How Dog Walking became my Worst and Best Mistake

My instinct never serves me wrong.

Or so I thought.

A lot of people that I’ve spoken to in the past few weeks were unaware of my change in jobs. Whenever I relate a story about a dog that I care for, I get the recurring question, “What? You’re not doing massage at the spa anymore?” I’ve learned that I often get lost in my self-absorption and expect my loved ones to receive automatic alerts concerning all of the goings-on in my life without my needing to personally speak to them. And then I realize that this is not so– how inconvenient for me. When replying to the question, I used to let out a heartfelt chuckle and explain that I have moved on to greener pastures. But now when I answer, I just scoff into the phone with my air of feigned pompousness, wishing to give the illusion that although I am completely unhappy in my professional life, I am totally, totally in control and already have several other job opportunities lined up. So there!

I’m not upset that I left my previous job. I could easily write a dissertation on how horrible my working conditions used to be. I am more frustrated that instead of sticking with massage therapy, I abandoned it so readily and pursued something completely different than anything I would had considered before. I was convinced that I would be so much happier in this new field. I followed my gut feeling to chase after this opportunity. I SO believed that becoming a dog walker would send me off into the right direction! It would allow me to experience a completely different avenue, which would then give me insight as to what my next steps in life would be. I would have a job with nary a dull moment!  Dog walking was the answer! Oh and it was, just not the way I expected.

*I would like to state that I am in no way bashing the profession of dog walkers, (or “pet care specialists”, as my boss likes to refer to us). This job can prove very rewarding and lucrative for the right person. I am also very grateful for the opportunities to have had my experiences in this profession and to share them with all of you. 

Here are my lists outlining How Dog Walking became my Worst and Best Mistake

Let’s Start with the Good:

1. I finally realized that I’m ready to achieve more for myself. I’m strongly considering going back to school for my master’s degree. Had I never sacrificed my mental stability for the well-being of puppies everywhere and been subjected to the debilitating hardships of my endless bike riding and dog walking, I may not have acknowledged this route for some time.

2. I can finally see my abs! That endless bike riding has done wonders for my body and overall fitness. My stamina is through the roof and I rarely feel tired when I’m destroying the pads in my Muay Thai class.

3. Have you seen my coworkers?

Lola was my first overnight pet stay. She was lucky and I took her for a short trip to the beach, until that trip became two hours longer because I got lost on the way back to her house.
Lola was my first overnight pet stay. She was lucky and I took her for a short trip to the beach, until that trip became two hours longer because I got lost on the way back to her house.


I actually take a lot of pictures of my dogs. Hank is just the only one who ever sits still long enough to pose for me, all while looking entirely confused .




Believe it or not, this is the best picture I could get because this is primarily what Finley and I do during every walk. He has a constant case of the puppy munchies.


And now for the Bad:

1. One month after moving into my new apartment and purchasing my new 500 dollar bike, it was stolen.

2. I had to purchase a used, emphasis on used, bike the next day off of Craigslist; at least this one was a road bike!

3. One week later, the front tire was stolen from this bike.

4. I now have to carry my bike up and down two flights of stairs every day, also doing wonders for my arms!

5. I got doored by a woman in a parked car who was distracted by her three children inside. At least she felt horrible. So did my collarbone though…

6. I abhor petsitting. I’ll never again take advantage of the amazing feeling of being able to come back to my own apartment at the end of a long day and sleeping in my own bed.

7. I have to work holidays, and a lot of weekends apparently (which is what I was trying to no longer do).

8. The pay is not nearly what I had hoped/what I was told it would be.

9. Taxi drivers in Chicago — No, all drivers in Chicago are horrible. And they are hella rude. That’s right, I said it. HEELLLLAAAAAA.

10. People walking on the street aren’t all that friendly to bike riders either.

11. I, very  stupidly, did not even consider what riding my bike around in the winter would feel like. Actually, I did, I just convinced myself I would make do. Stupid.

12. Ever have a chain pop off your bike, have to fix it, and then try and clean the grease from your hands? No? Well believe me, it is not fun in the least.

13. Helmet hair is a term for a reason.

And we’ll stop with the lovely number, 13. I guess that looking back, I can say that my instinct didn’t lead me astray after all. I accomplished what I needed, and I have goals again for my future. I just encountered a few nicks along the way. So thank you dog walking for without you, I would still be lost.

I hope you enjoyed my fun little rant. See y’all!

Also check out this fun weekly challenge: /2013/09/23/a-word-a-week-challenge-mistake/


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