Kate MacDougall

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Kate MacDougall is a freelance journalist who specialises in the countryside, lifestyle, interiors and all things dogs. She has written for The Telegraph, Country Life, Horse and Hound, Homes and Antiques and Period Living amongst others.

She grew up in Shropshire, has lived in London, Edinburgh and New York, but now lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, three children and two very naughty dogs.

Current publication: LONDON'S NO. 1 DOG WALKING AGENCY - UK publication 8th April 2021 (Bonnier) / US publication 6th July 2021 (William Morrow)

The irresistibly charming memoir of a young woman who started her own business as a dog walker for London's busy, well-heeled dog lovers. A true love letter to London, dogs, and growing up.

Aside from the odd biter or growler, the occasional bolter and the one dog who didn't want to walk, the canines were the easy part. They were a muddy, messy joy in all shapes, sizes and breeds, from greedy Labradors to pampered pugs and everything in between. It was the owners who were the real challenge, a giddy mix of the over-protective, the clueless, the eccentrics and the perfectionists. There is no rule book on how to navigate the obsessions of the London dog owner. A degree in human psychology would have been far preferable to any sort of animal qualification. Not that I had either...

In 2006, Kate MacDougall was working a safe but dull job at the venerable auction house Sotheby's in London. After a clumsy accident nearly destroyed a precious piece of art, she quit Sotheby's and set up her own dog-walking company. Kate knew little about dogs and nothing about business, and no one thought being a professional dog walker was a good use of her university degree. Nevertheless, Kate embarked upon an entirely new and very much improvised career walking some of the city's many pampered pooches, branding her company "London's Number One Dog Walking Agency."

With sharp wit, delightful observations, and plenty of canine affection, Kate reveals her unique and unconventional coming-of-age story, as told through the dogs, and the London homes and neighborhoods they inhabit. One walk at a time, she journeys from a haphazard twentysomething to a happily--and surprisingly--settled adult, with love, relationships, drama, and home ownership along the way. But, as Kate says, "It's all down to the dogs" and what they taught her about London--and life.


‘ A really lovely book for dog lovers ‘ - Jilly Cooper

“This entertaining and lighthearted look at the life of a woman who took control of her own future is a perfect nonfiction crossover for fans of British chick lit like that of Sophie Kinsella.” - Booklist

“If MacDougall is as skilled with dogs as she is with a pen, it’s no wonder her agency became number one. London’s Number One Dog-Walking Agency bounds along with the energy of a rambunctious pup and exudes the wisdom of a beloved canine with an old soul (you know the type). MacDougall’s writing sparkles with humor, joy and wit. And for dog lovers, of course, the best part is: It’s all about the dogs.” - Bookpage

"A fun, thoroughly entertaining memoir" - Shelf Awareness

With gentle humor, this charming coming-of-age story captures the ups and downs of a young woman defining life on her own terms…warmly uplifting and wise.” - Kirkus

'Charming, funny, heartwarming and full of dogs - what more could you want?' - Adam Kay, bestselling author of This is Going to Hurt

'A joy from start to finish. I loved it!' - Stacey Halls, The Familiars

'An absolutely glorious romp of a book' - Ruth Hogan, bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Things

'It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me long for a dog! Incredibly moving, very funny and wonderfully wise, this is a brilliant debut memoir and a beacon of hope when we need it most. I shall be recommending it to everyone I know, dog-loving or otherwise.' - Annie Lyons author of Eudora Honeysett Is Quite Well, Thank you 

'The perfect book for these turbulent times, slick, properly funny and well observed. Kate gives you a peek into London lives, where nothing is quite as it seems. I raced through it like a dog in its favourite park.' Ericka Waller author of Dog Days.

'Full of truths both personal and universal, city life nostalgia, and some unforgettable canine super-stars, London’s No.1 Dog-Walking Agency is blissful reading for dog lovers and people watchers.' - The Lancashire Post