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Random Blog Journey-2-Peace: March 2004

    Trish Monaco.
    singer. songwriter.
    dog walker.
    human. living.
    loving. laughing.
    in Los Angeles

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Thursday, March 18, 2004

Dog Walking Info

To reduce the risk of boring everyone to death, I'll spare the details of yoga today. Besides, this isn't the Yoga Journal [fair warning: man in freakish pose on home page this month]. But I will say that I did take another class tonight - followed by the traditional liter of water, Caesar's Salad and half a mini-chocolate-bundt cake! OmmmmMyGod do I feel gooooood!

Moving On...

Even though I've been featured on the AOL Community's Small Business Talk [AOL members - keyword: BizTalk] for over two weeks, my journal has gotten double the hits in the last two days. I've been receiving an abundance of emails, comments and Instant Messages today, in regards to dogwalking. While I appreciate the inquiries, I can't possibly respond to them all individually. But I can post a double entry!

Many want to know how to get into the business of Dogwalking. Some are looking for a career change. Some are looking for part time work. Some are "between jobs" and want an easy way to make a living. Hey, don't we all?

I must say, dogwalking isn't for everyone. It's not an interim job. It's not a temporary position. It's a huge responsibility - something to be taken seriously. The hours may not always be long, but it's hard work. There's a lot to take into consideration.

That said, I've outlined a few points of interest:

If you're serious about venturing into the world of dogwalking and petsitting, consider the following:

You must:
Love animals and be willing to learn their language.
Be responsible, reliable, ethical and willing to work hard.
Be able to deal with people [clients and other dog-parents].
Have dependable form of transportation.

Drawbacks:
Erratic and sometimes unreliable schedule
No guaranteed income
No holidays, vacations or sick days
No "snow days" - Dogs need walking, rain or shine; sleet or snow
And say goodbye to clean - clothes, shoes, body and car!

Payoffs:
Create your own schedule
Get exercise while working
No more business suits
Part time work for full time pay [in some cases]
Endless supply of unconditional love
Great blogging material

Recommendations:
Get bonded, insured and licensed
Get certified in Pet First Aid
Join Pet Sitters International

There's a market for dogwalking in many major cities. Search the internet for local dog walkers and network with them. Also network with local Vets, Groomers, Pet Stores, Pet Adoption Agencies and Trainers. Post fliers and business cards everywhere there's a community bulletin board - Dogparks, coffee shops, bookstores, fitness centers, etc.

If you have a dog, get walking! If your friends have dogs, walk their dogs too. Show that you can handle more than one dog. The more, the merrier. The best times to network with neighbors and locals are early mornings around 7 or 8 [before people leave for work] and evenings around 6 or 7 [when everyone comes home]. And of course, spend your entire weekend at the dogpark with your dog, your friend's dog and your friend's friend's dog!

Most of all - Don't be pushy, needy or aggressive! There are plenty of dogs to go around. A competitive dogwalker can be smelled a mile away. Believe in what you do. Love what you do. Of all creatures on this earth, dogs know if you're in it for love or not.