McKinney resident Julie Dickens does it all. The dance studio owner, while prepping for her winter recital, also owns her McKinney DoodyCalls franchise, which does the dirty work for pet owners with trained crews ready to clear up residents’ yards. Dickens previously worked in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Baylor All Saints Hospital in Fort Worth. And Dickens – alongside daughter Marley, 11, and Ella the golden doodle – knows all too well the pressure families are under when their loved ones need more care and attention than time allows. So, to help parents with NICU babies, Dickens offers to clean up their yards for free. Visit doodycalls.com for information.
How long have you owned your DoodyCalls franchise?
Since December 2007
Why did you decide to make that switch from your work at Baylor?
I was pregnant and wanted to be a stay at home and raise my daughter.
Do you ever miss it?
I do miss it. I miss being able to take care of these precious babies and helping families during a critical time in their lives.
What do you offer families of NICU babies?
We offer two free months of service for these families. DoodyCalls will come once a week.
How did your past career influence that decision?
I have seen the time commitment these parents have. Sometimes they are working full-time jobs and coming to visit their babies daily. It warms my heart knowing we can give them the gift of time by allowing us to clean up after their furbabies. This is one last task they need to worry about.
Why was it important for you to start that service for them specifically?
I can only imagine having my newborn baby in the NICU. I know these parents’ lives are turned upside down. They need to focus on what’s important, spending time together as a family. I am sure their friends and family offer food, cleaning and maybe even transportation for some moms. But, I highly doubt they are concerned with pet waste. Unfortunately, pets keep going. It’s important to give these dogs a clean yard and also keep our environment clean as well.
Many people wouldn’t think about the time it takes to handle this dirty job. If it gets out of hand, what can that mean for children and/or the environment?
Contrary to what most people think, pet waste is NOT good fertilizer. It is toxic to your lawn causing discoloration and burns. It is estimated that a single gram of dog waste can contain 23 million fecal coliform bacteria, which are known to cause cramps, diarrhea, intestinal illness, and serious kidney disorders in humans. Rain and sprinklers wash pet waste down storm drains and into nearby creeks causing water pollution.
How does DoodyCalls work?
With DoodyCalls Pet Waste Removal Service, you can wash your hands of the whole “clean up” business. We offer weekly, every other week and monthly scooping service, as well as one-time cleanups to keep your yard clean and safe for your family and pets to enjoy all year round.