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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

My Experience as a Dog Walker in Boston

I have a very interesting job. Whenever I have free time, I walk dogs around the Boston area. I started walking dogs before winter break and continued on when I went home as well. Being that I’m from Western Massachusetts, there weren’t nearly as many dogs in need of walks, but I would still get around five dogs per day, depending on the weather. In Boston, however, there are so many opportunities, starting at 7 a.m. all the way until 11 p.m. So far, being a dog walker in Boston has been a very fun and easy way to make money as a college student. I work for a company called “Wag!”, that has an app you can get on your phone, which is basically an Uber for dog walking.
I’ve always considered myself an animal person, and I don’t have the time or stability to commit myself to a regular job with consistent hours. When I was 16, I began volunteering at my local animal shelter walking dogs. I continued doing that until I graduated because I really loved doing that. I figured that now that I was living in a city, the best time to start doing these walks professionally had come. There’s always, always a dog to walk. They can be as far as as Medford or Braintree (mileage-wise it may not be far, but as a girl who relies on the Boston Public Transportation, that is brutal), or less than a mile from campus. The ones nearby are the only ones I will take, as the train takes way too long and is overall too inconvenient. Though there weren’t as many dogs that needed to be walked back home, it was definitely much more convenient to have my own car to take somewhere because anything is quicker than public transportation. I would rather spend a couple bucks on gas than to suffer an extra 40 minutes out of my way on the T.
I want to walk dogs more frequently once it’s warm enough to bike; that way I won’t lose any money (the cost of transportation on the T is almost $5 for a round trip). This can be expensive, especially if you are going to be making only $12 or $14 per walk. On top of that, most houses or apartments are at least a half mile away from the train, station and you’re not compensated for your time at all. Without a car or bike, it can be difficult to find a walk that works for you. The hardest part I’ve encountered is seeing a dog that needs a walk and being unable to actually get there for them. It’s a really nice feeling to get when you realize you’re helping a family with what is potentially their “baby.” Dog’s rely on us for everything, so they crave human attention and interaction during the work day. They always get so excited to see someone after being alone, and even if it’s not their owner, you still get that initial sense of pure joy. That’s why I love what I do.

About the Contributor
Grace Smith, Editor-in-Chief