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"Dog walking ""no ordinary college job"""

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Amir Adib / Arizona Daily Wildcat Veronica Hoffman walks her two dogs, Casey (Malti-Poo) and Juno (Husky-Lab mix). Veronica works part time as a dog-sitter.

She wore two black and pumpkin-colored Halloween ribbons in her light grey hair as she strutted out of the house in a tomato-red princess t-shirt and a custard-yellow crown.


Victoria, a 9-year-old Shih Tzu, jumped with excitement at the sight of Vickie Reason, seven-year owner of Happy Tails Pet Services and Victoria's personal dog walker, as they met for their routine walk.

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As the two walked around Fort Lowell Park, Reason smiled at Victoria as if she were her own.


The dog walking business has proven to be a good fit not only for canines, but also for pet-loving students like psychology senior Veronica Hoffman.


""Being a dog-walker is no ordinary college job,"" she said.


As a customized service, Happy Tails — which employs some UA students — offers a variety of services, from dog walking to pet therapy and even a bed and breakfast service, where a dog is able to move into Reason's home or an ""animal-loving home"" for a minimum of three days. During this time, as many as two dogs will get attention, exercise and a schedule of activities.


Hoffman works for Happy Tails and completed an internship with the company last year.


Growing up, Hoffman always had cats, dogs and horses, she said. Right now she lives with her sister and has two dogs and four cats.


The job provides the experience of meeting with clients and developing more in-depth relationships with animals, she said.


""I definitely have a better understanding for dogs — some dogs look intimidated when you first meet them, but once they know you're there for them, they change their attitude,"" she said.


Hoffman said she mostly does 30-minute walks and visits at a daily rate of $20, of which she gets 50 percent.


Seneca Nunn, UA alumnus and owner of Nunn Better, a dog walking and pet care service, started her own company in 2001 after she graduated with a degree in animal studies.


The business has no physical location, but instead relies on private clients who call when they need a service.


""I love being outside,"" Nunn said, adding that it is her favorite part of dog walking and helping clients take care of their pets.


Nunn Better has half-hour visits up to four times a day for $22, hourlong visits for $30 and overnight visits for $75 a night.


""It's a jam-packed day for sure,"" Nunn said, counting about 10 to 15 walks per day.


Poop scooping, which Nunn called ""crucial for the health of pets,"" is included in all services, she said. 


""You can tell a lot about the dogs' diet and health based on their stool.""


Dog walking takes ""a different kind of person,"" Hoffman said.


""You have to love animals, be disciplined and have a flexible schedule,"" she said.

















 


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UA COVID-19 Test Tracker

Daily (11/24)
1,344 22 1.6%
Total (8/2)
60,367 957 1.6%
Includes tests since August 2, 2021
Data from https://covid19.arizona.edu/updates
Updated November 24, 2021