Zara M. is a 34 year old Writer, Pet Portrait Artist and a big animal lover, providing clients with a Professional Puppy Care Service which supports basic puppy training and socialisation. She is also a Pet Travel Concierge at Pets Pyjamas London.
opulent mutts | a brief history
"In the beginning I wanted to create a resource platform for new puppy owners. Being a new puppy owner myself at the time, as well as developing my puppy sitting business in London, I was eager to share all of the information I was gathering from my own research and experience.
When I left London the Opulent Mutts brand side-tracked into being more about my pet portraits, with a strong focus on supporting dog rescue. My art was a more lucrative way for me to earn a living working from home in the countryside at the time.
The detour in my project's journey and especially the focus on dog rescue has helped me to clarify my true passion, which is to spread the importance of what it means to be a "Great Pet Owner".
I believe that promoting GREAT Pet ownership is one of the significant ways forward in helping to save the lives of so many pets that end up in animal rescue.
I am very excited to be back living in the city again, revisiting my puppy care business, and now focussing on creating a rich resource platform filled with useful, insightful, and of course entertaining content for pet owners, to inform and inspire pet owners to give their animals the best they possibly can.
My brand name "Opulent Mutts" is an oxymoron. Oxymorons are figures of speech which contain apparently contradictory words or notions in conjunction with each other. They are often used as a literary device to make a person stop and think.
I have used an oxymoron to bring attention to the emphasis many people place on "spoiling" pets with things that are of no real use or value to the animals themselves. I think that treating an animal like a toy or an accessory promotes the wrong message to the world about what it means to own a pet, and I think that the responsibility of being a pet owner extends beyond just making sure that one's own pet is safe and well provided for.
Many animals end up losing their lives because their owners did not give them what they needed from the start, and what all pet animals need are informed and dedicated humans who know what "providing" for a pet really means.
I'm not saying that people can't buy diamante collars or cute T shirts, or even carry a small dog around in a purse - But if you don't know that a pet, no matter what type, breed or size, needs exercise, mental stimulation, boundaries and a healthy and preferably species appropriate diet, not to mention ongoing training and socialisation then you are most definitely "spoiling" your pet, but not in the way that makes you a great pet owner.
Zara would like to continue to offer her Puppy Care Services in London, take commissions for custom art, and seek out freelance opportunities to develop her writing career.
It is her ambition to be a published author and sought after freelance writer within the pet niche.
Zara is also looking forward to developing the Opulent Mutts Blog and creating a resource platform for new puppy and pet owners.
Juniper & Fig
Zara has a dog and a cat. Her three year old dog Juniper is a small mixed breed with Chinese-crested Powderpuff, Jack Russell and Poodle in her. Her one year old cat is a full breed Cornish Rex.
Juniper is also the weekend "Office Dog" at Pets Pyjamas in London.
Zara has a Diploma of Higher Education in English Literature from Westminster University of London, a Degree in Film & Media and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Screenwriting both from Birkbeck University, London, and an A- Level in Art studied at the La SWAP Sixth Form Consortium, London.
"I am extremely creative and I like to incorporate storytelling into all of my work. You will notice if you hire me to care for your dog that I love to annotate photos with speech bubbles and create mini-movies to document the time we spend together!"
Zara has spent three years caring for and training her own dog Juniper, alongside providing a puppy care service to clients and support with basic training & socialisation. She believes in practicing positive reinforcement training methods using a mixture of toys, praise & affection, a clicker and food rewards.
Zara also occasionally volunteers at Puppy Socialisation and Dog Training Classes held by Sue Evans at the Alpha Dog Training School in London. The main outdoor classes are held twice a week in Finsbury Park, and the Puppy Socialisation classes at various Veterinary Practices in the evenings.
"Sue has always been a wonderful support and influence. I recommend her classes highly."
Zara is mostly a self-taught artist offering a variety of custom art services to her clients. She regularly supports Dog Rescue and Animal Welfare organisations by donating custom art to fundraisers.
"I have met so many wonderful dog lovers online through my art, and I am proud to have been involved in raising money for some awesome causes.'