Jasmin Walser is 24 and has never had a dog of her own. She has nevertheless now opened Ischgl’s first all-round guesthouse for dogs. She explains to Trisanna why you should always follow your heart. On a walk – with a dog, of course.
phOTOS: NIKO HAVRANEK
Jasmin, why dogs and not people?
(laughs) Well, it’s not completely no people. In summer I work as a sales assistant in a boutique. But I have always loved animals, and I really wanted to work with them, too. It just so happened that my friends always brought their dogs to me when they had to go away urgently. So I came up with the idea that our guests might also be interested in this as a service, too. And it turned out to be true.
Do you need special qualifications?
You don’t need them, but it was important to me to have something concrete. I did a dog sitter training course near Vienna.
But you’ve never had a dog of your own.
No, unfortunately not. My mother is a bit scared of dogs, you see. But it’s in pipeline, for sure – I want a Eurasian.
Your parents run a hotel. Didn’t you want to work with them there?
Tourism is really important for us. But this 100 percent total tourism was never really my thing. This is what I realised early on, when I helped out in an animal shelter near Vancouver for two months when I was 19. It was a wonderful experience and really taught me a lot. I think you have to be honest with yourself and listen to your instincts. Working with dogs lets me combine really well tourism and what I really want to do.
What makes working with dogs so special for you?
They give so much love and affection back to you. When a dog sees me the next day and is excited, then my heart just wells up. Then I know I’ve done a good job.