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The Dog Days of Summer
New Dog Walking Business Helps Furry Friends Enjoy Saratoga
SARATOGA SPRINGS – At just about midday, every day, you can spot Tim Pink somewhere in Saratoga Springs. He’s not hard to miss. He’s the guy holding about a dozen leashes, happily walking a perfectly well-trained and obedient pack of dogs – rain or shine.
Pink has made name for himself and his business, appropriately branded “Saratoga Dog Walker,” mostly from passersby who stare in awe at the pack walking together in unison, and snap an occasional photo or two, and through client recommendations.
It all started three years ago when Pink decided to give up his career as a professional poker player and transition into something completely different.
“I’ve always had dogs, I’ve always loved dogs, I’ve always worked with dogs,” said Tim Pink. “It was a lifestyle change from a career that was all about money to one that’s all about being happy.”
What makes a person happier than spending the day with man’s best friend? Pink decided he’d start a business to help dog owners give their furry companions the veterinarian-recommended 30 minutes of daily exercise. He said life’s day-to-day routine of work, family and other commitments can make it difficult for pet owners to exercise their pooches.
“It’s targeted at people who work a 9-5 shift and want to give their dog a chance to get out, socialize, exercise, go potty and get some loving,” said Pink.
Dogs were born to work and lead active lives, but the most common job for today’s companion dogs is being a couch potato. Pink says a daily, midday walk gives dogs an outlet for physical and mental exercise and helps improve their mood and behavior.
“Once the dogs get into pack mode, it’s awesome,” said Pink. “They all stick together, they keep pace, and they follow me. It’s so much fun. I switch up the routes – I like to give the dogs different sights, scents and sounds, just to keep them working.”
Pink has around 50 clients and splits them up into different packs. When new dogs join the walk, Pink starts them off in a smaller pack. After about one or two walks, Pink says the dogs fit right in and get moved to a larger pack when they’re more comfortable.
“I run a tight ship, I have structured walks,” said Pink. “It’s a powerful way for dogs to learn. When we’re out on a walk, we’ll stop every 10 or 15 minutes for a potty break and they can sniff each other or do whatever they want; but when we’re walking, they have to stay focused. Dogs thrive on that – you give them a job and they love it. They get happy and proud of themselves and they feel like they’re part of something.”
For $14 per walk, Pink picks up dogs in his crated utility van and walks them for 30 minutes, 7 days a week. Aside from midday walks, Pink also offers pet sitting, pet boarding, and waste clean-up and removal. He also has a dog walking course, where he teaches pet owners and their pooches how to make walking on a leash more enjoyable.
“I see so many people getting dragged around by their dogs,” laughs Pink. “With some basic changes in a matter of hours, we can make a walk so much more enjoyable. The secret to dog walking is making a connection with your dog. People expect their dog to do what they see other dogs doing and they expect them to be good, but they don’t know how to tell them how to behave. The dog wants to do what we want them to do; it’s just a matter of communicating.”
To schedule a consultation for your pet or for more information, call Pink at (518) 390-8613 or find him on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SaratogaDogWalker.