Growing up in the country was great. My brother and I were very fortunate to experience opportunities that some other children did not. My favourite was picking field mushrooms. We would traipse through the paddocks in search of the biggest ones that we could find not covered in cow dung. I'm sure that Mum dreaded it when we would arrive home thrilled to pass over a bag full of mushrooms. To think about it now, I can't remember ever seeing these on our plates at dinner and come to think more into it, all of our family members didn't really eat mushrooms.

So I grew up outside a small country town on the Victorian border. It's a close-knit town where everyone knows each other and a quick trip to the shops always turned into a lengthy process catching up with this person and that. But I loved it and wouldn't have had it any other way.

I always had a love for animals, large and small. We always owned dogs, birds, horses, cats, fish, chooks and cattle. We had a wicked vegetable garden that seemed to be forever producing all sorts of yummy goodies to eat. Through Secondary College I elected for as many agricultural and outdoor classes allowed. Anything I could to get my fix of the great outdoors and take in all that fresh beautiful country air. I remember a requirement of one of my classes was to incubate duckling eggs. Once they had hatched it was the student’s responsibility to raise the chicks, but somehow I always managed to be the one taking all of them home to join our constant growing fur-family. My career path was to be a veterinarian, however, my grades unfortunately did not 'cut the mustard'. I knew that my love for animals would only be a hobby rather than a career, until I landed my dream job working at the local veterinary clinic when I finished year 12. Living in the dairy farming district, the clinic dealt with mostly large animals but I didn't care; I was happy. I absolutely loved that job... Hang on! Let's rephrase that. It wasn't a job at all, it was a place that I loved to go and never once did I not want to be there. The pay was dismal and the hours were long but I didn't care. I was the luckiest person alive. I learnt so much and could reel off any animals’ names, but was hopeless with the owners. Seven years quickly travelled past and due to a marriage breakdown I had to unfortunately hand in my resignation as the weekly wage did not cover the bills. You worked not for the money but for the love. I soon realised that although I lived in a small country town where everyone knew each other, it came with a downfall too where everyone knew your business. I'm sure you were the talk of the town for a week and then the conversation soon moved on to another poor soul.

For the next nine years I was to work for the local government. The pay and conditions were fantastic. Employment was few and far between. Let's face it; no one wants to willingly pay their rates, and I was fed up with the negative and irate rate-payers (I was a rate-payer too, just like everyone else). I decided to head home after a long day and call for a family meeting to put my proposal forward to them. To my surprise, my partner and recently retired parents jumped at the idea. What was I getting myself into! Houses were sold and the move to sunny Mackay was now in reach. So here we are. We travelled over 2,500km with four dogs, a cat, a bird, four fish and a freshwater yabby aka Yab Yab. It wasn't until then that we stumbled across this fantastic business that we now call ours and proudly at that.

Jaimon Boarding Kennels and Cattery in Sarina was looking for some fresh owners who were willing to take on the challenge. I had my mojo back, my dream to work with animals again was real, and the business was soon sold to our family. That was in March of 2016 and we have not looked back. The facility is fantastic and we aim to make every fur-baby's experience a happy home away from home whilst they holiday with us. We have so many fantastic ideas and hope to start rolling them out in the new year. We treat all the animals as if they were ours and each one is so special to us. Our kennels are set on approximately 20 acres, with large grassed areas where dogs can lounge around in the sun, freely dig holes or chase a ball or two. Our cattery contains common areas where cats can socialise, play, relax or walk freely around at their leisure. We are so happy to have this opportunity and cannot wait to see where this road takes us.

I love that life seems to be so much more carefree and things move at a slower pace compared to the hustle and bustle of the city. As kids, we were so excited to see the first and only set of traffic lights installed in town, to be used only as a pedestrian crossing. Peak traffic only lasts for 15 minutes at school pick-up and drop-off times. I love that you can look up and see stars shining at night and that the only lights you can see are the neighbours’ off in the distance. Country living is a fantastic lifestyle for kids. Space to run, climb trees, build cubbies and explore, which is something that we did as soon as the school bus dropped us off every night.


Article by Talia Hobley