Tails From the Bark Side: Meet the Dog Walker

Stories, laughs, mishaps and more from the trails and tails of a professional dog walker.

By | Posted: July 1, 2014, 5 a.m. PST

Everybody loves their dog.  A dog can do no wrong, in the eye of every owner that is. As a professional dog walker of 19 years in San Francisco, I’m here to tell you your dogs might not be quite as perfect as you think, but sweet and entertaining none the less. So get ready for the hilarious stories about what happens behind the scenes when you’re not around.  

From the naked guy who wanted to play Frisbee, to the woman talking to an imaginary dog (and picking up its poop!) to the time the park police stopped to lecture me about keeping my dogs on-leash only to spot my Jack Russell jumping into his squad car to finish off his bologna sandwich, endless mishaps and crazy encounters are just part of a day out with the dogs.   


Lisa Gates. Dog Adventures


19 years ago, I gave up a successful and lucrative career in sports marketing and promotions to start my dog walking business, Dog Adventures. Instead of hob knobbing with professional athletes, wearing jewels around my neck and dressing in the latest fashion, I wear leashes around my neck and dress in old torn jeans.  I am one of those crazy dog people who has to stop for EVERY dog on the street – or worse if I spot a Basset Hound. Traffic will be stopped for me to get to that Basset. 

I remember when I was pregnant with my twin boys, I would ask people "do you think I will love my kids as much as my dog?”  My best friend Brooke quickly advised me to stop asking that question as the people who do not know me might wonder.  And today if you ask my husband who I love the most in the house, he probably will answer the dogs.  Of course this is not true, I love my family dearly but my dogs are right up there with each and every one of them!

My husband and I reside in Mill Valley, California.  We have five boys.   Twin boys named Hugh and Stu (no I was not drunk when I named them but my grandmother just might have been since they are named after my father and his twin brother), Mac who is 14, Jamie who is 17 and Sedge who is 19 and a freshman at Colorado College.  We have a Golden Retriever who is a version of Marley from the movie Marley and Me and has no manners what so ever, a Basset Hound named Tinkerbell and two cats who think they are dogs.  We also have a retired horse who lives in Sonoma and acts like a big old Labrador.  Life is full of laughter with that many boys and animals in our house. 

I love every minute of my job, even when I get poop in my hair or when I have a day when everything goes wrong. Even when a Lab eats an entire picnic or I fall face first in the dirt, there is always a silver lining at the end of the day. A lick in the face (hopefully not after the dog has eaten some poop) and the unconditional love of the dogs, brings joy, laughter and happiness, no matter what else happens on the outings.

In addition to the canine escapades, I will also be blogging weekly about tips/tricks and suggestions for dog walkers and dog owners.  For example: how to find a good dog walker , having good trail manners, how to tell if your dog is getting the walk you thought he is getting from the hired walker, even how to start your own dog walking business and much more.

Come to the bark side!

Follow Lisa @BarSideLisa

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Lloyd   Mill Valley, California

7/4/2014 11:07:08 PM

Funny!!! Keep this good writer in your blog regularly! It's great to learn while laughing!

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Jeanine   Mill Valley, California

7/2/2014 10:57:34 AM

Lisa is hilarious, knowledgeable, informative and her love of dogs shines through in her writing. Can't wait to get more tips and humorous tidbits....keep it coming!!!!

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Catherine   Mill Valley, California

7/2/2014 9:20:28 AM

Looking forward to reading more of your blog, Lisa! You are a true dog lover when even dog poop in your hair doesn't upset you :)

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jeffo   Mill Valley, California

7/2/2014 9:03:18 AM

awesome start, Lisa. More poop stories! can't get enough. :)

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