Tell us a bit about AMPR and how it all started
AMPR is a PR consultancy which has just hit the five year mark. I had worked in PR for 8 years for agencies and brands including Saint Laurent and Luella and got to a crucial point where I wanted to work much closer with designers, helping to guide them through and using what I had learned - but crucially also what I felt was important, to protect brands and let them communicate in their own way - to help them shape what they are. It’s been quite an adventure and one that I am very proud of as that is still the essence of what it is today.
Tell us about Scout and how she came into your life
Some of our best friends got a french bulldog a few years back and he seemed to slot into everyone’s lives in such a nice way. They teased us often about getting a dog of our own and we didn’t want to be seen to be taking the bait..! But we both work for ourselves and have our own offices and our lives for the most part are very local and so a couple of years back we decided one summer we were Getting A Dog. After a lot of back and forth, we settled on a miniature schnauzer (my husband will delight in telling you I rejected the idea the first time). In our minds we imagined a black boy schnauzer called Otto.. I contacted two people from Kennel Club and one got back to me - on the eve of my birthday we got a message saying 3 puppies had been born that day and would we be happy to take one of them? So we raced to Milton Keynes the next day to meet a small grey girl puppy no bigger than a potato who we christened Scout. She came to live with us when she was 8 weeks old and life has pretty much never been the same since. She is confident and bonkers and sweet and funny and we are totally wild about her (even when she wakes us up howling on occasion at 3am).
How does your Scout fit into your general working day?
Before we got her I think we just thought we would bring her to work each day and that would be that. The reality of a puppy with boundless energy and a habit of chewing things and standing at the door looking out for passers by / new friends was a little different. Also we realised that she is happiest running around a park with her dog pals (she is one of those dogs who truly isn’t scared of any others - she trots up to say hello to the biggest and smallest of dogs and someone recently said “she is friends with everyone”) so 2-3 days a week she goes and does just that and runs around a field for the day at day care with a small pack of 5. On the days she is with us, we tend to take turns working from home or do a big walk and she comes and sleeps by your feet in the office. Every day starts the same now though and it’s maybe my favourite change since she came to us - we wake up and give her breakfast, and then whatever the weather the three of us head out to the park. It means that whatever is happening in our lives, we get to start the day together outside and it’s brilliant.
When you’re not working where do you both like to hang out with the dog?
Victoria Park is a real favourite as it is so beautiful and big enough to have everything - we all get a good walk and she can run around and bark at the ducks, sniff at things, chase a ball and walk along with us. It’s a nice stretch but also a real treat to just be out together and not have to think too much, everyone is happy.
She has also been a regular at Lanark coffee shop on Hackney Road since the day we brought her home. Greg who runs it loves her and she loves him - we head there every morning for a coffee (and a dog biscuit under the table for Scout) and she is as much a fixture with the other regulars as we are.
What essentials do you always have on you when heading out for a dog walk, and what do you carry them in?
Poo bags, treats and a ball! Tennis balls are a real favourite, but the bouncy orange Chuckit balls are pretty good and durable (the only problem is that nearly everyone has the same one). Treat- wise anything soft and chewy for walks. Karl is very organised and has a series of waterproof Japanese ripstop crossbody bags for the park; I am less so, so for me anything with big pockets is great - handsfree obviously crucial. Every single coat I own now has kibble and a rogue poo bag in the pocket.
What adventures do you both have planned with Scout have planned for later this year?
Our international travel plans have been scuppered, which I think will thrill Scout, as it means we’ll be going away much closer to home and with her. We have a group of friends we go away with each Christmas and rent a house, so hopefully able to go to Sussex this summer. Really for Scout after a few months of being close to home, anywhere she can run free! I’d like to head back to Dungeness where we went last summer and try and coax her closer to the sea.