I’ve been working as a professional dog walker for just about 5 years now. I started my business in Virginia but it really grew to be successful in Southern California. I recently moved back to New Hampshire where I was born and raised so snow is something I’m used to. However, driving in snow is not something I was ever good at but being back here I’ve had to learn again. That really isn’t a big deal because they do take care of the roads for the most part. The biggest change between a Southern California dog walker and a New Hampshire dog walker is all in the footwear.
For two years in sunny Oceanside California I spent my days walking the neighborhood dogs in flip flops next to the Pacific Ocean. There was no snow, there were no clouds, it rarely rained, and the biggest weather event was the occasional dense fog off the ocean. Every day I would get on my mint green beach cruiser bicycle with my white basket attached to the front that would hold my water and snacks for the day and ride to work. I know it sounds terrible. I would take my dogs out for a nice long walk and sometimes we would even walk down to the water to play for a couple of minutes before returning home.
Flash forward to now and I am working on some serious bums of steel. Yes, riding my bike was great exercise, but have you tried walking for an hour through snow with waterproof boots that go half way up your leg?? Then I get to drive in my car on those same snow-covered roads for 20 minutes to walk another dog for an hour. Repeat these steps five to eight times a day. You’re welcome for that 15 pounds you just lost.
I love my job. There is not one thing I would change. Some days though I do miss just hoping on my bike and cruising to my first dog of the day drinking my coffee with the Pacific Ocean on my left and the neighborhood pool on my right. New Hampshire Dunkin Donuts makes a much better cup of coffee though and there is nothing quite as cute as a pup running around catching snowballs.
Flip flop season is coming to New Hampshire. It may be two or three months away still, but its coming. I might even miss the boots when it gets here. For now I’m off to play in the snow.