This is a reader submission. It is a story about why a person that loved their pet needed a dog walker.
“I have had my puppy since he was 6 weeks old. I trained him to do tricks, I potty trained him, I called him my son. I was a single man living alone and my dog was my roommate, partner in crime, and therapist.
When he was 5 years old, we moved. When he was 6 years old, I started dating. When he was 8 years old I was married. Though there were situations when I wasn’t able to walk him as much as I wanted, he was still receiving plenty of outdoor time, lots of walks, and all the attention and love both he and I could handle.
Until he was 10 years old and I had a baby. Then, finding time to walk him became much harder. Walking him with the baby was possible but difficult, and as a herding breed, represented a potential danger if he got excited by the wheels of the stroller and tried to run in front of them.
I wasn’t able to walk him like I used to. I wasn’t even able to give him the same amount of attention I used to.
It may have been his age. It may have been interrupted sleep because of how loud and busy the house had gotten. But as the walks decreased, so too did his energy.
Then my wife got pregnant again.
My puppy has always been an important part of my life, and I wanted to give him walks every day. For a while, I tried to keep telling myself that the walks would come, but raising babies is time consuming and hard. There is much less time to take a dog outside for a long jog.
I didn’t want a dog walker because he was my dog and it was my job to walk him. But I realized one day that not having time didn’t make me a bad dog parent. 11 years prior, there was no way for me to know that I would suddenly be too busy to walk him. But if I didn’t get him the exercise he needed to stay healthy as he aged, then I might become a bad dog parent.
So I got him a dog walker. He hasn’t been this happy and healthy since the baby was born. Best decision I made, and with his newfound energy it has actually been easier to take care of him. Finding a dog walker was the best decision I could have made for his health and happiness, and mine.