Woman switches careers to care for city's pets after death of her dad

Vicky Walker, who lives in Earlham Road, traded in her corporate job to work with dogs after her dad died of cancer.

Vicky Walker, who lives in Earlham Road, traded in her corporate job to work with dogs after her dad died of cancer. - Credit: Vicky Walker

A women who moved "from job to job" for eight years decided to drastically switch careers after the death of her dad.

Vicky Walker, who lives in Earlham Road, bounced around the corporate world of event management and marketing after leaving university in 2014.

But after the tragic death of her dad, Peter Walker, in September 2020 the 31-year-old's perspective on life changed forever.

And without 'paws' for thought Vicky took the plunge by providing care for city folk's dogs as a franchisee for Barking Mad.

Vicky Walker with her Pug cross Pomeranian, Wilson.

Vicky Walker with her Pug cross Pomeranian, Wilson. - Credit: Vicky Walker

She said: "I'd worked in loads of office jobs and was just done with the corporate politics.

"I was made redundant three separate times and every job I moved into felt the same as the last.

"Then, just before the first lockdown, my dad collapsed and was diagnosed with early signs of prostate cancer.

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"After six weeks in hospital he was able to come out.

"We managed to go on walks together, taking my dog Wilson, out - who dad adored.

Vicky said that her dad "adored Wilson".

Vicky said that her dad "adored Wilson". - Credit: Vicky Walker

"Unfortunately he then collapsed at home again and he died just 63 years old.

"It was horrible - a complete whirlwind."

After the ordeal Vicky spent some time stuck in her 9-5 job before deciding "life was too short" to stay where she was.

Months of preparation has led Vicky to launching Barking Mad on August 3.

Vicky set up the Barking Mad business over a few months and started on August 3.

Vicky set up the Barking Mad business over a few months and started on August 3. - Credit: Vicky Walker

She added: "My dad always said 'if it's not right, sack it off, and find something that is'.

"So I left my job and looked into becoming my own boss.

"I love dogs and Barking Mad gives me the opportunity to talk to people about dogs and care for them.

"It's incredible to be doing a job I love.

"I've also had great feedback from customers already who are so pleased to have the service in Norwich.

Vicky Walker with her dad, Peter Walker, and dog Wilson.

Vicky Walker with her dad, Peter Walker, and dog Wilson. - Credit: Vicky Walker

"This gets me up in the morning and I don't want to stop working - which is a feeling I've never had before.

"My dad's death changed my perspective on life.

"I now don't take anything for granted.

"After everything which has happened I wanted to do something which made me happy."