By Grace Park
Published: 07/24/2019, edited: 07/31/2023
Kelly is a walker with Wag! who splits her time — and dog walks — between two East Coast cities: Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and New York City. The reason? During the school year, she’s a teacher — in Bethlehem. So she walks dogs there when she’s not in the classroom. But in the summer, she commutes to Manhattan for some fun with big-city dogs!
Kelly began walking with Wag! in early 2018. It seemed like a perfect fit since she had worked at a veterinary hospital and animal shelter as a high school student. Plus, she walked and sat dogs while in college. All told, she has more than 10 years of experience working with dogs.
“I was eager to join Wag! to see what it was all about,” Kelly said. “I’ve never looked back!”
Kelly said she enjoys everything about being a dog walker — the outdoors, meeting new dogs, and growing her relationships with the dogs with each walk.
“Every dog I walk is unique in his or her own way,” Kelly said, “and I love getting to see each one's personality come through.”
Kelly has a goal of trying to walk as many different breeds as she can. So far, she’s up to 84 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.
“I have walked countless mixed breed dogs as well,” Kelly said, “and have completed almost 1,000 walks exclusively with Wag!”
Given all the dogs she walks, does Kelly have a favorite? Probably many. But she shared this story.
“One of my favorite dogs I walk is named Oliver,” Kelly said. “He’s a pit bull-coonhound mix and is a very special boy because he is blind. I remember seeing his walks pop up when I first joined Wag! but I was never able to snag one.
“When I finally did get to walk him, it was love at first sight — no pun intended! He has a heart of gold and the most beautiful eyes and cutest head tilt I've ever seen.
“Because he’s blind, though, he requires special care on walks. Since he’s part hound, he follows his nose wherever it goes. I have to keep an extra eye on him at all times to ensure he doesn't bump into anything and doesn't snatch up any food from the ground.
“His owner was home when I brought him back from a walk one evening, and she was so thankful that I had picked up that first walk with him several weeks earlier. She said it was clear that I was very conscientiousness of Oliver's needs. Since then, she has almost always specifically requested me for walks!”
It’s summer, of course, so when we asked Kelly about a favorite place to walk dogs, she provided a New York perspective.
“I don't necessarily have one favorite place to walk,” Kelly said, “but when I walk dogs in NYC, I love walking by the water, whether that be the Hudson or East Rivers. I don't know what it is, but there's just something about a walk by a body of water — river, lake, or creek — that just makes me happy.”
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