DEAR PET LADY,
I am a new Seattle resident and my apartment building doesn't allow pets. I miss the pitter-patter of four paws so much that I'm considering going into the dog-walking business. This would mean walking other people's dogs, making sure to clean up the poo, and caring for the dogs as much as their owner during our stroll. My benefits? Some noncommitment company, some exercise, and a little extra coffee cash. Do you think this is a good idea? Is it a competitive business? Will the general public trust another with their best friend? If you have any tips, I'd be most grateful. Thanks!
DEAR PETLESS PEDESTRIAN,
What lovely penmanship you have, Petless! The Pet Lady also appreciates your acknowledgment of her notoriety on your beautifully illustrated envelope, as well as your deployment of a Snoopy stamp—the P.L. loves Snoopy and believes the late Charles Schulz to be a master of existentialism with a terribly underestimated oeuvre.
Your desire to walk the dogs of others is impressive; the Pet Lady is somewhat terrified of walking dogs, having been traumatized as a Pet Girl by being forced to walk the neighbors' enormous black Labrador, George. A powerful and stubborn dog, George longed to be free, and to this end would wrap his leash around telephone poles or drag the young Pet Girl through thorny shrubbery in an effort to shake her. You should be aware of such hazards, P.P.! Have you considered a pet caterpillar, such as that of Pliny the Elder [The Pet Lady, Nov. 22]? They are fuzzy and permitted in most multiple-unit dwellings.
But you seem bold, so to the point: The Pet Secretary reports that it is possible to become licensed, bonded, and insured to petwalk, as well as to earn the certification of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (or the N.A.P.P.S., an acronym that moves the Pet Lady deeply). The P.S. also unearthed this service in her extensive research of the local yellow pages: "Pet Butler, The— We Scoop Dog Poop $7.50/ week (1 dog) $10/week (2 dogs) 206-782-8232." This may be of interest, as you indicate willingness to deal with poo. Perhaps the Pet Butler offers internships. The Pet Lady is not certain how competitive the arena of petwalking is; she imagines that if you put up signs around your neighborhood or lurked where people walk their dogs wearing a sandwich board promoting your service, you would have fine results. It also might be possible, P.P., to earn the endorsement of the Pet Lady for your new enterprise, although the P.L. Seal of Approval is not a thing easily won. In an entirely unrelated matter, the P.L. certainly would love an uncanceled Snoopy stamp for her stamp collection. Best of luck to you, P.P.! Cheers!
The Pet Lady
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