all dogs

Kasidy, the contemplative dog walker (part 2)

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“It’s also easier to start the day with a lot of excitement.

The dogs are always eager to see me.

I am really emotionally bonded with Earl because it took so long to earn his trust.

At first he was very skittish and then apathetic, but there came a time, a few months in, that I noticed his tail would wag and he would start this happy howl when I came.

That’s a great feeling.”

Kasidy, the contemplative dog walker (part 1)

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“I am an actor, formally, and I needed a nice job with flexibility.

I tried a lot of other jobs, like handing out fliers in Times Square in costume (I was John Lennon in a Sargent Pepper outfit, a sailor in a pink outfit to advertise La Cage Au Folles when it was on Broadway), receptionist at a gym, and then I found dog walking.

It is a lot less emotionally degrading.

I like lots of things about the dogs.

I like that other’s no ego or persona.

The dogs just are who they are.

They are always living in the moment.”

 

Laura, the dog lover without a dog (part 2)

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“I had friends that I met at the dog run.  their dog and I were in love with each other.  They had a wonderful dog, tchotchke.  If she liked you it was a love fest every time you saw her.

Then when she got old and sick it was very sad.

A couple of days before she died she was in the dog run and you could watch her go up to each of her people friends, as if to say goodbye.

She was an articulate dog.  She didn’t like puppies and small dogs bothering her.  She had a very polite but firm way of letting them know to leave her alone. She would lie on the ground, turn her head toward them and let out a low growl of warning.

The best was meeting, getting to know and spending time with such loving people and their dog.

The worst was when their dog died, followed by their leaving New York.

We still keep in touch.

I still come to the dog run in good weather a few times a week.

I have some physical disability with my arms and the dog run is a good place for me to come for some gentle exercise and amusement.

One of the great things about the dog run is that you see people you meet in the dog run on the street, and develop a relationship outside the dog run.

There is a real community at the dog run that overflows in the neighborhood.

Kirsten, the animal lover and pet care giver (part 1)

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“I started grad school and dropped out within a couple of weeks.

I needed a job.

My roommate was a dog walker for a company and got me a job as an assistant.  I worked for them for 2 years before I went out on my own.

What was funny for me, was that when I was a kid, pet care was my first job.

I grew up in the suburbs and when my peers started babysitting, I would feed my neighbors cats, take in the mail and general house sitting stuff.

As an adult, whatever jobs I had often involved pet sitting (on the side) for co-workers.

I didn’t put it all together, or see where I was headed until I started dog walking.

I think I could do this for a while, but I don’t really know.

All of the dogs that I’ve taken care of give me a way to be a better person.

Everything with a dog is immediate, so in the moment.  For example, with Gremmy, the Italian Greyhound, she’s so delicate, fragile and tiny, so when I am with her, I have to watch people and dogs in a different way.  I have to literally protect her from the cold (which for her, is September through June), feet (people stepping on her), and people trying to pick her up.  Those are the main things in protecting her.  Taking care of her reminds me to be patient and also assertive.  I have to tell people no, don’t pick her up.  I also have to be careful of her space, so I don’t accidentally step of her or make her nervous.”