2007 was a great year for America and for Park Slope. Steve Jobs debuted the iPhone (of course, I didn't have one) and most people had MYSPACE accounts. For a good portion of the year the economic crisis hadn't happened yet so spirits were still running high. And, locally here in Park Slope, Barclays Center hadn't opened its doors so the neighborhood was a little quieter. But something else monumental occurred, bigger than all those things combined. (Or maybe it was only monumental for me.)
In the spring of 2007, I moved to Brooklyn and found my calling when I met Jack & Daisy, twin Jack Russell terriers—and started my Park Slope dog walking service.
Back then Jack and Daisy were young and full of energy. Their mom Jill called me because she was having her first child and needed someone ASAP! I was so excited and couldn't wait to start! It was really hot that summer but I was there everyday with water at 12PM to take them out for their daily walk.
Looking back on these ten years, I feel really lucky because the timing to start my business was so perfect. I started dog walking in South Slope, and it was right at the time that a lot of people with dogs started moving here. And, because google searching was still a new thing, my business was able to spread via word of mouth.
In the past ten years, I’ve had so many great memories as a Park Slope dog walker. I remember 3 years into starting my service, many of my clients were needing help with dog training. A lot of people owned rescue dogs and they needed leash training, puppy training, and socialization training. So I started teaching myself to be a trainer. I read tons of books (that was still a thing), attended seminars and made connections with other trainers in the neighborhood. I remember working with a pitbull rescue dog named Forest who had behavioral challenges. I really wanted to help Forest’s family because they were super nice people trying to give him a happy home. After working with Forest everyday on his leash training for about a month, he went from constantly pulling, tugging, and lunging, to walking calmly by my side. This was such a huge moment for me. I was able to make a difference in Forest’s life, and his family’s.
Since 2007 Jack, Forest and I have changed a lot, and so has Park Slope. The growth of Atlantic Center (and Barclays) has brought a lot of shopping, dining options, and people. The rise of Gowanus as one of the hippest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and the development along 4th Avenue has brought a lot of construction, coffee shops, restaurants and UPS trucks:/ In my fifth year in business I was able to start hiring people! My first assistant Saruh is still with me today, helping me run the company. And, sadly, Daisy passed away this year from cancer. She lived to be 15 years old.