Who is Yuka's?
How did Yuka’s become Yuka’s?
Whoever had asked me in my first year in Curacao – 2004- where I would be and what I would be doing anno now, I certainly would not have been able to tell that our life would be as fantastic as it is now. What a gift! And all thanks to 1 little street dog!
In May 2005 I adopted my very first dog, Yuka, from the animal shelter in Curacao. I did not want more than 1 dog, because I still planned to travel, with her. That became more difficult with multiple dogs, hence the choice of just Yuka.
I also did not want her to go through life alone. I obviously wanted her to have a great life! And for me that means: Possibility of social contacts with other dogs, adventures, exploring, learning new things together in a positive way, that she would be able to exercise her natural behavior (digging, sniffing, hunting etc.) and of course being together a lot.
For her social contacts I would pick up dogs from friends, who would then go for walks with her. Slowly more and more dogs joined me in my Suzuki Swift, just to explore Curacao and get some fresh air. Lovely!
While walking I was often approached with the question “That’s a lot of dogs, do you have a dog walker service or something like that?”. So I told every time that I was just going to pick up other people’s dogs, so that my Yuka would not have to go through life alone.
This question kept coming up and one fine afternoon I decided, just for fun, to answer “Yes” to the first person who would ask this.
And so said, so done! Followed by a picture, taken during one of the walks with one of the dogs that always went with us – Pien – , on which we put a little logo, and hung it up at a pet store.
To my great surprise, the next day someone called, looking for a sitter for her 2 shepherds, Mike and Chica. And that happened to be near our house too! Yuka’s Walking Service was born.
To my great surprise, the people whose dogs I had been picking up for free for a very long time, were eager to be my first “customer”. And so the 10-ride card was created and suddenly I was getting paid for something I had enjoyed doing for free for so long. Forever grateful for that support!
From that point on, things moved bizarrely fast. From dog walking, me internally chuckling that I was now just getting paid for this, Yuka’s Sitting Service also came into being. In which the dogs that went with the walks came to stay with me more and more often; “Can he stay with you? He already knows you so well.” A beginning of today’s ” Yuka’s Dog Holiday Park.”
The Dog Walking Service got bigger and bigger, and I even had to work one day less for it at Dive Center Aquarius, to handle the demand for walks. Shortly after that moment, with super support from Esther & Erik, my then employers, I quit my job and “Yuka’s” was officially registered with the Chamber of Commerce.
The hobby became a paid hobby, and now also my own company, how cool! And all thanks to 1 little white dog, abandoned in the shelter as a puppy, came to me around 4 months old, my hero: Yuka.
From our little house in Marie Pampoen, we moved to St Willibrordus. From the beautiful start there, in the Kaya Sta Brigitta, we have now, been able to buy our beautiful house with 8000m2 of land.
A dream to develop a real “Disney park for dogs”, where the personalized fun per guest, where they are really totally on vacation, came true ! We already had endless plans, now we also have the space!
A work-in-progress, save a little, develop a little and in between dream a lot and have fun with our guests!