I love my dogs - all five of them. They are not mine, but I care for them and adore them as if they were mine. Being a dog-walker is enjoyable, rewarding, and suits my nurturing personality. My canine friends receive the one-on-one attention they deserve while their real Mom and Dad are at work.
My day begins in the Village at Shirlington, the most dog-friendly neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia. Eager, I arrive early at Maggie and Hunter’s apartment. Whether they greet me at the door or remain curled-up on the couch together, I greet Maggie and Hunter with tender petting - an awesome way to begin our special time together.
Our path through the Village at Shirlington is never the same. We zigzag around the nooks and crannies surrounding Campbell Avenue, graze in the grassy areas between office buildings - any way Maggie and Hunter want to take me.
Before it’s time to go, Maggie and I play fetch inside; she’s darling as she grunts and squeezes the ball in her mouth. You know you’re talented when you can play fetch with Maggie and pet handsome Hunter at the same time.
All of my dogs love to sniff. I always allow them the pleasure of using their extraordinary sense of smell. Amazed at the mystery of their super-powers, I wonder: What do they smell that I cannot smell or see? I imagine we are in search of hidden treasure like Indiana Jones or solving a mystery like Sherlock Holmes.
Next-up, not far from the Village at Shirlington, is the home of happy-go-lucky Winston. I have been caring for Winston since he was two-months-old. In April, Winston will celebrate his first birthday - how wonderful to watch him grow-up! Winston is a happy-wiggler, a very people-social, dog-social dog, and I absolutely enjoy interacting with him on our daily adventures.
Winston loves BIG sticks - sticks four times or more as long as himself! I am always prepared to expend lots of energy with Winston. The world is our green, grassy, playground where we romp, play keep-away, and chase on-leash.
As a dog-walker, I concentrate closely on my dogs and am simultaneously aware of the environment. It’s as if I have extra eyes with extra sensory perception. I am on the lookout for debris that is harmful to paws - like glass. I also scout the ground for things a dog will sniff-out and decide to eat - gum, peanut shells, chips, cookies, chicken bones, the remnants of someone’s lunch, the remains of dead wildlife - I’ve seen it all and scooped it up before detection.
As I park in front of Olive and Jordan’s house, they are enjoying the view from the bay window. Approaching the house, Olive and Jordan perk-up and run to the door. I can hear them tap-dancing on the hardwood floor.
Excited, Jordan races, circles the dining room table - once, twice, three times. Olive stands up on her hind legs; I pet her and she plops over for belly-rubs. During our walk, Olive and Jordan alternate taking the lead, each on an individual expedition.
I am a dog-walker, yet much more than a dog-walker.
I praise my dogs for their polite manners in public, speak sweetly, and lavish them with human touch. Their happiness and safety is my number one priority. Knowing their individual personalities and adapting to their walking styles make our quality time together relaxing and joyful.
I am a dog-walker...I am family.