Parenting as a Business Owner – Dogma Pet Services

Our first interview in our new “Parenting as a Business Owner” series is Tricia Jacoby. She is the founder and sole proprietor of Dogma Pet Services.


Q: How long have you been in business?

I have been working at Dogma Pet Services for 12 years; 9 years at 1880 Crosby Road, in Kelowna.

Q: What challenges did you face when you first opened?

My first challenge was getting my head screwed on tight. My second challenge that I really had from the get go was convincing those around me, those I was living with, that the space that I had was worthy of the business I was wanting. I had to make all sorts of reasons and validate why this had to be done this way, and that had to be done that way, so it was really about establishing a true sense of self, was the biggest challenge.


Where I was going to take this company within this market and industry was the first challenge. I wanted to be different, I didn’t want to be a cookie cutter. So I had to really think about what it meant to be outside of the box, and to really do things differently than everybody else in this industry. That was a big deal for me.

I also started Dogma when I was thinking of moving on in my relationship, and then I got pregnant, and became a mom, and evolution took over and I had to make decisions not based on what I would want, but what I thought was best for not just my family, my child, my future, and I had two children now. I had my children and I had the business. And they’re both very demanding children.


Q: How long had you been married before you started your business?

I was married in the summer of 2009, while pregnant, and had started the business in October of 2008, so you can imagine the back to back. Much of the concept of the business was constructed in September of 2008. I really wanted to be a stay at home mom, and originally thought of the business as being a stay at home mom position, with my husband looking after the finances. But then I got pregnant, and things weren’t so simple after that.


But when I started dealing with the business, it was really to become independent so should anything happen to my husband, I didn’t want to feel like I was dependent on anything. That was my motivation for having the business, but for continuing, especially when I was 6 months pregnant and leaning over a tub, the last thing I wanted to do was wash dogs. I didn’t want to go on, but I thought this is what I need to do to secure a future, and that’s what I did. The biggest challenge was trying to break the mold.

Q: What successes have you had in your business?

One of the things, the biggest success has nothing to do with my business, it has to do with me, and the fact that this taught me that YES, I CAN! There is no, “oh, I can take a sick day”, there is no “oh, I don’t feel like it”, YES I CAN is the only answer I had for every obstacle that came after Morgan while I was working. Yes I can, because I have to, there are no options, you have point a, point b, to point c, and you just keep moving forward. My biggest success was in learning about myself and the fact that I can do it.

With how far I’ve come, I know that I can go further. The second biggest success is the people I’ve met along this journey of entrepreneurship. Positive numbers coming at me, from people who are supporting me. That’s my second biggest success, to know that my company is being validated in more than just the financial but that it’s being bolstered up by people that want to see me succeed.


Q: Your daughter has been raised with a mom as a business owner. Have you noticed that she is affected by that in any way?

One of the biggest differences that I have noticed with her is she has become more independentand far more attuned to other people. She wants to help, she’s become more involved and far more sympathetic to other people’s issues than I think the average kid who doesn’t necessarily know what mom or dad does on a daily basis. The fact that she she sees how hard I work makes her want to work just as hard.

And when she asks what can I do during the day, especially in the summer time, you have to ask of them to be more tolerant. She’s been incredibly sympathetic, she knows that I am guilty for working so hard. And she’s proud, I see this drive when she talks about…she was asked by one of her teachers what she’d like to do when she gets older, and she said she’d like to be like mom.

Q: What was your reason for starting your business – your “why”?

Dogma had kind of been a dream of mine for a while, I didn’t want to work for somebody else, I knew I could do it better, with more compassion, and I wanted it, I had so many ideas, I knew I could do better. I ultimately, you think when you go through life that you’re stumbling along and you just pick up what’s most convenient. I truly believe this is my purpose.

Every time I try to veer away from animals, I keep coming back in some respect. This is beyond just logic. It’s beyond what can make me money, it transcends any of that. When I started doing it, I knew I was meant to be doing it. And it’s made my life complete.

Q: What advice would you give to somebody who is a mom, dad, or not even necessarily a parent, but somebody that says I’m sick of working for somebody else, I have a great idea and I want to start a business.

Do your market research. Make sure not only that you want to do it, but it’s an industry that you can be successful at and that you can start seeing results quickly. Nothing motivates people faster than seeing results. So anything that’s going to get you some level of results that you’re looking for, great, keep going, don’t stop, don’t let anybody tell you what you can or cannot do. Especially when you become a parent, they’re going to say your first priority is to be a parent, your first priority is to yourself.

Don’t give yourself nothing – you’ll get burned out. Don’t lose yourself when you’re a parent or struggling to be this entrepreneur. Be all of it, but don’t lose yourself in it. Always have a back door. It doesn’t mean that you’re not committed, you need to be smart. If you go balls to the wall and it doesn’t work out, some businesses don’t work out, if it doesn’t work out have a back door. Don’t commit 100%. I never committed 100% because I knew there was a fraction that needed my attention should something fail. I’m a parent, if I was single, with no children or other people I was needing to look after, sure, my business would be my everything. Spread it out but don’t spread it too thin.


From Resolution to Reinvention


Rather than making a resolution, create a reinvention. I spoke with a friend recently who mentioned she was in a period of reinvention. I will share her quote:

“I realized that I was having so much trouble moving forward because I had no idea what it was that I wanted to move towards”

Not having a specific goal in mind blocks our opportunity to take steps toward achieving success. If we don’t know where we’re going, how will we know when we arrive? I have always believed I would be a writer, even as a young child. I briefly put aside that belief and focused on a ‘realistic’ career — healthcare. I quickly realized that, even though I enjoyed caregiving, it was not the calling I had been sent here for.

Dreams give us a chance to look into the future and see possibilities. Go someplace quiet, paper and pen in hand, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Exhale. With your eyes remaining closed, envision your life in two years. What do you see? Who are you?

Describe the future you in as much detail as possible:

  • What do you look like?
  • How do you feel about yourself?
  • What are your surroundings?
  • Where do you live?

Consider every detail of the life the future you is living and prioritize the steps you must take to get you closer to your goal. I see the home I will live in, the style of clothing I will wear and the types of souls who will surround me. I can also truly feel the love I have for myself, even when I’ve made a mistake or disappointed myself.

If you don’t see your ideal life and ideal self, what changes can you make today to have that life and become that person?

Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal”. Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosopher.

Hidden Wealth


Wealth looks different to different people. A homeless person, with only a box to sleep in, who has shoes and a hat could perhaps be considered wealthy within the homeless community. Someone owning a home, vehicle, and various electronics would be considered wealthy, when compared to someone who is homeless.

There are those who own a large home, two vehicles, several different electronics, with plenty of food in the fridge, yet do not consider themselves wealthy. They compare themselves to others who have more. It’s a never ending contest:

  • Our homes are never big enough
  • Our vehicles are never fast enough
  • Our clothes are never trendy enough.

Comparisons never get you closer to your goals,

unless comparing your past self to your present self!

Being aware of your strengths, talents, challenges, and desires makes you wealthy. There are many throughout the world who have more money than they will ever need, but still they are sad – they do not possess a sense of self. They are not aware of what they were meant to give to the world – their true calling. In their heart, they long for something but are not sure of what it is. Possessions do not fill the void.

Within your life and your business, look for the hidden wealth. Take the time to allow for introspection. Discover your strengths, talents, challenges, and desires. Find out what makes you who you are – what you can give to the world, your community, and to your self. Find your hidden wealth!

Share your thoughts with everyone – those who know your goals will often help you achieve them!

Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt

When did being negative become a crime?

sad face

Think positively! Don’t be so negative! Turn that frown upside down!

There are days when I seriously want to rip my hair out when I hear those phrases. Since when is it a crime to be sad, angry or afraid? After all, these feelings are part of our emotional range as humans and sometimes life just sucks. Being so angry you want to punch something, or so sad that you weep uncontrollably, are healthy emotional reactions to intense circumstances.

It is true that seeing the brighter side of life, finding beauty in others and our surroundings, and recognizing lessons in every challenge are excellent traits to have. You’ll enjoy your time on earth more and most likely will be a healthier person. The key is not allowing your spirit to be swallowed up by these so called ‘negative’ emotions.

Allow yourself to fully feel these intense negative emotions, for however long you need to. The trick is recognizing when time is up. When it is, here’s what you do:

  • Square your shoulders
  • Tell your negative feelings their time is up
  • Remind yourself of your strength, beauty, talents, and blessings
  • Put a smile on your face

This is what works for me. How about you?