It’s 5:00 AM, my alarm buzzes once, and my eyelids bounce open. I’m eager to start my day (without coffee because I’m naturally caffeinated on life) so I hop out of bed and lace up my Nikes. I run down the block to my first walk of the day, pick up the pup, and stroll down the street with a smile on my face and a Hall & Oates song blasting in the background – oh and the sun is shining, and birds are chirping.
That may be an exaggeration. I wake up between 7:30 and 8:00… 8:15… 8:30, and I’m a dog walker with Skipper. I walk dogs around 20 hours a week broken up into at least two 4-6 hour shifts.
This is a normal day in my life as a dog walker in Charlotte, NC.
Back to the Beginning
I’m a 20-something in the great city of Charlotte. I work at an awesome startup, we play ping pong as stress relief, and I have very flexible hours. I love coffee, craft beer, good food, and fun activities, but I found myself blowing through my budget pretty quickly. I started looking for a part-time gig and decided to become a dog walker in Charlotte, NC with Skipper. I’ve always had dogs growing up, but I have been missing some quality pup-time in my life, so this seemed like the perfect job for me.
I looked at the dog walker in Charlotte, NC position and read that they were looking for a responsible, nurturing, fun-loving, detail-oriented and hard-working pet lover. They typically hire people that are pet owners, have a background in pet care, or volunteer with animal rescue groups. I am smart, reliable, team-oriented, and I often volunteer at my local humane society, so I decided I was fit for the part!
The Application Process
I applied for the position on the Skipper website and started the application process. I am thankful that applying to become a walker with Skipper is so in depth because it ensures that Skipper walkers are professional and trustworthy. To become a dog walker in Charlotte, NC for Skipper, I had to fill out an application where they asked me about my experience owning and caring for dogs and other pets, my availability during the week, and my favorite joke.
I completed the initial application, answered a questionnaire on my animal experience, and had a 30-minute phone interview in Skipper. After passing those steps, I completed a short creative writing assignment and signed an official letter. I went through state and federal background checks and then attended a two-day orientation. The first day was training to get me ready to be out in the field. During the second day I got to shadow an experienced dog walker to see how a real visit is done. I was officially a Skipper dog walker in Charlotte, NC!
My First Visit
I was excited and ready for my first solo visit as a pet care provider and dog walker in Charlotte, NC. My first visit of the day was a two year old Golden Retriever named Riley. I got to Riley’s house and let myself in using the Skipper lockbox and the home access notes on my Skipper dog walking app. (Skipper sets up a consultation with all of their clients to go over home access notes, pet information, and visit routine instructions. These are set up on the owner’s profile during their consultation and accessible to Skipper team members through the dog walking app.) Once I got inside, Riley was SO EXCITED to meet me!
After we greeted each other with lots of jumps and pets and kisses, we leashed up and headed outside. Clients can choose what services they want and they communicate that to the walkers through the convenient Skipper app. The visit routine in the dog walking app lets me know to walk Riley for 30 minutes and then bring him back inside for some playtime and water with the remaining few minutes. Clients can choose if they’d like a 20, 40, or 60 minute visit and can choose free add-ons including cat care, walking multiple dogs, providing a meal, watering plants, and bringing in the mail.
Riley and I had so much fun exploring his neighborhood, visiting his favorite trees and stop signs, and sniffing nearly everything we passed. I snapped a picture of him “posing” near a flowering bush so I could show his owners what we did together. When we got back we played with his favorite toys and then I filled his water and said goodbye with lots of pets and praise before locking the door and returning the keys to the lockbox. I opened my dog walking app, wrote Riley’s visit report and uploaded photos from the visit so his owners could see how much fun we had together. My first visit was a success!
Happily Ever After
I am approaching my 6 month anniversary as a dog walker in Charlotte, NC with Skipper and I have loved every day of it! I am scheduled to walk dogs twice a week for 4-6 hours. Most of my visits are during the work day, but I do a few weekend visits as well. My average week includes 2 scheduled shifts of dog walking. I have consecutive pet visits throughout my shift with all the information I need to do on the visits on my dog walking app. Every shift includes multiple dog walks and visits. During some visits I may provide a meal, give medication, bring in mail or packages, scoop the litter box, or water plants. Whatever I may be doing in my day, I am always supported by the Skipper Operations team and can communicate with them throughout my shift; I love being a part of this close-knit community.
Being a Skipper team member has been much more than playing with cute animals, but that’s an added bonus. I have gained more than extra cash in my time as a dog walker in Charlotte, NC. I have learned how to be a dependable person with excellent time-management skills, how important it is to be thorough and detail-oriented, and how to truly enjoy myself in my work. A dog’s unconditional joy is contagious!