Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.
Showing posts with label DOGWALKERS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DOGWALKERS. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


I used to think, from what I saw as I walked the streets of Los Angeles, that this place must have more dogs per capita than any city in the world.  This, I now know, is not true.  It doesn’t even seem to be the dog capital of the west coast.  It’s hard to find exact data – googling tends to turn up “dog friendly cities” rather than actual numbers - but it seems definitely not to be LA – San Diego and Portland look like much better bets.  San Francisco supposedly has more dogs than children.

Of course all these need walking – some a lot more than others, obviously - and (and again I don’t have hard data) as I walk the streets it does seem to me that Los Angeles must have more professional dog walkers per capita than any city in the world. Angelinos don’t want to walk their own dogs any more than they want to tend their own gardens or clean their own swimming pools.

Last week for instance I found this thing stuck on my mail box:

  I have no idea if it’s genuine.  Do parents really allow children to do this kind of thing?  More to the point – do eleven year olds really expect to earn 10 dollars an hour?  That’s more than minimum wage!

But my favorite flyer, one that turns up stuck to lamps posts and telegraph poles, around the neighborhood, is this one from Rocket Dog Walking:

I love the picture but somehow I don’t feel that the actual guy who turns up to walk your hound could possibly live up to the picture.

But here in last Sundays’ New York Post is one of the best dog-walking related headlines I’ve ever seen, possibly the best ever:

Since it’s in the Post it may not be strictly accurate, but still ...  We're all accustomed to Faustian bargains, but selling your soul is one thing, selling somebody else's dog is quite another.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


You know, as I wander the world, and indeed my own neighborhood, I see a surprising number of “professional” dog walkers on the streets, ambling along awkwardly with a handful of not especially happy-looking dogs.  I even see flyers stapled to trees and telegraph poles from people offering their dog walking services.  I guess there must be a market, and I suspect a really good dog walker is hard to find. 

And in fact I find something not quite right about this.  I mean sure, I can see that if you’re very old or feeble or sick it might be permissible to get somebody else to walk your dog for you, but otherwise it seems to me it’s something you really ought to do yourself.  Nobody put a gun to you head and forced you to have a dog, so now that you’ve got it, do your duty, and abase yourself by picking up the poop while you do it.  Here is a picture by Hunter S. Thompson, from the 1960s, titled, “Sandy Walking with Agar” – I’m guessing she’s not a professional dog walker and I’m guessing this was in the days when people got much less upset about dog poop.  And like you, I can only guess what’s happened to the poor dog’s ears.

Somehow I can’t imagine that Victoria Beckham walks her own dogs, much less picks up their poop, but it does make for a good photo op, thus:

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


And speaking of Bronson Canyon (as I was when discussing walking to the Batcave a couple of posts back), yesterday afternoon a severed head was found there.

Of course we all occasionally find strange things when we’re out walking.  I once found a large knife by the side of the road, big ugly blade, handle wrapped in duct tape.  It looked a lot like a murder weapon.  I still have it: comes in handy once in a while. 

There’s a Will Self column where he talks about finding a red plastic dildo while on one of his walks, and my friend Joanna Moriarty claims to have found a finely carved wooden dildo while out walking, on vacation in Germany.  She didn’t bring it home with her, which strikes me as a mistake.  Certainly it used to be pretty common to find dirty magazines while out walking, stashed in hedges or behind walls, presumably by people who for one reason or another were unwilling to have them in the house.  That seems to happen a lot less these days: I blame the internet.

And of course you see dead animals all the time.  I was out for a walk one morning in Yucca Valley and I came across this row of dead raccoons.  I don’t know how they were killed: they didn’t seem to have a mark on them, and although I know raccoons can be pests, I’m not sure I could easy kill one.

And of course when you’re out walking in the city you regularly see guys lying around in the street unconscious, and you assume they’re drunk or drugged, but you do sometimes wonder if they might be dead.

This afternoon they found a couple of severed hands and feet to go along with the head in Bronson Canyon, and the current thinking is that the person wasn’t killed and dismembered in the park: the deed was done elsewhere, the park used as a convenient dumping ground.  This is somehow reassuring.

The severed head was found by a couple of professional dogwalkers: dogs just love the scent of human remains it seems, and I suppose that’s why you so often read about bodies and body parts being found by people walking their dogs.  In more out of the way places such finds are more usually attributed to “hikers.”  Just once I’d like to read that “the body was found by a psychogeographer” or “the severed head was discovered by a flaneur.”  I guess I’m just going to have to get out more.