Chicago Dog Walkers

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Tales About Town

Here you can read stories our walkers have experienced on the job. Fantastic and bizarre don’t happen every day – we like this fact, believe no news is good news- but we created this section to remember the tales worth repeating. Enjoy.

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Our walkers visit the same clients each day, allowing them to build relationships with their canine pals. As our walker Megan discovered, the dogs value this loyal rapport and will safeguard it. She had been walking Linda, a Labrador/pit bull mix for a year, when they encountered a hairy situation. She attempted passing a man rummaging through a trashcan, but he turned his attention to her. He stared and mumbled, and she froze, not wanting to provoke him or Linda. His unintelligible rant continued and he raised his arms, stepped into her personal space. This set off Linda’s doggy-sense. He persisted, and her hackles rose. He moved closer, and she lunged at him. He scurried away, and she wagged her tail. By the end of their walk, Linda had more treats and pets then she could handle.

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Our wonderful walker, Rosa Cabrera, married the love of her life Jorge Sanchez on December 3, 2011.

Her bridesmaid, America, in the little white dress, is the daughter of our walker, Nereida. It was a lovely wedding. We wish all the best for Rosa and Jorge because they are the best!

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Intuition is essential when humans interact with animals; we need to learn  how to read their emotions, and they ours. Routinely spending time together builds an understanding and a trust, which our walker Mike learned firsthand with his client Jake, a big ol’ black lab. As usual, Mike walked Jake in the morning. When their visit ended, Mike bid farewell to the doggie, locked the door, and expected to see Jake the next day. But as morning became afternoon, Jake surprised Mike by bounding up to him in the neighborhood. As Jake had not grown thumbs to unlock doors, Mike was suspicious. No leash and no owner added to the odd circumstances. Watching Jake’s anxious actions, Mike sensed that Jake wanted him to go back to Jake’s home, so Mike started after the doggie. Jake held a distance between them, regularly checking to see if Mike was tailing him. They arrived at Jake’s, and Mike found the back door kicked in, the house robbed. With various phone calls made and Denise and the police on their way, Mike stayed with Jake until his four-legged friend was in safe hands again.

Jake passed away recently, but we will never forget his keenness and courage to do what Lassie merely pretended.

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Now come forth, sit near the computer’s glow and know this pithy tale of determination.
One day Matt was walking Rocky, a greyhound as tall as you’re imagining, and was pitted against a problem: the apartment complex Rocky was living in was undergoing construction and Rocky wanted nothing to do with the cacophony; Rocky lived on the third floor and would not walk up the noisy stairway. Coaxing Rocky with treats and sweet compliments did nothing to sway him. So, with time a’ticking and more clients to visit, Matt stopped wishing for an elevator or resources to grow wings, mustered every ounce of strength his slender physique possessed, and carried Rocky up three flights of stairs and homeward. Rocky appreciated the effort enough by to let Matt walk him yet another day.

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We were recently asked to walk a dog in the Lincoln Park area. Her name is Sgt. First Class Gracie. She’s 4 years old, and she is her human dad’s best friend and running buddy.  He is a Sergeant in Special Operations who recently returned from Afghanistan and will be deploying again soon. When Gracie’s dad isn’t around during the day, she gets her exercise with our walker, Stacie. During his extended absences, Gracie is fostered by a volunteer from Guardian Angels for Soldiers’ Pet.  Soldiers who are deploying post a description of their dogs and the care they need.  Potential foster families post information about what kind of dog would fit nicely into their lives.  The soldier doesn’t have to give up his or her pet, but in doing so the pet has a loving home while their regular family is away.  And the foster family has the benefit of a new and wonderful pet. It works for everyone! To learn more or make a donation, go to www.guardianangelsforsoldierspet.org

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Kody, 23, has been a walker with Chicago Dog Walkers for a little over 2 years now. He’s walked and visited with lots and lots of dogs.  He has had all kinds of doggie experiences – sweet ones and not so sweet ones – so he takes everything pretty much in stride.  However, he ran into something one day that he’d never seen before.  He walked into his doggie client, Pipsqueak’s house.  Sitting on the floor in the living room was Pipsqueak’s human mom giving birth.  She sat on the floor doing her breathing exercises, the baby’s father holding her hand.  He got Pip out of there as quickly as he could, not sure if this was suitable for a young doggie to see.  They had their full visit and when he came back, he opened the door only wide enough to get Pipsqueak back inside.  A short time later, Annabel came into this world and the whole family is living happily ever after.

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Our walker, Lindsey, hails from rural Michigan. Recently, her father came for a visit. Being a very caring dad, he asked Lindsey if he could bring her anything.  At that time, Lindsey was yearning for a dog of her very own.  She loved all of her doggie clients, but she wanted one to call hers.  So when her father asked, Lindsey told him “a pug.”  What her father heard up there in the wilds of Michigan was “a duck,” so a duck is what he brought her.  Of course, Lindsey couldn’t keep Hank (the duck) in a her present living space – a former funeral home turned art gallery that she shares with 5 other people in Pilsen.  She found a very sweet home for Hank outside of beautiful, pastoral Dekalb, IL.  A very nice family with a very sweet 11 year old daughter, Emily, took Hank into their hearts and home.  Emily raised Hank among chickens to be a very social and handsome duck.  He is so handsome that he and Emily won First Place in the Duck category at the 4H competition this year (2010)!  And Hank came in 2nd place in All Fowls!  Lindsey continues to love her client Ernie, the pug.

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