Wis alle filters

On subject

On medium

The Dogwalker of Amsterdam

“I had everything: a good job, a beautiful apartment, and a car right in front of my door. After years of working, I decided it was time to take a break and travel for a bit. I saved up some money and went to South America. Those months of traveling were terrific. It felt good to be far away from everything familiar. During my trip, I was fully living in the moment. I wasn’t following the news, so I had no idea what was going on back home. When I got back a few months later, I started looking for a new job. I had worked in IT for years. A job sector, where the jobs were there for the taking. I sent out dozens of job applications, but I kept getting rejected. The outcome of the financial crises had become visible, and all of a sudden, it seemed impossible to find a job. I eventually found a job at a nightclub and worked there as a bartender, a photographer, and even selling sandwiches. After a while, I lost my job there, too. Still, the bills kept coming in. Eventually, I couldn’t keep up with them, and after about a year, I lost my mortgage. That’s when I fell into a deep depression. After I lost my job at the nightclub, a friend of mine offered me to work for him. He had a dog walking business. As a kid, I would often watch shows about animals on National Geographic. I remember learning about animal group dynamics. So, when I got offered a job as a dog walker, I was excited. It didn’t pay a lot, but walking the dogs gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. I learned a lot about dogs just by walking them and watching many César Millán episodes. I learned how to be the leader of my urban pack—that’s how I call them. After one year, I got my own dog. His name is Sadaharuzoro. He is a bright light in my heart. I never needed to go to therapy for my depression. It was Sadaharuzoro that got me out of it. I started to feel better, and I noticed, the clients were satisfied with my work. After I had a fallout with my friend, I decided to quit. When I told a few of my clients, they said that they would rather stick with me. They firmly believed in my talent, which gave me the confidence to start my own dog walking business. My current urban pack consists out of eight or nine dogs. I always first pick them up with my cargo bike, and they run next to me on a leash. Except for Charlie, the English bulldog. He is on the cargo bike until we get to the park. You see, dogs are domesticated animals, but when we gather, they are part of the pack, they get to be in touch with their nature. I can go out of the door, feeling grumpy, but my mood changes when I see my urban pack. Most humans don’t deserve the unconditional love of a dog. I neither deserve that type of love. Still, I’m loved by an entire pack of dogs. I guess I got really lucky.”


by Debra Barraud


Soundtrackcity met dank aan: Gemeente Amsterdam West Het huis van Amsterdam