- Posted by Emma Witkowski
- On February 8, 2016
- 1 Comments
- ask first, Dachshunds, dog-walking, dogs, puppies, Toronto
As a dog walker, this is how your day goes: You pick up your first dog. Then your second. Then your third, fourth, maybe fifth or sixth. Then you drop off your first dog. And so it goes, like this, until your day is ended. It’s a seemingly easy and simple framework to work within but a lot of factors in the big old mixing bowl of Toronto are thrown in everyday to keep the Groundhog-Day vibe from creeping too close.
Dogs and people and weather, each with changing temperaments, making every day different. There could be a freak rainstorm, or a bitter wind that just won’t quit, or a moment of beautiful sunshine that you know you would miss if you weren’t already outside to catch it. Maybe a dog had a fight with another dog in the morning while they were with their owners and is feeling grouchy when it’s time for you to walk them, or perhaps they are way too excited to see you and pee all over the floor…maybe all they want to do is sleep on the couch, and refuse to leave with you unless you give them all the treats. I can’t get mad when they do this. I understand all too well.
Then you have the humans that add a little extra to your day. The mail couriers who wave from their vans, other dog walkers you fist pump on the way by, dog owners in the parks and on the sidewalks, and then people who pass you by who just love dogs.
There are three types of humans who love dogs that you encounter as a dog walker (excluding dog-owners): you have those who smile shyly and wave silently to the dogs, whose feet are shuffling because they want to cuddle so badly but are held back by their own politeness. When I see these people, normally I volunteer the go-ahead if I have time to chat: “You can pet them if you want – they’re very friendly.”
Then you have the humans who see the dogs, get excited, try to reign in their excitement but just can’t help themselves. They will ask me first: “can I pet them?! Are they friendly?!” If I have time, I may let them. Let me be clear: you are being an adorable human when you do this.
See? Adorable human.
Lastly, you have the type of humans who just love dogs so much and get so excited they forget that the dogs have another human attached to them, trying to keep the dogs as calm as possible, with a schedule to follow. These humans will run up, yelling, drop themselves on the floor in the front of the dogs, discounting all unsaid Toronto-rules (aren’t you supposed to be ignoring everything in your environment that doesn’t directly affect you?).
Unless I am actively playing with them in a park, I am trying to keep these dogs calm, walking, and I am constantly on the lookout for loud distractions. So I can avoid them. When a human comes running up, arms flailing, that is a loud distraction. That I would like to avoid. Let this be an official etiquette call-out: If you see a dog walker with a lot of dogs, ask first. Sometimes we like to wave or say hi, but our first priority is making sure our group stays safe, happy, and calm – so please remember that next time we run into each other.
Walk My Dog Toronto offers dog-walking services in downtown Toronto. With easy online booking, we walk your dog while you are busy or at work. We give your dog love, socialization, and exercise, and we keep in touch with you every step of the way with our walk tracker.