dog walking

Penny, the Cavanese puppy that required some major house training (part 1)

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“I always wanted a dog and my boyfriend decided it was the right time.

We moved into a dog friendly apartment and we had job security.

We were dog walking and dog sitting and met a particular breed, (a Cavanese) and we fell in love.

We wanted to get a rescue but I have severe allergies.

We wanted a dog that didn’t shed and didn’t bark, but couldn’t find a dog with that criteria in the rescue world.

We asked someone with a Cavanese where she got her dog and then we contacted the breeder.

The timing was just right because that breeder just had a litter.

We went to Pennsylvania and picked out Penny.

She was the only puppy that came up to our lap and fell asleep.”

Mark, the musician and walker

“When I moved here from Texas, I was waiting tables and auditioning for bands and looking for something more conducive to playing music.

I am a drummer.

I found Hoochie Poochie on Craigslist, quit the serving job I had and started doing this full time.

The dogs are awesome.

I have been doing this for five years.  The time has gone by quickly.

There are no negatives about this job, except for the weather.  Anything other than sunny and 70 is a drag.

This is an awesome way to meet women.

Cute dogs attract cute chicks.

I was training a female walker and we started hanging out at the dog park together.  We bonded over the dogs.  We started organizing after work bar meet-ups.   She had a boyfriend at the time so we would hang out with a group of friends to keep things light and safe.  We ended up at the same bar one night alone and mistakes were made.  It was uncomfortably sticky for a few months until she broke up with him.  We dated for a year off and on, seeing each other at the dog run regularly.  She didn’t want to be in a committed relationship.  She was younger and still exploring what she wanted.

I started seeing another woman who was also a dog walker for the same company.  She was a dancer.  We met at a holiday party.  I started to realize our thinking was more in line with each other.  We wanted the same things, pursuing our art. Music and dance is what brought us both to the city.

Dog walking allows us the flexibility, finances and freedom to go after our passions.

Without the dog walking I would just be another jaded New Yorker.”

 

Ajax, the tripod

“My husband and I worked long hours. We didn’t think we had the time for a dog until we saw all the people coming and going in our apartment building with dogs.  We learned about dog walkers, doggie day care and the NYC dog world.

We knew we wanted a labrador retriever. We didn’t know about lab rescue, but we knew we didn’t want to go to a breeder.

My husband had been going to a restaurant on the upper west side, called Fred’s.  It was named after a lab that was released from the Guiding Eyes of Yorktown Heights.

We began asking people whose labs we liked where they got their dogs.  Several of them mentioned that they had adopted from Guiding Eyes– including our favorite pair from the neighborhood, Hoop and Hula.  Their names were cheerful and the dogs were smart and had big personalities.

We investigated and put our names on a waiting list for a released puppy.

When we were called after six months we had to say no to their first offer. We were both out of town on business and only had four days to accept.

About four months later, they emailed a photo of a brindle lab in a basket with a sunflower and his little paws hanging over the side.  I had a brindle mutt growing up, so as soon as I saw his coloring I knew he was mine.

The first moment that was other than pure joy was when we found out he had cancer.

My mother and my husband’s father both died from cancer, so fear was our immediate emotion.

The cancer was localized in his right hind leg near his knee. It was a tumor in the carriage. we had many choices, including radiation, but a specialist told us that amputation was the gold standard and would be curative.

After surgery he walked out of the animal hospital and hopped himself into a yellow cab.

They took his stitches out after two weeks. We went to a friends house   thinking he could relax in their years and recover.  The moment we turned our heads, he ran through a sprinkler and jumped in the swimming pool.

That was five and a half years ago.  He’s now on wheels, but still getting around.”

Sugar, the best part of the job

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I started as a nanny for the family’s two kids and walking Sugar was part of the job description (the best part).

Dogs are therapy for me.

I don’t have a lot of friends that are able to own dogs right now. Apartment size, budget, and availability to be home are big restrictions on people my age.

Dogs are pretty easy, sweet, and love unconditionally. Even if Sugar is being kind of a brat, she’s still great.

On walks, her prime initiative is to get as much attention from as many people as possible. As soon as she gets a treat– like from the bank, bookstore , or pet store, she tries to drag me back there on every walk.

I’ve only been with her for a year and a half, but I walk her right in the middle of the day. In the mornings I’m in an office and in the afternoons I’m nannying. She’s a really good midday boost.

In a job so kid based, she allows for some adult contact either in the park or at the dog run.  Yesterday, I ran into a friend from Brooklyn while I was walking Sugar in Central Park. it’s not often I get to run into someone from Brooklyn on the upper west side of Manhattan, especially on a work day.

I like that my job has two distinct parts to it. Walking the dog is a great segue into the afternoon. It’s puppy therapy.