Nicki Hattingh, the owner of Nala & Co, has over 45 years experience of owning and caring for many animals, but dogs and horses in particular. This includes owning six dogs (from puppies) herself, experience of helping to deliver and raising her own Irish Draught horse and rescuing and caring for an abandoned, untrained and epileptic greyhound for 10 years. Nicki also helps to feed the orphaned lambs during her annual visit to Lundy Island, where she also indulges her passion for seal observation and photography. Nicki has also sponsored an elephant in Thailand (with annual visits) since 2012.
With her love for and commitment to all animal welfare, Nicki has successfully completed the North Devon Marine Wildlife Aware Accreditation Training and is currently studying The New Skills Academy's diplomas in Pet Psychology and Canine Communication.
Says Nicki: “My love of animals started as a child when I used to rescue abandoned baby birds and rabbits in Yorkshire. I also walked & cared for a neighbour’s dog, Jack, after school and during school holidays and was devastated when the owners moved away to Blackpool, taking Jack with them. I nagged my parents for six months until they eventually gave in and let me have my own dog, Sally. I was 9 years old. I have had dogs in my life, often up to three at a time, ever since.
My own children grew up in a household full of dogs and horses in Hertfordshire, where they too learned how to understand, train and care for dogs. When our family moved to Oxfordshire, my children were leaving home and my last three dogs were getting older and ageing quickly. Since 2015 I have sadly lost them all; Rafiki, Milo & Nala. I have continued to walk daily, but without a dog, taking comfort and cuddles from the dogs of other walkers on my routes. Many of these dog-owners have encouraged me to start Nala & Co and I always said that when I retired, I would set up a doggy care business, so here we are…
Nala was my second Rhodesian Ridgeback. All dogs are special, but Nala really was extra special. I still miss her terribly and have named the business in her honour. The ‘& Co’ part of the name pays respect to all my other much-loved, four-legged friends: * Jack * Sally * Kimmy * Pumbaa * Malcolm * Melvin * Morris * Sidney *Faa Mai * Rafiki * Milo * Nala *