My brief life as a professional dog walker

When I first moved to Seattle, I decided to take a day to explore the city. I figured it was a good way to get a feel for the place. I strolled from my apartment to downtown to see the sights.

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Seattle seemed pretty alright! Lots of coffee shops, fancy apartment complexes, and–

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–on the corner of Olive and 9th, the greatest sight of all.

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A doggy in the window! I love dogs. I never had one growing up, so I’ve always been extra fond of the fluffy buddies.

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What is this magical place I had happened upon?! There were dogs. A room full of dogs. Multiple rooms full of dogs!

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It was a doggy daycare. A DOGGY DAYCARE! Several rooms just full of adorable, fluffy, beautiful dogs, playing and napping and eating and MY GOD, JUST BEING SO FREAKING CUTE.

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It was puppy heaven, except for one thing: a pane of glass between me and those dogs.

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There were people working in this doggy daycare, hanging out in the dog rooms. Their job was to be surrounded by dogs! They could pet the dogs all they wanted! And get paid for it!

I was jealous.

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I whipped out my phone.

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And believe it or not, I found my answer… on Craigslist.

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That’s right: Craigslist is where I found my big break. I immediately submitted an application and sent in my most polished, up-to-date resume.

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I even wrote a cover letter. A COVER LETTER. TO WALK DOGS.

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My effort paid off! I got an interview.

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After two weeks of training and a background check, I was living my dream. Walking and playing with dogs. Every day! And getting paid for it!

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Well, OK. There’s more to the job than that.

Every dog has their own personality. You have to learn how to handle each one.

One dog, for example, liked to attack other dogs.

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Another dog liked to attack skateboards.

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One dog liked pulling on her leash. Really hard.

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I had one dog who was especially strong-willed. Unlike most dogs, this one hated going outside. Especially if it was chilly. Or raining. And in Seattle, it’s like that 9 out of 12 months of the year.

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Most dogs come running to the door to greet you. This dog, I had to drag out of bed.

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There was only one time that this dog greeted me happily when I came in.

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Nope. Turns out the dog had pooed in the apartment. And boy, was she happy about it.

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Until I took her on her walk anyway.

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Man, I loved that dog so much.

That’s not sarcasm. I loved ALL my dogs. I loved, loved, LOVED my job. I mean, imagine seeing these guys every day!

I absolutely love and adore all dogs. I thought this job would desensitize me to dogs and help me STOP gushing all over them. Nope. It made it worse.

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I showed off my clients every chance I got.

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Dog walking is, really, my dream job. I could walk dogs for the rest of my life and be totally fine with it. Unfortunately, though, it’s not something you can make a career out of.

Computer science, on the other hand, is something that can turn into a full-time job. And I needed to focus on school.

I had to prioritize.

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So, after weeks of agonizing, I made my decision. I met up with my boss. My boss is a great guy, and was very understanding.

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Ok, ok. School is important. Building my career is important. BUT I WAS STILL REALLY DEVASTATED OVER LOSING MY BABIES.

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For WEEKS I had withdrawal. Is that even possible? Withdrawal from your daily dose of happy, fluffy, unconditionally loving cuteness? LET ME TELL YOU: IT’S POSSIBLE.

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And to this day, I’m still obsessed with dogs.

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To those who own dogs: WANT TO BE FRIENDS AND HANG OUT LIKE ALL THE TIME?

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9 thoughts on “My brief life as a professional dog walker

    • Haha thanks for the encouragement! It’s been tough to find time since I entered grad school, so I appreciate it. I’m going to try to write another post before I return to school in January, so keep an eye out!

  1. As always, it is so great to see you post!!! I have to admit, I kinda dropped everything and began reading. I am not a dog lover, however, my daughter and her husband have a labradoodle and that is my grand-daughter, so I love her. Yes, very much. She is my link to dogdom.
    I am glad you chose school over dog-walking. It can always be a second choice should you need more money or find yourself with time on your hands.
    Scott

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Labradoodles are super sweet and adorable. So fluffy!!

      Yep, I figured I had to prioritize even though I love dogs. I’m sure I’ll go back to it in the future. All the fun of caring and playing with dogs, without the responsibility of vet and pet food bills!

  2. Yayyy, you’re writing again! I love reading your stuff. And I can well relate to your dog thing – for me it’s kittens. Except no cat I’ve ever met has wanted to be ‘walked’. But if you lie down on the floor, they can’t resist you. I took a friend to choose her Maine Coon kitten one time, and there were 17 kittens!!!! Have a guess what kind of cat I have now…

    • MAINE COONS ARE SO FLUFFY! I love them! Unfortunately, I’m mildly allergic to cats. I heard that Maine Coons are sometimes hypoallergenic, though, so there’s hope for me yet!

      I’m just picturing 17 kittens right now. Literally my dream come true. I think I have a weakness for all furry friends.

  3. Really enjoyed – we have two Japanese Spitz dogs, Shiro and Miffy, and they go everywhere with us. I think we counted once that Shiro has been to more than 10 countries including Japan, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, and Liechtenstein!

  4. I just happened to find your blog through some japanese-learning-advice-blog-post, and I absolutely love it :D!

    PS: By the way, any tips for incoming freshmen :P?

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