Today, I am so very pleased to have the lovely Penny Gibson visiting PBHQ. Penny and Lola’s story will bring a tear or two to your eyes, but whilst it is an emotional story it is also a wonderfully uplifting one. Sometimes the brightest star shines when you thought the lights had gone out.
Not only do I hope you will enjoy Penny and Lola’s story, but you will take a look at what came out of their story.
My name is Penny Gibson and I am the founder of Lola and Me Dog Treats.
Back in the Summer 2019 I had a good job. It was stressful and long days, but I enjoyed everything about it. October saw a change in my job and I was no longer the person colleagues came to for help and support. Having the taste for managing a team I applied for promotion after promotion, but to no success. Why was I not picked? Was I not good enough, surely, I had more than proved myself?
As winter arrived and the days grew shorter and the sky a constant grey, there was a longing for the sun. We were both in need of a break and knowing this we booked a winter sun holiday to celebrate Christmas. Me and my partner also decided it was a good time to live together in a new place. Our plans seemed perfect, but as our holiday loomed and our move, just, two days before Christmas, as well as interview after interview, I felt my world crash.
Despite how I felt, the move went well and our holiday was wonderful, but then it was back to reality. The 2nd January 2020 arrived and the fear of walking back into the office with no promotion, no one needing my help, no team to manage was the last straw, the one that broke the camel’s back. The reality of it all found me in floods of tears and hysterical ranting. I felt broken and could see no way to move forward. Thankfully, my wonderful partner could see my utter distress and without hesitation whisked me to the doctors.
The doctors were sympathetic, but I was not going back to work anytime soon. So, unfit for work, I felt my life had ended. All I could think was that I was not good enough to grace any office; I was a waste of space. With the help of therapy and medication and the love of my partner, I slowly began to rebuild. Every day the black clouds turned a little lighter. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but the light wasn’t the one I had hoped for, instead it was the train coming towards me as COVID-19 was to change everything.
If Covid had happened two years earlier, the old me would have, shrugged my shoulders and said, ‘Restrictions, change is as good as a rest.’ Sadly, I was no longer that person, the now me, post breakdown, felt life was punishing me for being weak. I was afraid.
Despite my lowness, I knew I needed something to keep me going and to get me out of the black hole I had fallen into. Friends suggested running, but it wasn’t for me. I needed to find something that I could engross myself in and feel worthy.
Growing up, I had always been around dogs and knew one day I would love to have one of my own.
Searching the internet for a dog that had a story to tell. Ideally, I wanted to give a dog a home that needed one. Puppies are fine, but my mind was set on finding a dog that needed love and care. I was busy scrolling when a dog named Lola popped up on the screen. Originally from a puppy farm and in a foster home, Lola had wonky ears and a face only the hardest of person couldn’t love my mind was made up. I wanted this dog. Just looking at her I wanted to hug her and tell her if she came to live with us, she would be loved so much.
On one of the hottest days of the summer of 2020 we drove to Cornwall. With no reassurance that the meeting with Lola would go well and if we would be able to bring her home. Many questions raced through our heads during the drive to meet her including, how was she going to react to us. But before we knew it, we were heading back home. It was a very stressful trip back, but a few hours later we sat in our living room with a dog, our dog called Lola.
Suddenly I had a reason to get up and a reason to laugh again and a reason to bake, which is my second love in life.
Thinking about Lola, she needed a special diet due to her previous life, and my passion to bake, sparked the idea of a dog biscuit business, Lola & Me Dog Treats - Homemade gluten free treats for dogs. All of our products are fresh and have no added sugar or salt. Online only selling ****
has not only settled in well, but believes the house is more hers that ours! Each
month we go from strength to strength with new products, new ideas and a
passion for life. Lola has a new life and so do I. A huge thank you Lola and a
very big, big thank you to my wonderful partner for helping me get back to me.
If you live in Norfolk or plan to visit, then please check out Lola & Me on ****Norwich Market week commencing 22nd November or find out how you can buy our treats on Facebook, Lola and Me Dog Treats. You can also message me with any questions.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Penny and Lola and that you will look at the delicious treats. Barney is already sniffing at them!
As always, I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.