December’s dog of the month is “Big Charlie”. Charlie is walking buddies with last month’s dog of the month Max Weinberg. For more than 3 years they have made a great pair, so it just made sense that they would go back to back.
Charlie’s parents were working with Dawn, the trainer David used to work with who connected us. We have to take a moment to say that if we ever add a “parent of the month” feature Charlie’s parents would be one of the first recipients. They have worked so hard with him and he has really come a long way. Charlie can be a bit nervous, which is why Max has been such a good friend for him. Max’s exuberance and desire to rush head on into every new situation helps to reassure Charlie that everything is ok.
Charlie’s parents have been rewarded for their hard work and patience with one of the quirkiest, funniest, most expressive dogs you will ever meet. He is truly one of a kind and we are so grateful to spend our afternoons with him.
Max Weinberg is the only dog that we refer to by his full name. Neither of us know why, but it just seems fitting for him. My theory is that it’s because he’s such a goofball and always getting into trouble. Max wakes up everyday thinking this is the best day ever. Which makes it hard to be mad at him when he dive bombs for bread or suddenly flops down to wiggle around on the sidewalk. Even if you could be mad at him, he would be oblivious, so you might as well laugh it off.
On Max’s intake form it mentioned that he sometimes had trouble with long walks especially in the heat. Now it’s hard to imagine, but he was carrying some extra weight which was taking a toll. After talking with his parents it seemed like his Manhattan walker had been hanging out with him more than walking. We decided to cut his food back and we gradually ramped up the intensity of our 1 hour walks. In the end Max lost nearly 20 lbs and now 4 years later he is more exuberant than his 1.5 year old self.
We started with Charlie almost 3 years ago when he was only 4 months old. Due to Dave and Jocelyn’s unique work schedules the relationship that we have forged over the years is exactly what we sought to achieve when we started out as a dog walkers. Charlie’s parents are often working from home in the afternoon or recovering from a late night of delivering babies, which has given us an opportunity to get to know one another really well.
Charlie was a pretty amazing pup. As a 4 month old Cockapoo an hour long walk was a little to taxing for the little guy. We spent the first half of our walks outside, and after he went potty we would come back in for some training and play. Charlie proved to be a quick study and loved learning new tricks. After mastering the basics like sit and down we moved on to rollover, shake, high five, bow, speak, and spin. I have never met a puppy who loved learning more than Char and it was so much fun to surprise his parents with all the new things he was learning. I would text them the commands and hand motions that we were working on and eagerly wait to find out if he had executed them correctly with them.
Charlie grew and it came time for him to go on big boy walks with other dogs though. I think he still wishes that we could go back to the good old days when he got all that individual attention. As a very sensitive dog we often joke about setting a timer to remind us to pet him every 10 minutes just to keep his spirits up.
As a way to highlight some of the amazing dogs and families we get to work with we are starting a dog of the month feature. This should be a great way for you to get to know your dog’s friends and playmates. This month’s dog of the month will be a double feature. Mattie and Bo Varnish.
We started with Mattie four years ago when she was already 12 years old. We wish that we could have known the young Mattie. We know that she used to love chasing all the wildlife at their house in the country. We spent our afternoons meandering very slowly up 3rd street. As dog walkers you often think of the young dogs, who need to get as much exercise as possible in your allotted time with them. Older dogs need just as much attention, just in a different way. She was a tough girl who was lucky to find a family that loved her as much as they did.
A few months after Mattie’s passing we got a message from her family that they adopted a new dog named Bo. Bo might be the polar opposite of Mattie. We often joke that he may be having the longest puppyhood in the history of dogs, and it isn’t looking like it’s going to end anytime soon. Everything about him is goofy, from the smile that is a permanent fixture on his face, to the sway in his walk that carries over to that giant swishing tail. He is one of the nicest dogs in Prospect Park and capable of becoming instant besties with anyone.