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The Deal: JULIE NEUMANN FURRY FARM PET BOARDING CAMP
PETER CIHELKA/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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By Craig Schulin
FIRST JOB: Corn detasseling on the farms in Minnesota.
WORST JOB: Receptionist, which required me to sit still in one place and answer five phone lines, which I was not very good at.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP? A firefighter and paramedic.
HOW DID YOU END UP OWNING FURRY FARM? Summer of 2001 a family member died, requiring me to board my dogs. It was August and there were no vacancies at the local dog boarding facilities, so I took the dogs with me back to Minnesota for the funeral. On the long drive back to Virginia, I had the inspiration of going from health care to pet care, where I could offer home-style pet care to people during times of work, vacation, sickness and even tragedy.
WHAT IS THE BIGGEST DECISION YOU'RE WRESTLING WITH NOW? Striking a balance between my business and family needs is my biggest challenge. Fortunately, the staff at Furry Farm are unbelievably dedicated and compassionate in the care of the dogs. This allows me to meet my personal and family needs while still owning a business. I trust the staff with my dogs and my business when I am on vacation, and they do an excellent job. The staff is gold to me. I could not do this without them.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD CHANGE ABOUT YOUR JOB? Wish I did not have to pay so much in paytoll taxes so I could increase the staff salaries while keeping customer cost reasonable to the average hardworking person. On the other hand, paying taxes is a small price to pay for living in a free country where even a simple lady can open a business.
WHO WAS AND IS YOUR HERO? The works of Mother Teresa were heroic. The fact that one person can blaze a trail, lead a team and replace pain with joy gives me perspective.
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