New dog – new business. Chesterfield’s Paul Kay owes so much to his dog that he named his new business after it: Salander Sensation Dog training.  With the help of the Work for Yourself programme, he is turning a life-long hobby in to an income, improving his health and recovering his pride. Paul’s history is similar to so many people who have worked hard for years until ending up on benefits due to ill-health.  After nearly 30 years in traffic management, he was a self-employed safety control officer responsible for all the legal rules about motorway contraflows and their thousands of traffic cones.  However, as Paul described: “Twelve hour shifts working amongst the noise of motorways damaged my hearing.  Ear defenders seem the answer but can be even more risky – it was only because I heard the tyre burst that I’m here today, otherwise the out-of-control lorry would have run me down.   But I also started having intermittent severe headaches and memory loss so that I was disorientated with mood swings – it was really worrying and scary for all the family.  My condition has never been diagnosed after lots of scans, different drugs and treatment.”  “Other people couldn’t see that I was ill so they didn’t understand because I look as fit as anyone else”, he explained.  “I ended up on benefits in 2009: I was ashamed of not being able to support my family as the illness had stripped away everything.” Paul has been involved in shooting and dog training since he learned from his father on the moors around Doncaster.  However, as his partner Denise, commented, “We hadn’t been able to keep a dog while we were both out working but it was ideal when Paul was at home and ill.  We got Salander Sensation, our springer spaniel.  Training the dog gave Paul new interest in life and, although he still struggles with his illness, it helped him avoid a really deep depression.  In no time, he was helping other people train their own dogs and, as he couldn’t go back to his previous work, this was the perfect answer.” Earlier this year Paul teamed up with his Work for Yourself Business Adviser, created his website and his marketing material.  His new business has steadily built up and now he has added Chesterfield Gun Dogs to his training portfolio.  “Many of my clients have generously taken rescue dogs but then face problems when they get them home.     Training like mine can overcome their behaviour so that more of these abandoned dogs can still become family pets.  Gun dogs such as Spaniels, Labradors and Retrievers need more advanced training: using a dummy launcher stops them being gun shy and they quickly learn to follow directions when retrieving the dummy bird.  They need to be steady on the flush so that they stop and await the next command whenever they put up birds.  I’m running classes for the new shooting season in October.”
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