RuffCity Founders Give Us The Truth About Working With Those Famous NYC Dogs

Bella, a RuffCity client

Have you ever had any weird requests from dog owners? Just something really particular or demanding?

Stayed tuned for our future book “Memoirs of a Dog Walker.” Haha. Without going into specifics, we can say “People LOVE their dogs”. And they worry about them like they are children so we sometimes feel as though we are nannies, receiving pages and pages of instructions on how to work the collar, where the kitchen is located, how to open the crate. You name it, we’ve been “taught” it a ba-jillion times. But we don’t take it personally, we’re dog owners ourselves so we get it.

Have you ever had to work with a really impossible dog?

The wonderful thing about our clients is that almost all of them are set on having a great dog no matter the cost, time or energy spent on it. This tends to be even truer of the people who own the more challenging dogs. So we work with them on the best strategy for their
pup in terms of dog parks, potty training, leash walking, even skateboarder avoidance!

What is your goal with this business? How big do you want it to be?

We truly believe the sky is the limit, not just because that’s the type of people we are, but because there are so many facets of pet care that remain untapped. Our newest project, an all day out-of-city hiking experience we’ve dubbed RuffCommute, is set to launch in Spring of 2013. And Stacia is the brains behind our treat collection LongDog Cookies. So while right now most of our focus is on the walking part of RuffCity, don’t count us out in the future for any and everything pooch related. We love what we do and we think we’re
doing a good thing so we want to take it to its furthest limit.

What do you like best about your jobs? What is the most challenging?

The dogs, of course! And working for yourself always has its perks too. We have met so many great people through RuffCity, even becoming social friends with some of them (Heather has been to two weddings of clients’ and we have vacationed at other clients’ upstate homes.) And having the appropriate community to help find homes for misplaced, abandoned, and/or abused dogs is overwhelmingly heartwarming.

The challenges: high maintenance owners, sick days, finding time to take vacation, having to turn away new adorable clients because
we’re too busy, and figuring out the right pace at which to grow.

Were you taking care of any dogs during the hurricane?

Sandy basically wiped out RuffCity Downtown all week with the lack of power and subways. There were a few walks in which our walkers were armed with bottled water and flashlights to navigate the dark hallways and make sure the pups were hydrated. We plan to be back at it on Monday though!

RuffCity Uptown remained pretty unscathed from Wednesday on with all their sweet electricity, elevators, and hot food!

What do you think about dogs in strollers and cats on leashes?

Dogs in strollers: just more proof that New Yorkers treat their dogs like their children. Cats on leashes: you should probably just
have a dog. We know a great dog walker!

Thanks ladies!

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      Dog walking in the city is an adventure for sure! As a walker myself in Bushwick, Brooklyn – Fielding off the chicken bones on the side of the curb and always finding the shady side of the street is quite the art. :)