New York Dog Walkers – I salute you.

In my lifetime, I’ve walked many dogs.  I had my own dog growing up, used to volunteer at the Animal Haven in Soho, and would occasionally dog sit for my friends.  I know that feeling of clipping on the leash and seeing your dogs tail go crazy in excitement.  But so many of us, especially in New York, need help with our dogs.  We can’t be home for every time the dogs needs to go out and do his business.  What’s more, folks want to make sure their dogs can stretch their legs and get some good exercise.  So – we hire dog walkers.

Lots of folks look at dog walking as the perfect job.  It’s straight forward, the pay can be good and the obvious – you get to be around dogs all day.  But after living the life of a full time dog walker for just one day, I’m here to tell you that it’s NOT EASY.  It’s not easy being a dog walker for a number of reasons.

  1. There’s a lot to remember.  It’s not as simple as “Walk a dog.”  Keys, pass-codes,  which elevator to take, dog personalities, which dog gets what feeding at what time, paperwork – there’s a lot going on.   I get tense just thinking about it.  After my first day, just being able to keep track of my own schedule and make sure I wasn’t forgetting the important details for every dog was starting to melt my brain.  I’m sure it gets easier over time and the more regular your schedule becomes, the better, but still – getting every little detail right takes a thoughtful person.
  2. Time off doesn’t come easy.  In sickness and in health, in blizzard and in heat – the show must go on.  The dog must be walked.  Paying clients expect their dog walkers to show up in all sorts of conditions.  That’s why they pay them.  Of course good clients don’t abuse their walkers, but there’s still a responsibility that each walker has to their client to always be there.  Besides trust, reliability is one of the more important traits of a good dog walker.  If your’e a walker, you can’t just call in sick whenever you want without making an effort to give your client other options.  You can’t make the dog NOT need to go potty.  That’s a crime against nature!
  3. The stakes are high.  Especially in neighborhoods with a lot of dogs, dog walking can be a competitive business.  So if you mess up or fail to meet your clients expectations of being on time, sending updates and doing honest work – dog owners can easily take their business elsewhere.  And if your reputation goes bust, it might be hard to win that back.  Who knows how much bad ratings will affect your ability to get more clients.  

After a full day of dog walking, I gotta say – I myself am DOG tired.  My feet are sore, and I’m already a seasoned New York pedestrian!  Still, I’m thrilled that I’m getting to do something I love and the dogs that I walked today are SO great.  SO GREAT.  I’m writing this just to make sure more people realize that being a dog walker is tough work.  It’s a real job that take a good person that’s trustworthy, can think on their feet and knows how to be responsible for a living, breathing thing.

So the next time you see your dog walker, say to them, “Thanks for taking such good care of my dog.  My dog and I are thankful that you’re around.”

Thanks for reading!

@getwaggit

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Westminster Kennel Club 137th Annual Dog Show – My Quick Visit

A good friend of mine scored tickets to the Westminster Dog Show this year, so when she asked if I wanted to go, of course I said, ‘YES!  FUN!’ [enthusiasm]

But alas, by the time we arrived, a lot of the events had already finished so we only got to see a handful of dogs.   It was a little disappointing  because I really wanted to see the handlers, wearing their beautiful suits, glide across the velvety carpet with their perfectly groomed dogs.  Even so, I still had a blast meeting a few dogs that stuck around to the last hour.

My favorite discovery was learning that not only are these dogs well trained and fabulously groomed, they also had really great personalities.  I like to think that’s part of the criteria for being Best In Show.  The dog doesn’t just need to perform well on the day of the competition, but it has to be a great dog all around.  Personality, looks, physique – the whole kit and caboodle.  And I’m sure these dogs wouldn’t be so great, unless they had really great masters to take such good care of them.

Dogs bring us so much joy, but they’re also a lot of work.  I can only imagine the effort these handlers put into these competitions.  The time, the money, the emotional investment – it’s a lot to put in.  But I’m sure that most of these competitors do it out of love for their dogs and after all the sweat and tears – still feel greatly rewarded, even if they don’t win that first prize ribbon.

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Look at those baby blues.

Image

Gorby Photo

What cha thinkin, Gorby?

Gorby, meet everyone. Everyone, meet Gorby – Waggit’s dog of the week.

Gorby’s a Mini Australian Shepard that lives in Noho. He’s super well behaved and one of our favorite dogs on Waggit.

Mini-Aussie Shepards are hard working, smart and athletic. I wonder if they bark with an Aussie accent. Woof or Wuuf? Hmmm.

New York Pets and Hurricane Sandy – A Special Benefit

A special fundraiser to help raise money for New York pets effected by Hurricane Sandy is coming up this Wednesday,  November 7th at 8pm.  If you’re in Greenpoint, stop by to meet some fellow animal lovers, listen to some great music and support a much good cause!

“New York City’s animals were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Fosters and pet owners have found themselves having to surrender pets in their care. There was a long power outage at Animal Care and Control, resulting in many animals stuck on the ACC’s Kill List. Many local rescues sustained extensive damage to their facilities. This all has resulted in many homeless animals at risk of being euthanized. ”

Sandy Animal Relief

Buy tickets/donate and more info here:

http://www.eventbee.com/v/sandy

https://www.facebook.com/notes/adopt-ny/the-adopt-ny-hurricane-sandy-relief-fund/516723935006979

Meet the foster pet of your dreams through the Adopt NY site here:

http://www.adoptny.org/browse/

 

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Halloween Dog Parade at Tompkins Square Park – Brace yourself.

The sound of crinkling leaves, the smell of apple cider and the switch to the warmer jacket can only mean one thing.  Fall is here.

Before we start seeing the Christmas trees in department stores (I’ve already spotted an isle of Christmas ornaments at Costso) and booking our end of year travel plans, there’s one day that just cannot be overlooked on behalf of our dogs – Halloween!

Dog Halloween

I think this dog is allergic to shellfish.

In the spirit of laughter, community and sheer awesomeness – lots of communities host Halloween costume parades for their dogs.   Tompkins Square Park has one of the original dog runs in the country and hosts one of the most photographed dog events of the year.

halloween dog

Organized by Friends of First Run, the Halloween dog parade has grown into a tradition that attracts families, dog product vendors and adoption centers from around the city.  And of course, the herald of the day – the main event – our beloved dogs in costume, making us squeal and cheer for our favorites.  This year, the 22nd Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade will be on Saturday, October 20th at noon on East 9th street between Avenue A and B.  Winners in a ton of categories, prizes, and of course – some really awesome dogs.  There’s no end to the creativity behind these costumes.

For more photos, check out this Buzzfeed article from last year.  Here’s some other fun Halloween dog events in New York:

Just one more….

Gone With the Wind Dog

‘Oh Rhett, does this dress make me look fat?’

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Dog Fashionistas of New York

Alright New York, get our your Stilettos and sunglasses.  Fashion week is coming.  The dates are Sept 6-13th.

New York City prides itself on New York Fashion Week.  It’s our chance to highlight the best new fashions trends and celebrate textile creativity with a bonanza of fun events.  Think sipping champagne with Vera Wang and seeing Karl Lagerfeld drawing crowds in Soho.  

But did you know that NYC also boasts a Pet Fashion Week?  Showcasing new trends in pet fashion, the event not only happens in New York, but around the world in other fashion hubs such as Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Now, many of us, probably can’t boast having a super fashionable dog, nor have the resources to spend a pretty penny on the accessorizing or dressing up our pets, but there are always ways to have a good time with your beloved pets appearance.

So run out and have a fashion day with your dog and some play mates!  Be sure to bring the camera and let us know how it went.  We’d love to hear some funny stories and share your photos!

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