It wasn't our intent to hire a dog walker when we moved out to Brooklyn since I would be home to care for the pups. It was an extra expense and it also required someone to hold the key to our front door. Based on our experience with our previous dog walker in Manhattan, we had little motivation to find a new one.
You may recall that back in April 2012 when Emi and Shio were sick, I was stuck in full days' worth of classes and wasn't around to take them out. We were forced to find someone to take them out. By then we already lived in our Brooklyn neighborhood for a year and I interacted with many walkers in the dog run and spoken to many dog owners about what they thought of each dog walker. I also scoped out referrals through the neighborhood vets and independently owned pet stores. In the end, we used our very good Shiba owner friend's dog walker and never regretted our decision. Our dog walkers are hands down the most fabulous people and we would could sing praises all day on their work ethic.
They are also trainers by trade. I'm most impressed not by the way that all their dogs are well behaved and sitting when they stop and go, but by their sacrifice and commitment to their profession. I've met many walkers in NYC treat this job similar to a wait service position - a place to earn money while they pursue an artistic or acting career. In contrary, our dog walkers are focused only on walking and training. They are our through all inclement weather conditions and work even during their days when they're sick. In two years, I've never seen them take a day off for vacation or make excuses.
We're very lucky to have them in our neighborhood and hope that everyone is as fortunate as we were. Searching for a trustworthy person with your beloved pet is a task that requires time so research and interview well before you need a pet sitter or walker.