We love our walkers at Windy City Paws, and this month we want to introduce to you to Gavin, who has been with us for a year!
Where are you from?
I’m from sunny Los Angeles, California.
How did you end up in Chicago?
I came here in 2013 for school.
What is your favorite pastime?
I’m definitely throwing myself into cooking a lot these days. It gives me a lot of joy to cook for friends. It’s a great opportunity to learn about your friends’ tastes, backgrounds , likes and dislikes and gives you a chance to bond over something that makes you both happy.
What is your hidden talent?
I think most of my talents are very public talents. I sing, I act, I write, I cook, I draw. The juicier response not a hidden talent so much as a hidden past life. I used to have a good sized following on a couple of social media platforms while I was in college. People would stop me for pictures depending on what part of town I was in. It was some real funny business. I hope that if I ever reach that level of recognition again, it’ll feel more earned.
Do you have pets? If so, what kind and what are their names? Tell us about their personalities.
My dog Watson lives with my family back in LA. I miss him a ton! Watson is such a peculiar, but intelligent fellow with tons of personality. Because my parents got him in preparation for empty-nesting after my brother and I moved away to college, Watson has definitely lived a pampered, spoiled life. I like to joke (or is it really a joke?) that he lives better than me! He gets to sit at the table, eat spaghetti, sleep in any bed in the house, and boss every one around. He knows he’s the best and it shows!
If you were a dog, what breed would you be and why?
I used to say Australian Shepherd, but I think I’m a lot like my client Ophelia, who is a Great Pyrenees/ Newfoundland Mix. I’m a bit new to those breeds in particular, but I know Ophie pretty dang well. She’s a real “tackle you when you open the front door” type, and a big lover. She loves playtime, scratches and most of all showing you how much she loves you. That doesn’t stop her from being a big dork, pulling you all over Streeterville to try and say hello to every passing person, dog, bird, leaf, whatever. She’s a real high-energy, super playful social butterfly, but I think she’s happiest with some one on one, laying on your lap time.
If dogs could run for public office, which breed do you think would make the best president?
I’m a big fan of pitbulls these days. The sweet fellas always have love and energy to spare. More importantly, I think they get a very unfair and bad rap. I think these days, I would be a big fan of a dog president with a lot of empathy, who understands what being understood feels like.
Why did you decide to become a dog walker?
The Los Angelino in me thought to myself “wouldn’t it be great to have an outdoor job exercising all day with adorable companions” completely forgetting we do have seasons here in Chicago. That answer still stands. As an actor/writer/creative, so much of my work is done in the dark, on a screen, indoors, thinking, creating, etc., it is such a joy to spend my days with some fluffy company, getting some fresh air. Even though dog walking sure is 100% full mental and physical commitment, you do get time to think about your day or work, relax, heal, and most importantly enjoy quality time with a good friend on these daily walks.
What’s the weirdest thing about being a dog walker?
I think the strangest part about being a dog walker is definitely the fact that your constantly in other people’s homes. It’s definitely a big matter of trust! Some clients really extend that trust, some warm up to you over time, and some value privacy–all decisions I greatly respect. Regardless of that level of comfort though, you always have to remind yourself you’re a guest in an empty house.
What would people never guess is part of your job as a dog walker?
How many people you interact with! I’ve loved getting to know the different concierge, front desk, and building maintenance people while walking in Streeterville. One concierge person I interact with daily– I call him “boss,” he calls me “babe”– and I’ve just been dying to use those nicknames for a buddy comedy script. It’s also a real pleasure getting to know some of the clients when you meet them on the off-chance!
What is your biggest pet peeve while walking dogs?
I don’t think a dog walker’s day can get any worse than stepping in a puddle and getting a wet sock! That said, despite being a summer child, I can say with absolute certainty I would take bitter cold snow over any amount of rain any day of the week!
What’s the best part about being a dog walker?
Hands down, hanging out with some of the fluffiest, funniest fellows around. Some dogs you get to watch grow up. Others can tell when you’re having a bad day and try to cheer you up. And each of them shines with their own funny little personality. Dogs form special bonds with humans, and it means a lot to be able to nurture that every day.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work, Gavin! If you would like to learn more about Gavin and our other fantastic dog walkers, visit our website!