Solgave team?

Sunniva and I have put a tremendous amount of our soul into this brand we call Solgave.  It was late summer when the Solgave Animal Solutions arm of it became solidified as to what and how the Solgave Project from Sweden would turn into the first “real business” we would have together.

We had been horse sitting on two ranches nearby most of that year (2012) and formulating the ethos of Solgave.

Horse sittingAt that time it was still about animals, nature, children, healing, and growth.  We were just throwing mud on the potter’s wheel and developing ideas on how to tackle Nature Deficit Disorder with outdoor classroom ideas on the farm, visiting with Kommunes in both Norway and Sweden about ideas on how Solgave could help.  We had contracts with visit home kids that came to the farm from both countries and Sunniva and I’s first item we got together was a horse named Rowan.

What I learned from that horse you can’t put a price tag on.  He was not taken care of by the previous owner and someone who had rescued him heard about our story, our vision, and he was then gifted to us. We put our heart and soul into feeding him, clicker training, and walking miles and miles of hill work.  A few months later the hard work was paying off.

 

IMG_45971-1024x768 487082_10150829115391447_213880925_nWe had plans for some Eco cabins there in the woods, and using horses and dogs for therapy purposes. Yeah, Solgave was born well over a year ago now, but what Sunniva and I have had to do all along the way is assess the market, the skill sets each of us had, and how to best utilize her gifts as an animal communicator, animal behaviorist.

As I sit here today and we visit about the journey from spring 2012 until now one thing stands out. Nothing has ever been compromised about the philosophy driving our company. Animals, nature, children, and healing.

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When I started market research in early fall last year we knew that dog walking and pet sitting would be an important part of the model, especially early on and we studied companies from Portland, Oregon to New York City to see which companies were doing things in innovative ways, had a sustainable heart, with a passion for animals and an understanding of business.

Fast forward to our decision and commitment and belief that it was Northwest Arkansas we’d find our niche in, and root ourselves with this model for a variety of reasons. It’s centrally located in the US and great for growth based businesses that want to expand out at some point.

So here we are! 30 days into our launch it became clear that the team approach of human psychology and human communications and animal behavior and animal communications (my school background/life coupled with her background/life) was a dynamic really working well.

Cuddle time in the middle of house-painting!

It wasn’t long before we realized that this arm of the business would be the heartbeat.  Behaviorists don’t “train dogs” per se’, but help address individual behavior problems and strive to help the families get tools to do what I call “sustainable” techniques that are easy to use from then forward after the first Behavior Modification visit in the home.

This then led to the development of the pet consulting services we have just created and will begin marketing deeply late summer. “Forever Home” “Puppy Love” and “Matchmaking” are three services that help assimilate new animals into the home to help with integration, boundary issues, balance in the home, the right equipment needed, and so much more.

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By late Fall we have two hopes.  A dog trained to be an official therapy dog, and a small vacant lot we hope someone has the vision to see how our Solgave Dog Psychology Center can help take in the dogs on the aggressive end of the scale that are not talked about much and getting euthanized. I watched an endearing video last night by Spay Arkansas on the vital need to get our dogs and cats spayed and neutered to help us towards the No Kill vision most of want to see.  It was a really well done piece that will be seen in schools around the area helping to educate and inform. What I see missing in the bigger picture (at least in ways we can help) is the non-glossy aspect of aggression with dogs and how it’s handled in the area.

It’s a complex puzzle or a wheel with many spokes, but Solgave Animal Solutions sees us as an important spoke.  The number of dogs we could have taken in already is mind boggling, several that have been put down.

One dog stands out still in my mind that we were hoping to get access to for behavioral work and because of nipping one weekend at a local shelter was unfortunately put down before the work could begin.  I bring this stuff up only to help readers understand what and why we want this little piece of property.  It’s much easier in severe cases to work with dogs out of the home that has energy balance issues for any number of reasons.  We’ll need to work towards non-profit status for that facility and we may be naïve in our timeline but we are not naïve in our dreams.  Sunniva finds that often dogs can help other dogs heal and find balance in ways humans sometimes cannot.

Red zone aggressive dogs are her specialty, and she’s not had a chance to even show her full capacity yet because of the pregnancy. At the seven-month point I had to stop that level of B mod work and move to the middle and lower for her and the baby’s safety.  Like a snake handler or horse whisperer, she’s not immune to getting bit either, it’s part of the job, but she’s had success in cases where every other person gave up and the dog would have been put down. It’s part of what drives Sunniva and again, you’ll see more of that in full force in the early Fall.

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We will have a small place to begin and keep up to 20 dogs at a time, likely all with sever aggression, anxiety or on the end of severe behavioral issues and work to rehabilitate them so they can be adopted out, fostered, or back to the home they came from if it was a 2-4 week boot camp that was needed.

Most cases, 1-2 two or three hour sessions solve all problems if the owners then follow through, but in some cases more is needed and right now there isn’t a facility set up to just tackle that. It’s not just our dream anymore; it’s our passion and certainty to get there.

Then there are our Community Pack Walks! Once a month we will always meet up somewhere to get our shelters/rescues that have the time and our dog loving friends and supporters to enjoy doing what we love! Spend time outdoors with our dogs!

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Why do I mention all this in a blog about finding the right person to help expand our geographical reach a bit to the northern part of Northwest Arkansas? Because it’s vital that you realize we aren’t just looking for a pet sitter or dog walker to do exceptional work. That expectation is a given.

We are looking for someone who “gets” the Solgave philosophy, who wants to be part of the vision for shaping the Pack Walks with us, who wants to bring ideas and innovation.  Someone who understands nature, animals, children, and healing are not just the cornerstone of Solgave, but an important part of your life as well.

We want to expand our outreach and look to enter schools next year.  Teaching children about breed discrimination, how to approach dogs, and so much more is vital to us as it’s their generation that can flip things around.

Yes, you would be paid as a pet sitter or dog walker, but you have the chance to be part of a young company with a global vision, and a deep heart. Early in my working career once leaving U of A I sought out companies who’s own mission statement and culture was so close to my own heart I could not imagine being anywhere else.  I spent 6 years with two of those companies that I begged to be a part of, and help in some way expand ideas, shape the culture, and create unique experiences.  I knew they were on the cusp of something special and I wanted to be part of that type of team.

If Solgave resonates with you, and you see an interest in coffee shop brainstorming, attending Pack Walks, and doing more than just covering pet sitting and dog walking in the Bentonville or Rogers area than contact us. We’re ready to start dialogue with the right person to not just fill a role, but also become part of the family.

Give us an email at solgaveanimalsolutions@gmail.com or contact Sunniva or I directly.  It sounds cliché’, but I was groomed in my 12 years of retail operations and small business ownership to believe and to teach those around me that we could change the world one customer, one life at a time.

And today, it’s our belief with Solgave Animal Solutions that one animal, with one client at a time, we have the chance to bring back balance and harmony to the home, and hopefully understand that capacity to change lives one experience at a time.