Years of experience with dogs: I’ve only owned cats my whole life, but I’ve constantly been surrounded by dogs. Every single member of my family has dogs. I’ve always loved animals; cats, dogs, birds, everything. So this is my first job professionally working with dogs, and I’ve been doing it for about ten months now. I’ve volunteered at a shelter but you don’t really learn how to train the dogs – this is the first time I’ve done proper dog training and I really like it.
How did you find out about Pooch Pals? I knew I wanted to do something with dogs so I tried out for Pooch Pals. Thankfully, they contacted me and I managed to land an interview.
What’s your favorite part about the job? Just seeing the dogs every time I come into the apartment, I can’t help but smile when I see them. It doesn’t matter if I see them every day, I just can’t help but smile when you see them. They’re like therapy. It’s always relaxing to walk them, see them, and work with them. They finally get to warm up to you, and you have the satisfaction of seeing that the training that you’re implementing is actually working.
What is your favorite memory working with the dogs? In Buddy’s case, I had some trouble with him at first, because he’s a scavenger. He would zig-zag all over the place and pull a lot. But Marc will join you on a walk and show you what tools to use, so I’ve been using them and now I can say he’s my best walker. I get a lot of compliments on the streets walking with Buddy; people would say “Oh your dog is so well-trained”.
What is the routine of walking the dogs like? We always stick to the same routine, and I feel like dogs like to stick to routine as well. With Buddy (shown in photo), I always walk around the park – if we don’t do that, he’ll get upset. We usually go down the same path, and that way you can become familiar with the surroundings and what to expect from it.
What do you think is a suitable personality for this job? I think the best personality suited for a pet care job is someone who is compassionate and trustworthy. You are dealing with people’s pets who they love and care about deeply. A lot of our clients see their pet as their children and so they should be treated with the same love and care their owner’s give to them. It’s also important to be trustworthy as you are going into people’s homes and they are trusting you to not destroy/steal any of their possessions.
Difficulties you’ve faced and how are you overcoming it? One difficulty I’ve had to face and am constantly working on is being more assertive. I always want to be dog’s friend and someone they enjoy being with but at the same time I need to be assertive when it comes to training so that it can be effective and the dog will listen to the commands appropriate for the situation.
Specific advice you wish everyone would know? Just to be more aware of what you’re doing with your dogs. Some people will just let their dogs off leash without checking their surroundings. There’s no way your focus is 100% on your dog if you’re walking and texting, and I think it’d be a lot safer for everyone if we all stopped and paid attention.
Career aspirations? I am going back to school in the fall to pursue an associates in Health Information Technology.
What are some of your hobbies? Outside of Pooch Pals I love to cook and spend time outdoors, as well as be with my own furry kids- my two cats!
A Friend For Life, click to read previous installments.