Answers to some commonly asked questions with the Dean of the Machine Jason :-)
Jason, you guys seem dynamite! How do we start?
Glad to hear it ! Send us an email with a little info including specifically where you live i.e street and cross streets, a bit about your pup, your needs e.g time’s days for visits and we will promptly get back to you. We will then set up a “meet and greet” at your place.
You’ll send over our walker?
Nope, I do all meet and greets personally as well as visit your pup initially too. Pretty cool, huh? I’ll come over with some Magic GoDoG treats, we’ll hang out for an hour, get to know each other, and I’ll get to know your pup. We’ll discuss our policies, how everything works. You’ll have keys ready, hopefully two sets :-) I’ll have you fill out a detailed info sheet and service contract, then we are good to go.
Can I meet my walker at some point?
Yes, You are free to meet any caretaker whenever we can set up a drop-by. That said, WE ARE your walker. While in some concentrated areas there may be a caretaker who happens to work full-time, and in this synergistic circumstance it is likely to be the same person. That said, in order for us to be accommodating without fail, we need to operate more as jazz ensemble or an improv troupe rather a marching band. My crew has lives outside of dog care, including various theatrical productions, music gigs, etc., and one of the reasons we in fact have comparatively very little turnover, is that flexibility I offer my staff…additionally this is quite good for morale. Moreover, the more dogs that each our team members can interact with, the greater their dog handling skills become. Notwithstanding, dogs like variety, and its good for them to walk with as many dogs as possible as well as interact with as many humans. This principle illustrates part and parcel the essence of “socialization” and my formal mention of it, as very much a service in and of itself. Your dog, with one other dog, and one guy, down the same block and back, does not serve to expand your dog’s horizons nor does it our handlers. We are about enhancing your dog’s well-being rather than maintaining the status quo. That said, there are many instances, specific circumstances that ask of me to pair a particular dog with a particular handler, and I will always go out of my way to do so based on their needs, and even on your personal preference when possible . My walkers are extensions of me, and ambassadors to this brand, and our standards of care. They all ROCK and know what they are doing :-)
So what goes on in an walk?
We come on over, give a big ole lovey-dovey greeting to your pup, suit up and head out. We do bring other dogs into your apartment, always taking into consideration who behaves how, and managing appropriately. Also taking into account, who might be home, nanny, baby sleeping, cats in the household. We NEVER tether dogs up outdoors or anywhere out of view. Walk’s begin when we arrive at your place, and end when we leave. Frequently, time spent out lasts longer than the purchased half hour or hour visit. Once we are out, it’s party time with friends ! We will also discipline your pup, sculpt their behavior and lead them with a strong yet kind bearing. Once we return your pup, it’s treats, freshies ( water refill ), maybe some pics or vids, checking that appropriate ambient lighting is on, and whatever else needs to be done on a case by case basis. You will then receive a detailed note on your pup’s experience. We are notorious for writing thorough, rich, and often amusing reports that far exceed the glib standard that’s quite de rigeur in the industry
I have a dog who has special needs, will you be able to accommodate us ? I’m sure it costs more, lmk.
Yes, we can, and no, it doesn’t. Not for whatever the procedure may be. We are compensated for the amount of time we spend with your pup—that’s it. If he or she needs an insulin shot, needs to be carried down four flights of stairs, needs his hind legs lifted while walking, doesn't matter. You pay for our time, we provide professional dog care period, whatever that may be. Here’s Harvey, we feed him and admin meds in a high chair (Wally is his frequent dinner guest ). Here is Trixie, she was paraplegic. I used to have to palpate her in the bathtub. In all honesty we feel honored to be invited to, and able to, care for dogs with health challenges. By doing so, we honor their dignity.
My dog can be aggressive with other dogs and even people he doesn't know well. We can’t find a dog walking company who will take him. Help!
“Hang On Help is on it’s way!” :-) Little River Band, love that song! Yes, I feel you. Well, I’ve got good news for you. We welcome dogs with these issues with an open heart. It is rewarding for us to start with a dog on day one who is inclined to snap at you, fearful, apprehensive of other dogs, and then watching and guiding them as they slowly learn to trust, build confidence, open their hearts, and change! We have several dogs that were with other companies who quit on those pups after two days or what not because the dog snapped at the handler. That’s preposterous to me. I mean, are you a pro or not? Are you dedicated, or are you a hobbyist? We are not your fair weather dog care company, rather “all weather-all terrain”…sound like a Dodge ram commercial now?! A dog snaps at me, it’s just information, that’s it. It’s all on me then. What am I going to do with this information? How can I connect with this animal and get him to trust me? I stick around to solve that problem. If we need to call upon our associates who are certified trainers and bring them into the fold, we’ll do that. At the end of the day though, we are a dog walking company, and while I am willing to personally work with a dog, at some point they need to be able to trust at least a couple of the other handlers as well.
Do you walk dogs in packs? I’d hate to see my lil teacup Maltese Pupu get accidentally stepped on by other dogs?
We do! And we don’t! What’s a pack?! To a dog, you and said dog are a pack. I’ve got no pack bias. If ten dogs can be walked together safely, they are all enjoying it, then wonderful. However, ya ever notice when you see a pack like that they always seem to be in motion? Hmm…want to impress me? Let me see you allow each of them to stop and sniff and engage the environment etc…We walk dogs mostly in packs of two to four - sometimes more, sometimes less. There are so many variables that are considered when pairing dogs including each dog’s temperament, constitution, personality, the weather, the terrain, who the handler will be - to list the most relevant. That said, your dog is placed with dogs that he or she jibes with, AND a handler that he or she jibes with. I will even inconvenience us to pair dogs that I think would be good for each other.
Hey Jason , do you take care of cats, too? Doesn’t look like it.
No, we don’t. I’m allergic to cats. I adore them, as I do all animals, but the thought never crossed my mind when I began my business. I had a dog, I love dogs, I knew dog. I don’t know the particulars of cat care. Or bunnies, or iguanas, or turtles…we are not Petland Discount :-) We are available to care for cats that live in homes with dogs we serve, that's about it. Dogs are our “specialty” if you will. Dog is what I love, dog is what we do. That said, I do have a fantasy of caring for a pot bellied pig, so should one approach us, we will make an exception, lol.
J, do you offer any package discounts say if I pay monthly or something?
No…and yes! :-) We operate under at tiered pricing model. The more we are used during any given service week, the less expensive we are. It’s nickels and dimes, but as New Yorkers, we all know that counts for something! Please see our pricing page for details.
Jason, do you take puppies? My puppy is not old enough and hasn’t had all her shots yet to be walking with other dogs…Do you still do visits? How does that work?
Yes! Depending on your puppy’s age e.g, if you just brought him home at 12 weeks, she or she will likely require a couple visits a day. These visits will include potty training, clean up, and most importantly play. These sensitive early months require a lot of physicality and affection to facilitate bonding and etiquette. We will introduce a leash and harness as well, and gradually take him for short walks working on walking manners and transference of bladder relief from the wee wee pad to the outdoor world. We would also encourage a puppy class facilitated by our associate trainer Dani Santinella. See trainers.
Sometimes I lock myself out of my apartment in the middle of the night…could i come over, get my keys?
You wouldn’t be the first, ha!
Do you do weekends, evenings and morning visits?
Yes, but primarily for clients that are regulars during normal business hours. We tend eschew taking on those interested only in weekend visits. If someone is interested in only morning or evening visits for their pup, we will consider on a case by case basis. That said, for our regular clients, we are on call 24/7, subject to availability, which is pretty much a lock.
J, do you guys do sitting or boarding? My partner and I travel often.
Yes. Primarily we offer overnight service in your home, though “out-sit” or boarding arrangements in one of our homes is possible under specific circumstances. Your pup would be walked at least three times a day and given all the love that they deserve from your caretaker, good times!
How do you find your employees?
Well, the ladies, Tinder, the guys, subway platforms, soup kitchens, ya know, really anyone who looks like they can put one foot in front of the other. Ha! Kidding! No, most of our crew come through referrals from those who already work with or have worked with us. Beyond that, we use a wonderful recruitment company that has been terrific in filtering and delivering a bevy of savvy prospects. I then interview them for an hour, see if it’s a good fit. Then they train for two to three weeks, 30 hours per week, five days with me, and the other days with members of the crew, to learn as many perspectives and techniques and meet as many different pups as possible.
Any other questions, just shoot an email or give a buzz!
917 449 9969