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Dog days and smiles
Dog days and smiles
Kimberly and Taso Louloudis had both been working in construction before the downturn, she as a superintendent and he as a project manager.

Before Kim got laid off, she knew she wanted to get into something she loved more than building: working with animals.

They had already begun looking for a pet sitting franchise before her pink slip came in November. When it did, she transitioned right into opening Fetch, a pet sitting/dog walking service that also takes care of people's homes when they're away.

When Taso got laid off a few months later, he joined her at their home-based company. Now they have 200 clients, employ 20 part time workers, and are expanding their client base at a rate of 3 to 4 a week.

"You'd think our services would take a hit in the recession, but it's been just the opposite," said Taso. "The people with jobs are working more, so they need us more."

While they've seen their previous six-figure income drop by half, they say their new job comes with perks hard to find in the construction business.

"You ask people about insurance or real estate and they don't want to talk about it," said Taso. "You ask them about their pets or kids, and they're all smiles."

NEXT: Build a real estate empire

Last updated June 22 2009: 11:47 AM ET
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