Where are you from?
I was born in Puerto Rico, but grew up in Bethesda, Maryland (a suburb outside of Washington, DC).
How did you end up in Chicago?
I went to Columbia College Chicago for my bachelor’s degree in Theater. Once I finished my degree, I got a job here at Windy City Paws!
What is your favorite pastime?
I practice martial arts. I got my black belt in high school, and I practice Tai Chi now.
What is your hidden talent?
I can walk on stilts!
Do you have pets? If so, what kind and what are their names? Tell us about their personalities.
I don’t have pets right now, but I’m thinking about getting a gerbil! However, I grew up with Weimaraners. We had one named Anya who was an alpha as a puppy and then became very sweet as an adult. After Anya died, we got another Weimaraner named Maya, and she loved to play fetch!
If you were a dog, what breed would you be and why?
I would be a Scottish Terrier for two reasons: my beard, and I am Scottish on my mother’s side.
If dogs could run for public office, which breed do you think would make the best president?
I don’t have a specific breed in mind, but I do have a specific dog who I would like to see as president! My client Bogey, a Pit Bull/Shepherd mix would do a fantastic job. Bogey 2020!
[Bogey is photographed above with Rafael!]
Why did you decide to become a dog walker?
I’ve always loved dogs, and I saw a posting on League of Chicago Theaters for a job here. I thought it would be a great fit, and I have loved it ever since.
What’s the weirdest thing about being a dog walker?
Having to be specific about a dog’s poops in notes.
What would people never guess is part of your job as a dog walker?
Taking in packages for owners. While it’s not part of the formal job description, I think it would be rude to leave them out, so I always take them inside for my clients.
What is your biggest pet peeve while walking dogs?
People who don’t pick up their dog’s poop.
What’s the best part about being a dog walker?
All of the love I get from my dogs! They’re always super excited to see me, and I love being a bright spot in their day.
Thank you so much for all of your hard work, Rafael! If you would like to learn more about Rafael and our other fantastic dog walkers, visit our website!