Testimonials

 

Some recent recommendations for The Bow House. Please feel absolutely free to ask me for contact details of all clients, so you can confirm that these recommendations are genuine reports. Sara.

Max & Julie Craft, owner of Tess, cocker spaniel, Southsea.
Tess went trotting off with Sara for the weekend without a second glance.
This and several texts from Sara gave us complete peace of mind and allowed us to enjoy our break – the first without Tess for a year.
On Monday morning Tess returned, tired out, after her morning walk, but very bright and happy.
Sara is very professional and understands the needs of both dog and owner, though the dog comes top!

Diane & Nick Stanton,  owners of Ruby, Betty and Lulu (K.C Cavaliers and Shitzhu), Southsea.

I was always worried about someone looking after our three dogs, would they get cuddles or locked in a cage for ages? Would the person care for them? How would we know? Well, after finding Sara, that all changed. When you meet her, you will see how much she cares about each individual dog, and will get to know their character, likes and dislikes. They loved it. So much so that on  their second  stay over, the minute we turned into the road they were crying and scratching to get out of the car, and pulled us towards Sara’s door, tails wagging! I’m sure they wanted to stay longer, when we got home one pup climbed into the bag we leave with Sara when they stay. They had regular walks; Sara even helped us with nutrition as one dog was getting a little porky.  I can’t recommend her enough; it’s like a doggie heaven for them which leaves us with peace of mind that they are being cared for properly while we are away.

Angie Williams, owner of Pearl, Springer x, Southsea

We are delighted that Sara offers such a fantastic boarding service for our precious dog, Pearl. Pearl is a nervous rescue dog from Greece, who relaxes the minute she goes through Sara’s door! The picture updates sent through are such a lovely idea and to see our dog so relaxed means that we can enjoy our time away without concern. Thank you Sara – please don’t stop doing what you do.

Jade Kidby, owner of Poppy & Alfie, Bischon Frises

You are the best at what you do, Sara and I wouldn’t leave my dogs anywhere else!  They seem not bothered at all that we were away for so long and they’ve both put on a little weight (they needed to). Thank you!

Izabela, Southsea, owner of Bela and Indy, Black Flat Coat Retrievers.  (Izzy completes at Crufts with her dogs!)

Great service!  My doggies were very happy and so I am!  HIGHLY recommended!!!

Jo Goodship, Southsea, owner of Kip, the Tibetan Terrier
My Tibetan Terrier has had 3 stays at The Bowhouse.  The entire lower floor of her lovely house has been set up for her canine visitors – plenty of bowls of fresh water, dog couches, baskets and beds, access to the secure rear garden and even the best stocked doggie first aid kit I have ever seen!  He had 2 walks every day, cuddles on the couch (I know because Sara put my mind at rest with regular texts and pictures!) and freshly-baked liver cake as a reward for good behaviour.  It’s great knowing that when I do have to go away, there is a home from home for him!
Sarah Cooper & L, Neressian, owners of Tilly, Boston Terrier.
Sara and Phil at The Bow House are simply the best dog care you could get!  Sara has helped us raise Tilly from a puppy and her advice, guidance and passion for her job are second to none.  She is invaluable to us and we aren’t sure what we would do without her!  Tilly has regular walks, plenty of fun and whether she is looked after during the day or throughout the night, she couldn’t be in safer hands.
We are so lucky to have found people that care as much about Tilly as we do, if we were to move out of Southsea we would have to take Sara and Phil with us!!
Jacqui Hutchins, owner of Sailor, Irish Water Spaniel
I was so pleased to find Sara, Phil and Bow House.  My Spaniel puppy was even more delighted and remains so as he matures – he’s besotted.

The Bow House set up is extremely professional, comfortable and a real doggie home from home.  Sara has just about everything covered from choice of lead to first aid.  Her training on walks has made a rather wilful dog far better behaved and all done with kindness and praise.  Her advice has been invaluable.   Sailor is delighted when he can go out with Sara and Finn and comes home tired and happy.  When he stays overnight, he is relaxed and content which means I have complete peace of mind that he is in good hands. I have no hesitation in recommending The Bow House for all things doggy.

Eleanor Morgan and Tim Greaves, Southsea, Owner of Bunk

Sara has saved our bacon, given us valuable advice and been a great support on so many occasions. We wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her to anyone. It is a great relief to know that our pooch is being looked after so well when we are at work or busy and he’s always worn out and happy afterwards. Thank you from all three of us Sara!

Lynda Dubber, Southsea, Owner of Max

I was delighted when Sara told me that they were boarding dogs.
My dog Max had a great time when he stayed and is looking forward  to his next visit !
The environment is doggy friendly and Sarah is very caring and professional.
I would thoroughly recommend to any of my friends.
Georgina Platt, Southsea/London, owner of Alfie the Weimaraner.
We are so lucky to have found Sara! Our Weimaraner, Alfie, is a people dog, so being at home with Sara and Phil is brilliant as he gets to be part of their day to day activities just as he would at home. He adores pack walks and they go to all sorts of different and fun places together.
Importantly for us, Sara uses training throughout the day so we have the consistency that a dog with a strong personality, like Alfie, needs – he gets to have fun but without breaking the house rules! Best of all, Alfie adores being there and gets so excited when we drive up to the house. We get to drop him off and know that he’s really happy all day.

David Sexton, owner of Biggles the Border Collie. I recently boarded my young and lively Border Collie with Sara McIlreavy in Portsmouth, for a week. I was much more than pleased with the way he was looked after by Sara and her partner. Not only was he well looked after, but he was given some training and a lot of affection while he was with her. I was also pleased with Sara’s willingness to spend time communicating with me while I was abroad. In fact I received almost daily text messages from her, which certainly calmed some of my anxieties about my dog when he was away from me for the first time. Sara was also exceptionally easy to deal with.   Sara had taken a lot of trouble to ensure that her premises and facilities were suitable for boarding, and unlike in most kennels, her boarder dogs live en famille with her.    In summary, I would like to say that the whole experience was excellent and I would have no hesitation in recommending Sara as somebody who can be trusted with your dog.  Written on 26 July 2013. 

Graham & Angela Green, Southsea – owner of Lennie (Golden Labrador) and Leroy (Black Labrador).  ‘The Bowhouse is just perfect – caring, responsible and great fun – our two boys Lennie & Leroy never stop talking about it after a visit and can’t wait to go back – they give it 5 stars on Trip Advisor’

Ivor Grayson-Smith, Old Portsmouth, owned by Oliver, a 3 year old
liver-spotted Dalmatian: “Oliver has known Sara and her dog Finbarr for
some time, so I was delighted when I heard she had her licence. Oliver
loves the home environment and having other dogs for company; this is a
vast improvement on other boarding kennels where there is little
freedom and exercise is often only on the lead.”

Alan Strong.  Owner of Freya, Greyhound, and Murphy, Whippet. “Sara is the best. She started with a questionnaire about pretty much anything and everything you can think of regarding the care of my dogs. I was originally very fearful of leaving my two dogs with a stranger for the day. Sara proved that there was nothing to fear! She emailed me updates on my dogs and also bought them treats and they had two hour-long walks on their day with her. She is so professional and reliable. I will be happy to leave my dogs with her the next time I need them to have day care.”

Lee Hobbins, Southsea,  Owner of Ruddles, a black Flat-Coated Retriever.
“It is my pleasure to provide a reference for Sara McIlreavy (Bowhouse)
We hired Sara a few weeks ago for our lively Flat-Coated Retriever named Ruddles.
When I first met Sara in our local dog park, I liked her immediately because she had a calm demeanor and got right down to Ruddles level to greet him -  He seemed very comfortable with her and I had no hesitation in asking if she would have Ruds in for an overnight stay.
Ruds came back exhausted and happy after being worn out from his time with Sara. She even suggested a new collar for his pulling and recommended a new natural food for him.
I feel she truly cares about animals and is genuinely concerned about their well-being.  Ruddles and I would highly recommend her as a pet sitter.”

Nicky Manning – owner of Molly, Old English Sheepdog. Nicky is a Secondary School teacher/subject manager and GCSE Examiner.
“Right from the word go, Sara was professional and thorough. She ensured that Molly and all the other dogs would be comfortable with one another, checking temperament and daily habits. No stone was left unturned with regards to Molly, which made me feel very secure leaving our dog with Sara.  Molly received at least 2 hours of off lead walks a day and when she was back at Sara’s she had so many toys to play with, and she was never left alone. With all of the above and competitive rates, what’s not to like? I would use Sara again in a heartbeat to look after Molly and would recommend her to anyone with any dog.  She is an extremely experienced handler of all breeds. If dogs could talk, Molly would have chewed our ears off with all her tales of fun and excitement with Sara, Bessie and Finn.”

Caitie Homan, Owner of Hexe, Doberman Cross. Sadly, I have to tell you we lost Caitie in a tragic road accident this summer.  Caitie was a PhD student in Dog Psychology/Cognition at Portsmouth University. We organized a collection for a local dog rescue in Caitie’s honour, at The Academy of Modern Canine Behaviour and Training.  
“I brought my 18 month old Doberman crossbreed bitch, Hexe, to stay at Bow House for over a week and she had a lovely time with Sara, Phil, and their two dogs. Before I brought Hexe to stay, Sara showed me around the house, explained her plans for introducing dogs to one another, and went over what she would do if any problems arose, many of which I wouldn’t have thought of. She asked detailed questions about Hexe’s home life to ensure that they stuck to our routine as much as possible and that Hexe would feel right at home. She kept me informed during my trip, sending me updates on how Hexe was doing so I didn’t have to worry about her at all while I was gone. When I arrived to pick her up, Hexe greeted me enthusiastically and then went back to playing with her new dog friends, settling down in the living room with a toy. Hexe is quite an active dog and needs a lot of exercise throughout the day, something she clearly got at Bow House as she slept for the rest of the day when we got home! Hexe was clearly treated as a part of the family and had a wonderful holiday of her own while I was away. I’m sure she is eager to stay again the next time I have to leave.”

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