Mind Your Pet closes its doors on an era

February 15th, 2024Mind Your Pet closes its doors on an era

After 18 years Rob Hands and Annie Reeve have stepped away from their Mind Your Pet business in Daylesford.

After 18 years Rob Hands and Annie Reeve have stepped away from their Mind Your Pet
business in Daylesford.

It was a hard decision to make – because of the customers, or as they know them after so many
years, friends.

Farewell tea

The Porcupine Ridge couple hosted a farewell afternoon tea a couple of weeks back and were
overwhelmed with how many people turned up, some even bearing gifts and cards.

“There have been a lot of tears,” says Annie.

“And that was the hardest part, our customers. Because they are not just customers, they are our
friends. But we exchanged a lot of phone numbers and have been invited for many cups of tea.

“And some came back after that just to say how much they had enjoyed the afternoon. It was pretty
wonderful and we have just loved getting to know them all – and their pets.”

Time to move on

Rob said they were offered a three-year lease but after 18 years, and with pretty much most of Covid working with just Sundays off, decided it was time to move on.

“It’s a lot of heavy lifting with the stock and we just thought we couldn’t do it for another three years. It was time and now we are enjoying having a break – and cleaning out everything that came home from the shop!”

Keen cyclists

Both keen cyclists, the couple met while working on a bike race in South Australia. Annie was on the Ballarat team, working as a massage therapist, but someone took her place and she found herself on the same team as Rob.

They travelled in the same vehicle to get to the next stop ahead of the team, and well, what happens on the bus stays on the bus. That was 31 years ago.

Rob had a former life as a sparky also working at Home Hardware in Daylesford and Hepburn Bathhouse while Annie managed Women’s Health Grampians, worked in hydrotherapy at St John of God and also at the Bathhouse.

Why a pet shop?

The move to owning Mind Your Pet came as they shopped for feed in Ballarat for their sheep and cats – they have two feline friends, one 18 “going on two and ruling the roost” and one 13.

The couple realised there was nothing available close to home, saw the opportunity and opened up their own store, specialising in premium brands.

There was never any issue about working together although some people have asked how they will fare being at home together now. “We just say we have already been together every day,” Annie laughed.

Staying put

The couple has no plans to leave their Porky Ridge home, where they are both active long-term members of the Porcupine Ridge CFA – Rob was captain some years back.

“We have had a wonderful time with our store and really want to emphasise how much we have enjoyed it and how much our customers mean to us. Those friendships have just been terrific,” Rob said. Words: Donna Kelly | Image: Kyle Barnes

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