Who loves going for long walks with a furry friend, and understands how to speak fluently in “dog language”? It’s May’s Doll of the Month Leslie!
Leslie loves all types of animals, but has a soft spot for mammals* of the canine* variety!
She is a professional dog walker, and spends most of her evenings and weekends at her local dog park.
We caught up with Leslie for an interview with her. Let’s learn more about what it takes to look after dogs!
(PS – Look for definitions of words with a * at the end of the interview!)
We’re looking forward to chatting with you today, Leslie!
Thank you! I’m looking forward to it too.
We’ve never talked to a dog walker before… How did you get into this profession?
I’ve always loved dogs, and since I have one of my own (an adorable Husky with really unique tan-colored fur!), my neighbors would often ask me to dog sit while they were away on vacation. Word got out, and soon more of my neighbors started reaching out and asking for me to take their dogs on walks or to the park when they were too busy or away from home for extended periods.
Honestly, it seemed to have happened naturally! And I’m so glad it did, because I really enjoy the time I spend with my furry friends!
Did you take any courses or training classes along the way? Or ddid you just know instinctively* how to take care of dogs with different temperaments* and personalities?
That’s a really great question!
Although I do have a natural ability to communicate and get along with animals, I realized early on that additional training could be beneficial* for my clients… in this case, my clients being the dogs (*she laughs*).
Not all dogs react the same way to the same things or environments. I had to learn how to adjust my approach with each one so they felt safe and trusted me.
I’ve taken online classes and in-person classes with my own dog, and even some of my clients’ dogs! I’ve also had an expert come along with me on my walks to help me improve how I interact with my dogs.
Do you have any specific products that you use, or games and toys that you would recommend to dog owners?
Definitely! I’ve used my share of products to know the difference between good and bad ones.
My favorite leashes for small dogs are actually harnesses*. They make sure to keep the dog’s neck safe. Small dogs are more fragile and could get hurt easily from a quick tug or an accidental pull, like when they suddenly chase after something. Some pet owners with small dogs don’t realize how dangerous it can be to walk their pets with a simple collar and leash system!
I also really love to purchase classic rubber toys for all sizes of dogs. When you bounce them, they go in unpredictable directions, which is fun for dogs to jump or run after. They can also be used to hide treats or peanut butter, which will keep a dog occupied for a little while. Or they can prevent a dog from eating too quickly, especially if they have digestive issues. They’re incredibly robust* and made to last, even with large sharp teeth and regular use.
Most importantly though, I always strongly recommend that all pet owners invest in dog tags for their pets! Including a cell phone number on the tag is always ideal, so if someone finds your lost pup, they’re able to contact you immediately.
Even if a dog is microchipped, the person who finds them would have to bring the dog into a facility like a vet clinic in order to read the chip, which can waste precious time. And that time could be spent not worrying about your pet and having them home safely with you!(Not to mention that you will have to catch the dog to bring them to the vet, and that can be hard if the dog is scared or panicked!)
That’s some really great advice; thank you for sharing those tips!
Apart from spending time with your canine friends, do you have any other hobbies or interests?
I have so many hobbies and interests! I love to go skating in the winter, and roller skating in the summer. Anything that allows me to spend more time outside is a plus for me. I try to incorporate winter and summer sports in my life so I can enjoy all seasons.
Every year I also go camping with my dog in the mountains. We spend at least a week together, fishing, hiking and playing guitar. My dog’s not very good at playing the guitar, but I’m getting better at it (*she laughs*). I’m also really great at telling terrible jokes! Hahahaha!
We love your sense of humor, Leslie! Thanks so much for the wonderful chat. It definitely sounds like you’ve found your calling*!
Thank you for your time and for allowing me to share one of my greatest passions!
Words can sometimes mean different things. Within this interview, these words mean the following:
*mammal: “a warm-blooded animal that typically has hair or fur, and provides milk to their young”
*canine: “a dog”
*temperament: “a dog’s natural personality or character”
*beneficial: “being good for”
*harness: “straps that loop around the body of an animal instead of just around the neck”
*calling: “a strong urge or push in a particular direction or profession”
Leslie comes with a Husky Pup, her very own pet. Is your Our Generation doll looking for the perfect pet to adopt? Discover all kinds of great pet-themed dolls, pets, and accessories in the Our Generation Pet-Themed Gift Guide, and explore all of the pet-themed items in the Our Generation Pet Theme Collection!
For even more ways to have fun with your Our Generation dolls and pets, check out the Pup Adoption Certificate, the Veterinarian Pup Check-Up, and the Furry Friends Word Search in our Fun Stuff – OG Activities section, and share your doll’s pet stories with us on Facebook and Instagram (@ogdolls)!