You may think being a dog dog walker is an easy gig. It’s not and to illustrate the strenuous nature of my job, I thought it would be a good idea to post my job description. So here it is…in part…
1) Make clients feel included in all activities. This includes sharing my toys, nudging reluctant clients gently with my nose, and yes, imitating them when they run (see photo to the right). Some dogs are hesitant to be part of a pack be the pack just the two of us or more, though generally we never walk more than four dogs at a time. Other dogs are thrilled to be part of the pack and throw themselves into any playful fray that comes along. Gemma is such a gal. She wasn’t a scheduled client for today, but once again we ran into her at the park — “we” being Ollie and me. She could have cared less that she wasn’t on our schedule. She tossed herself into playing with us body and soul — and ears!
Ollie, who generally is more hesitant, actually got the romp-bug once he saw Gemma fly about the field and had a good time rustling and tussling with us this morning.
2) Despite your desires, resist the urge to appear like you don’t enjoy your work. For instance, I’m not a fan of a lot of dogs coming at me all at once, but as a dog dog walker, I have to act as if I think it’s the most fun ever. I think these photographs illustrate my point beautifully.
Notice, if you will, how I am showing how much I love my work AND making Ollie feel included…
3) Encourage clients to get to know each other and not always rely on you to entertain them.
4) Encourage your clients to pose in a variety of ways for the camera. That way when they are posted on the worldwide web (where millions of viewers observe them!) they can show off their best natures.
5) Learn to take advantage of your down time. When you aren’t working, rest. This was the case today. After the rowdy play time with Ollie and Gemma this morning, I rested while Gretchen took Bella for a walk and a romp at the tennis courts.
While Bella is getting her ya-yas out, I’m putting in some zzzzzzz’s. I knew, of course, what was coming after this and I needed to be prepared…but I’m getting ahead of myself.
6) Be prepared. This includes everything from changing weather conditions to puppies with a persistent need to play!
Today was our second day with Bella. While Gretchen took her for a nice walk (practicing all her commands) and played some at the tennis courts, Bella knew what she wanted to do. She wanted to come play with me.
I wanted to rest, but referring back to #2, as a dog dog walker, I must forgo my wishes and make my clients happy. Luckily today, happy meant pulling out the swimming pool and that, my friends, I am always prepared for!
Bella got in the pool, too but not with as much excitement or vigor as me. In fact, I think I scared her a bit with my enthusiasm so, moving onto my next responsibility…
7) Ease the worried dog through play!
8) (And this is by no means the last of my list, but it’s enough for today) — at the end of your time together, show them that it’s okay to be silly because it’s those fun and silly times that they’ll always remember!
Perhaps some day in the future, I’ll come back to my list, but for now, I think you’ve got the picture as to why I’m such a tired puppy at the end of the work day.
But hey, somebody’s gotta do it!