Since becoming a Mum of 3 and with childcare costs beyond affordable, along with my eagerness to be there for my little cherubs, I have to be fairly resourceful when looking to earn extra cash. Luckily for me, hubby has a job where he can take overtime so the pressure for me to earn isn’t a priority but with 3 children, every day expenses are neverending, so extra cash is always welcome.
I do a spot of freelance writing for websites, a bit of childminding for friends, I dip my toe in a bit of secret shopping, but my main source of pocket money is gleened from dog walking. Now I’m not one of those extra’s from a Parisian setting in a foreign film with 6 poodles pulling me down the street, I have just the 2 dogs that I exercise, a Cockapoo and a Springer Spaniel, both girls, both well behaved apart from their extremely regular bowels, it also serves as a great form of exercise for me.
I read somewhere recently that in posh areas such as Kensington and Chelsea, dog walkers are referred to as “Danny’s” so you have your Nannies for your children and your “Danny’s” for your dogs!
I started this endeavour as a favour to 2 friends who work and wanted their dogs exercised and also I’ll admit it was handy for the money too. But I’m not alone, as on more than one occasion I have come across another Danny, but this is a professional Danny, he has a fleece with his dog walking company logo stitched in the back, as well as a holster type contraption attached to his belt for leads, poo bags and other essentials. We walk the same streets and whenever we pass by I do feel like an extra from High Noon as he has obviously sussed, even without my obvious Danny regalia, that I am competition.
Recently, when he was walking a rather overweight golden retriever and I had both my bi-atchs with me, we came face-to-face on opposite sides of the street. He slowed down and squinted his eyes in my direction adopting a Clint Eastwood personna, I slowed my pace and smirked with a slow and gentle nod at his dimunitive ability of having just one dog compared to my two dogs. He glanced over at my dogs as his retriever wheezed, he patted his holster probably wishing he had a matchstick to chew on for effect, smirked and dragged his reluctant canine away. I look forward to bumping into him, he never smiles at me but just eyes me suspiciously, although I do make sure he doesn’t see where I collect my dogs from, wouldn’t want him to try and undercut me.
I do enjoy it and life doesn’t get more glamourous as a Danny when a few weeks ago I was called to the Cockapoo’s address by a mobile vet asking me to let her in as the owner was concerned about her health (the dog’s health not the mobile vet). Before I knew it, I’m spending my Tuesday morning restraining a dog while the vet checks her “damaged glands” (hurl). In my capacity as a Danny she must think I have skills in dog’s health and wellbeing by describing said ailment in all it’s glorious “seepage, bulging, weeping” detail. When asked if I’d like to take a look, I kindly refused as I’m pretty sure I can go through life without ever knowing what they look like. I’ll happily just stick to the walking, poop scooping and intimidating other Danny’s, in future.