Finding a good dog walker is a bit like finding a good nanny. You're trusting someone to take care of your entire world while you're at work, and it never gets easier leaving your precious pup with a stranger. Add to that the idea of leaving the keys to your home in someone's hands, and it's enough to get your palms sweating.
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As a pup parent, I totally get it. So as a dog walker, I make sure I take care of those pups like they're my own.
But there are some things I do keep from my clients.
1. You paid for a half hour walk, but I stayed with your pup an extra fifteen minutes.
[caption id="attachment_22829" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Hazel the Cockalier
I do have a life, I promise. But leaving your pup behind is almost as hard for me as it is for you. You know better than anyone else that your dog is an expert at giving serious puppy eyes that will melt the coldest heart.
2. When we cross the street, I act like a school crossing guard.
[caption id="attachment_22839" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Eva the Corgi
Drivers and bike riders can't see your tiny pup, so I walk ahead out into the crosswalk and wait for your dog to strut his stuff like a little boss while cheering him on. I get some weird looks, but I don't care. I'm all about getting your fuzznugget to cross the street safely.
3. When you call to cancel a walk, I get a bit sad.
[caption id="attachment_22825" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Stella the French Bulldog
Especially if I won't see your pups again for a while. It means less snuggle time!
4. I cheer when your dog does #1 & #2. More for #2.
[caption id="attachment_22832" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Frankie the Miniature Australian Shepherd
When I start walking a new pup, he might not poop for me our first couple of walks. So finally dropping a deuce is his way of telling me he's comfortable enough to do his business in front of me. And that's one of the best feelings ever.
5. Sometimes your pup doesn't poop, and our walk time is up.
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She's probably holding it in so we stay out longer. Hazel the Cockalier
But I know you won't be home for at least five hours, and an extra lap around the block might get the job done. I've never charged you for the extra time.
6. Sometimes you pay for a full hour, but I only walk your dog for half.
[caption id="attachment_22826" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Che the French Bulldog
I know, but hear me out. Our scheduled walk happens during the hottest hour of the day in the summer. I will not force your dog to walk in 100 degree weather until her saliva is foamy. Instead, we find a shady spot to pee in, your dog drinks my whole bottle of water, and then we go home. The rest of our walk time is spent playing indoors. (If your pup likes baths, I'll even run some water for her to cool her paws.)
7. Those pictures I take of your dog to share with you? I show them off to everyone I know.
[caption id="attachment_22831" align="aligncenter" width="640"] My whole family's seen this one of Pugsly the Pug.
Your dog gave me derpface today? I'm showing that to my friends. Your dog gave me a high five? Shared. I got your dog's tail wagging and recorded it? Best believe I'll be bragging to my friends about that, too. I love walking your dog, and I love telling everyone about her.
Featured image via NY Daily News