One of the best parts about my job is witnessing people’s reaction when I explain what I do for a living. Typically their face lights up with excitement and they want to know more such as how does it work and how does one get started doing something like that and how many dogs do you walk at one time. “Daniel Radcliffe is my hero” pretty much sums up my response to the latter question.
Like with anything else, the job itself is not as glamorous as they portray it to be in the movies (again, see Daniel Radcliffe). But I love it for what it is and I think others are curious about what it entails so I wanted to share some thoughts on what it’s like to be a professional dog walker/pet sitter. I intend to do a series of blogs on this topic as I tend to ramble and I don’t think a novel-length post is an appropriate medium.
I don’t know what happened to all the cute clothes I used to own. While I try not to dress like a total slob, I dress for comfort, not style. What can I say? I traded in my dress pants for yoga pants. Or snow pants (depending on the time of year). You won’t hear too many complaints from me on this one.
My car is my second home. After taking the bus to work for 5 years, it took some time to adjust to being in the car all the time. Good music and an auxiliary output has never been so important.
I’m covered in dog all the time. You name it: Dog hair, dog scent, dog slobber. Same goes for my car. The only thing Kirby loves more than car rides is the opportunity to smear nose prints and saliva all over my windows. Don’t even get me started on dog hair. Let’s just say all human passengers are offered a complimentary lint roll upon exiting my vehicle. Black attire is not an optimal choice if you plan on riding in my car.
I sometimes forget how to talk to humans. After communicating with animals all day (in a high-pitched baby voice, no less), it may or may not occur to me that I should call up a friend to make sure I have some form of interaction with people. On the flip side, while I may not be interacting with my human clients on a daily basis, dogs are the best conversation starters. So when I’m out walking, I meet a ton of people and sometimes I develop relationships with neighbors and various people I encounter regularly.
I pick up a lot of poop. Hey, it is what it is. It’s a critical part of the job so I never stop to think about it. In that respect, it’s definitely not for everyone. I don’t have kids but I would imagine moms are constantly pulling diapers out of unexpected places at less than convenient times. I find myself doing the same with doggie poo bags. I find them everywhere and anywhere, and I never know where one might turn up next. It’s kinda like the phantom toilet paper that gets stuck to the bottom of your shoe after you leave the restroom but slightly less humiliating.