My new co-workers are furry. My office is the great outdoors. The work gives me a new "leash" on life for the day.
Yes, this dog lover became a dog walker.
There are 73 million pet dogs in this country, and when their owners work or go away, someone's got to let the dogs out.
For a day, that someone was me.
Walking KJ was the best part of my day, and I'm pretty sure hers, too.
I've often thought of how much fun it would be walking dogs for a living, turning in my anchor chair and mic for dog runs and bacon bits.
So recently, I caught up with professional dog walker/comedienne Cara Kilduss and her three canine charges for an afternoon lesson in Dogwalking 101 in New York's Central Park.
Cara, who'd been walking dogs for five years, had one key piece of advice for me.
"You have to let them know who is in charge unless they will walk all over you. No pun intended," she said.
After a quick bathroom break, I took charge of three of my new furry friends alone.
Clearly, the dogs had me by the collar. I gained a whole new appreciation for this job.
Learn From the Pros
Here are dog-walking tips from Jordan Kaplan at petaholics.com.
For more tips and advice on choosing a dog walker, visit www.petaholics.com.
Tip: Group by personality. The key is to walk dogs with the same personalities, rather than the same breeds. Group them together so you don't have to pull one dog and chase another.
Tip: Keep leashes on. If you set them free, good luck rounding them up again. Losing a dog is one of the worst things a dog walker can do.
Tip: Bring extra leashes. Most pros carry spare leashes just in case one breaks.
Tip: Be insured. Another thing you may not know, dog walkers should be insured. If you get hurt, the dog damages a person or thing, you want to be sure you -- and your business -- is covered.
Tip: Never walk more than three at a time.