Any reasonably intelligent person can provide basic care for your dog while you are away from the home. But for dog walkers with a flair for creative writing, there are additional opportunities. Karin Bruilliard explains in the Washington Post (paywalled, sorry) that many dog owners appreciate and will pay extra for a dog walker who can leave detailed and amusing reports about their dogs’ adventures:
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In a nation where people lead ever more busy lives and increasingly view their dogs as family members, professional dog walking is flourishing. And along with it is what might be viewed as the unusual art of dog walker communication. Many of today’s walkers do not simply stroll — not if they want to be rehired, anyway. Over text and email, they craft fine-grained, delightful narratives tracing the journey from arrival at the residence to drop-off. They report the number of bathroom stops. They take artistic photos, and lots of them.
“For an hour-long walk, I send six or eight, depending,” said Griffin, 44, who holds a treat in her hand when shooting to ensure her charge is looking at the camera. “Then I give a full report that includes not only peeing and pooping but also kind of general well-being, and if the dog socialized with other dogs.”
When sending his monthly bill, Moraga said he always includes a handwritten note on custom stationery, telling a dog’s owner “what they’ve done through the month, what they’ve learned, what we’re planning on doing next month.”
Rover requires its walkers to complete a standardized “report card” that includes arrival and drop-off times, route and pit stops. But sections for adding photos and a written account are where “walkers can really shine,” said Jenna White, the company’s director of dog-walking operations. New walkers are shown examples of particularly strong narratives during training, as well as advice on photos, the best of which White said have good lighting and not too much motion. Shots taken at iconic local spots, like doggy senior portraits, are even better, she said.
-via Marginal Revolution