When I moved to New York City from Nebraska, I was a bit… nervous. Already prone to introversion and staying home, a lack of familiarity with my surroundings quickly became an issue that only served to make me want to stay in my safety bubble of an apartment even more. Only a month later, though, I found Barkly Pets. It was only through dog walking in NYC, that I finally began to explore parts of the city I would never experience otherwise.
As soon as I finished training with Barkly, I was called to all the exotic New York neighborhoods I’d heard about on television: from Harlem to Park Slope, FiDi to Greenpoint. Dog walking in NYC gave me a purpose to leave my apartment and go somewhere new!
Not only did I have a reason to get out, I was excited too! I, of course, missed my dog from Nebraska dearly. Hanging out with other friendly pooches helped fill that hole in my heart. At the outset of each walk with a new dog, I got to know them through belly rubs, tail wags, and friendship treats. Then, we were off on an adventure!
Every walk took me to a new part of whichever neighborhood the dog called home. I became familiar with the locations of parks all over town. I even began to place the locations where some of my favorite movies and TV shows filmed.
After a walk was over, I often took time to explore further. I figured, why not – I was already there. While dogs motivated me to get out, the city is what made me stay. I would wonder down tree-lined streets gazing at incredible architecture or I would accidentally find myself in front of a museum or restaurant. When I eventually pulled out my phone to navigate back to the subway, I would realize I’d been right next to famous monuments or buildings.
Walking dogs also helped me to acquaint myself with New Yorker culture. It’s not enough to live here – you have to walk and talk the right way to be a New Yorker. Whenever I was out and about with a dog, I’d notice the traits that separated New Yorkers from tourists: the pacing, the clothing, the ability to avoid poop on a sidewalk… New Yorkers are their own breed.
A year and a half later, I can finally count myself among them. I know the city, I know its people, and I know its pups. I have my time as a dog walker in NYC with Barkly to thank for that.
Are you looking to explore New York more with a four-legged pal? You can apply to walk with Barkly too!