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Living Their Dreams

A Mom And Daughter Bringing Pet Parents Peace Of Mind

When Debbie Butman retired in 2019 after 45 years of teaching, she wasn’t sure what she was going to do with all her free time. When her daughter, Ashley, mentioned opening her own pet care business, mom couldn’t have been more excited. 

“What better way to live out this next stage of my life than to invest in Ashley's dream?” she says. “Now, I feel like I'm living my own dream. This has been such a fun venture.”

For Ashley, a certified dog trainer who is also working on her service dog training certification, having her mother partner with her just felt right. “Growing up, we had bunnies, mice, a dog, fish, lizards, and I took horseback riding lessons for years. I was obsessed with animals,” says Ashley. “I believe having pets as a child was just magical. It gave me purpose and such joy. I feel like God placed humans here to care for the earth and to care for all the animals, and that's just what we do at Wagging Tails.”

Founded in 2020 in Spring Hill, the business offers a range of pet sitting services, from morning and midday home visits to evening and vacation visits. “We'll take the dogs for a walk and playtime, make sure they have water and food, and are happy and feel loved,” says Ashley.

For vacation care, while they don’t stay overnight, they’ll go first thing in the morning, at midday and before bedtime. “We make sure pets are comfortable at home,” she says. “This works well since not every dog enjoys going for boarding. Many dogs are just happier in their familiar surroundings.”

Although some people like bringing their dogs with them on vacation, there are a few things to keep in mind. “Many hotels don't accept dogs, and even if they do, they don’t want you to leave the dog in the room when you go out during the day,” says Ashley. “You might also not be able to go everywhere you want, especially to restaurants. You know your vacation plans, and you know your dog and what’s best for your dog. We live in an area where there are so many great options for dog care from daily visits to boarding and in-home sitting. We are grateful for all of our clients and value the trust they give us, knowing the choices they have.”

While Wagging Tails Pet Care focuses mainly on dogs, the mother and daughter team and their staff also care for any other pets in the house such as cats, gerbils, lizards and fish. They’ll bring in the mail and water plants too. Adds Debbie, “We're not only taking care of the pets, but we're taking care of the owners too. Communication with the owners is a priority and one of our strengths.”

Ashley also offers private dog training. “I come to the house and work on whatever issues the dog is having,” she says. “For a puppy, it may be teaching all the basic commands like sit and come. Everything is done in the comfort and familiarity of your home, which makes sense because that’s the space that you occupy with your dog. I think it's easier for the dog and owner to learn and retain information if they’re in their own space.

Debbie and Ashley, who also live in Spring Hill, are both passionate about the services they’re providing. “We wake up in the morning ready to go and excited about what we're doing,” says Debbie.

Wagging Tails is always looking for loving and caring people to join their team.

  • Ashley and Debbie with staff member Tina Wuflestad