This is his lovely review....
If I could give the clients of this business five stars for humoring those who are differently-abled, I would. However, I feel like I have to write this as a warning to prospective clients (and all criticisms of my review will be ignored, because I know of the persistence [and stubbornness] of the person who owns this business).
"The Cool Dog Walker" (a.k.a. Eva) is a differently-abled person who is a non-verbal quadriplegic. Quite recently she experienced a loose, aggressive dog attacking one of her client's dogs on a walk.
Now, if you have seen any of her videos at all on YouTube, you will see quite clearly that TCDW cannot move/has severe palsy and relies on an assistant 24/7 to do anything physical. She has her assistant retrieve the dogs from the homes and attach them to her wheelchair for the "walk".
I am extremely differently-abled positive regarding life and work (being slightly differently-abled myself and knowing others who are para- and quadriplegic up here in Northern California) and support the rights of those who can do what is required of them in their jobs. However as someone who has worked with animal rescue myself, having a non-verbal person with severe CP as a dog walker who touts themselves as a dog walker is an incredibly (and urgently horrible) idea.
To take the responsibility of someone's dog, you best have the reflexes to keep that dog out of danger, and that means being able to break up fights and yank a dog out of unforeseen paths of oncoming vehicles (i.e., if a truck doesn't see you coming, or if the dog suddenly takes a dart to the left/right/wherever). TCDW does not have this capability at all and must rely on her assistant for anything physical to do with the dogs (just watch the YouTube videos for proof, under "disboi83"). TCDW touts on her website that:
"Also, I have been trained and certified by the S.P.C.A, (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) where I volunteer. I am insured and bonded through Pet Sitters Associates. I have been certified in pet first aid and my certificate is available on request. I also have a reliable and insured vehicle. I have worked with many breeds. My dog walking clients range from Chihuahuas to Rottweilers."
She may or may not be certified, but one thing is extremely clear: She cannot move from the neck down, so how on earth would she be able to perform canine CPR? She cannot drive her "reliable and insured" vehicle. Also on her website:
"I also have an assistant that accompanies me to retrieve the dog and leash them up. She also follows behind in case I need a hand. It's like two for the price of one!"
Her assistant is a 24/7 assistant that does ALL of her physical things for her. "Two for the price of one" is extremely unfair to the assistant, unless it's really the assistant who is 1) doing all the work (which is basically the case) and 2) getting the entire dogwalking fee for doing all of the work.
Again, I am not against differently-abled people having jobs, but having seen what "TCDW" has written about dogs (and she is an excellent writer, even if she fudges the truth often) while it's clear that she loves dogs enough, she is not exactly clean with the truth of her capabilities. If I were to hire a dog walker/caretaker for my dogs, it best be a person who can break up a dog fight (or PREVENT one from happening in the first place) and keep my dog from harm's way; anything else would make me an irresponsible guardian. I can see that a couple of clients are humoring her here, but come on--this is about our dogs' safety, and hiring someone means hiring that person, not their assistant.
So, I'm sure more people will humor TCDW/Eva, but before you do, please consider what it is you're doing here: This is your dog, a family member, and ask yourself these following questions:
-- Can this dog walker effectively communicate with my dog verbally?
-- Can this dog walker effectively communicate with my dog physically (I don't use leash corrections, but there are times I've had to yank my dog suddenly because of a careless oncoming car, and I've NEVER yanked on collars...my dogs wear harnesses)?
-- If my dog were in immediate danger (car, attacking dog, bicycle), is this dog walker capable of keeping my dog out of that danger?
-- If my dog -were- to end up in a fight, would this caretaker be able to handle the situation effectively?
-- Can this dog walker/caretaker obey all dog laws (leash and curb laws, re: poop scooping) of my city/town?
-- If for some reason there was an emergency, would this dog walker be able to effectively get in contact with or try to contact me ASAP? Be able to drive the dog to my vet/an e-vet? Perform CPR on my dog?
When you ask these questions you ask them of the primary "dog walker", not the dog walker's assistant...and if your dog walker/dog caretaker needs an assistant to perform mere basic duties, then it probably isn't a good idea to employ that person to begin with.
Now I wasn't going to respond because what do you say to a person like this. I got Yelp! to remove it and I was happy. My aide really really wanted to reply and I was like ok and she got the below response (the things he quotes are from her email.)
I'm responding to this second part because it's heavily ironic that you wrote this:
"Eva explains how she walks the dogs on her website. There are videos. She does not keep her CP a secret. When the clients meet her for the first time, they can see her range of mobility. They can tell she is non-verbal. She is very up front with them about what she will be doing, what her aides will be doing, and what she won't be able to do. They ask questions, she answers, I interpret. "
Because I wrote that exact same thing on the website (in fact, I thought that's what you were quoting--me, until I reached the end of your paragraph) where she detailed the experience of HERSELF "pulling" Gracie off of the other dog. Maybe you're completely unaware of that site--which it sure sounds like you are, but she has talked about how SHE does things when it's quite clear that YOU do the things she claims she does.
"You need to rethink your position on the capability, strength, and competence of people with disabilities. You have no idea what she's been through to get what she has."
I don't need to rethink anything. I AM disabled and I know my limitations. And I do know "what she's been though", because she writes on and on and on about it online. She detailed the dumb idea of how she wanted to actually TRAIN a rambunctious pit puppy "herself" even though her parents have different training methods and how THAT worked out, even after a whole litany of people in the community that she asked advice from TOLD her that it would not work out (and you'd have to be completely blind not to notice what she can and can't do just by watching the videos that you take of her).
YOU might feel at ease with yourself by accomodating her whims, but by enabling her like this helps *no one*. I wrote in my review that she is an excellent writer (or something to that effect), and nowhere online have I ever written that she is any less of a mind than the rest of us. Her mind is excellent and she is a really good writer (and I also wrote that it is clear that the dogs love her and she loves them, hello), but her body is shit, and (this is all crap I've written before, so don't think you're special enough for me to be speaking out of my ass to you) that's incredibly frustrating. That's a no-brainer. But it takes more than just strapping a dog to a wheelchair to ensure the safety of the dogs OR to give them commands that they understand. YOU even admit that it was YOU who jumps in and saves the day/will be there (in the previous email thing). It's YOUR voice we all hear on the damned videos that are telling the dogs to "sit"/get off of Eva. So is it gonna be YOU who gives a dog CPR if need be? That's great for you, maybe YOU should be the head of the business, then.
If you really wanted to TRULY help her, you wouldn't be doing 99% of the job that is there to do. You would be encouraging her to find her niche in a subject that she loves where she is entirely capable to completing herself; like studying canine ethology and writing endlessly on dogs/dog behavior. And no, that DOES NOT mean that she never has to interact with dogs, but she would be able to do these things *herself*, without your damned help all the time for 99% of the physical stuff. You said she doesn't hide her CP--well, that's what I freaking said. But there ARE limitations on what someone with her severity of CP can do, and people who are afflicted like that should NOT be selling themselves on a website as if they could drive their reliable and insured van/that someone is NOT with them all the damned time. They should NOT fool themselves by thinking that they can train a dog to do anything when they are non-verbal/can't move. Dogs are extremely physical creatures that rely on vocal commands *at the very least*. Training by proxy (proxy meaning YOU) might be something to consider down the line; perhaps she could be a trainer OF trainers. But to say that she can "train dogs" is misleading. And FTR, I DO know at least one quad up here but HE is verbal and he CAN at least give basic verbal commands.
You're pissed at me, ok. But think about the entire situation. If she loved dogs THAT much, she (and you) would be doing whatever it takes to never, ever put dogs in a situation that can get ugly real fast (and sadly, that happens every day, with the non-disabled too), and cue in on Eva's strengths (writing, education, her mind) instead of dwelling on something that can't be helped.
Now, onto the reply to this one.
"without ever personally seeing her walk her dogs"
Uh, no...you said quite clearly that there are videos, and I've seen them. You tie the dog to the heavy chair. Does she ever say "let's go" or "leave it"? Nope. Pretty obvious who's doing what here, unless now you're going to tell me that the videos are false (though I wouldn't be surprised if you ripped them down after this because G-d forbid that any of us actually SEE what you're talking about).
"To say that she "experienced" a loose aggressive dog attacking her client insinuates that she was powerless and incapable in the situation which could not be further from the truth. The fact- which you would have found out if you had asked her rather than basing your argument on her silly twitter post-"
I don't do Twitter. In fact, those words were paraphrased quite accurately from her own post, NOT on Twitter.
"was that I (her aide at the time) IMMEDIATELY ripped the loose dog off and put it behind its gate. While I did this, Eva drove off with the other dog to keep them separate and to stop them from flailing around and trying to get at each other."
LOL, that's not what she wrote. She said she's the one who pulled the dog off, and that the attacking dog was trying to bite her.
So now you know just how much she inflates her role in the dogwalking. And yeah, but sorry, I don't buy that her chair can go 0 to 20 in under 3 seconds, either.
"I was not hurt and neither dog has so much as a SCRATCH- that's how fast we acted. In fact, if I (the able-bodied strongman of the duo) had had to pry two dogs apart on my own- without Eva helping to separate them- it would have been a lot messier and harder to handle."
You just said it lasted all but 3 seconds and minimized the attack to begin with. Sounds like you would've done just fine, so stop rationalizing everything.
"Oh and I would LOVE to know just how any capable person could "prevent" a dog from jumping out of nowhere and attacking another dog."
I never said that, but I did say that situations are preventable. You can, you know, NOT put yourselves or any lives in harm's way by choice, but instead you choose to risk these things by creating the situation in the first place.
"The fact is that Eva will ALWAYS have someone with her and they will ALWAYS work as a team. There are ALWAYS a pair of hands there when needed. However, when you say that "her assistant....does ALL of her physical things for her" this is misleading. She is the one walking the dog. Not me. She decides how far we go, what path to take, when to stop and let the dog have a break, when to give him water, when to let him jump on her lap, etc. Yes, I am the one who would dress the wound of a bleeding dog- but she's the one who took the class and would direct me be TELLING ME."
How cute. A "team". I sure hope you get *team* salary, since it is you who does all the work (and perhaps it's not you she bitched about having burnout this summer, but situations like this only create resentment unless you're a slave for...well, a slave). And funny, but it sure didn't look like Eva was telling that big pittie much of anything when he came out to greet her/slobbered all over her face (your voice again, I think?).
And you are right--she will ALWAYS have someone there/always have a pair of hands when needed. That means YOU have to be that pair of hands to pull dogs off of her (aggressive or not). Did you think the rest of us watching this didn't know this already? We're not blind, but apparently you are, at least to the fact that Eva knows this and is incredibly frustrated by it and that she constantly plays it down to the point of complete denial/lies.
"And don't pull that bullshit that she'd take to long to spell it out because all of her aide are extremely skilled at this."
I never did, did I. No, I didn't. So maybe I'm not the one being an assumptive ass, but you're so defensive at the moment that you feel like you need to pre-empt something that isn't coming in the first place, because you didn't take the time to read past your anger at my review.
"The subtext of what you wrote just screams out "Don't hire Eva because she CAN'T keep your dog safe. And you might as well hire a robot since she can't show your dog any affection." Total bullshit."
Maybe that's what YOU got out of it, but that's not what was written, and there is no subtext. I have NEVER written anywhere that hiring Eva is akin to a robot; in fact I've gone out of my way to emphasize what an excellent writer she is/how great her mind is/how big her heart is.
"If I (the person that has accompanied her on most of her dog walks this year) decided to quit and then asked her clients if they'd rather hire me instead of Eva, I GUARANTEE they would all say no."
Of course not, because YOU are not the novelty that will allay peoples' sense of guilt over mocking the differently abled (this is not how *I* see it, it's how *they* see it). The ability to say "Hey, I got a story for ya, my dogwalker is..." is just as bad as "Hey, I got a story for ya, my President is..." It doesn't matter that she can't move or talk--she walks dogs!...Well, okay, so her aide ties the dogs to her wheelchair and she can't give them verbal or even hand commands, but she walks dogs! Isn't that just awesome?
"I am not the "fabulous dog walker". She is. I don't let the dogs love on me or jump on me and I certainly would not walk a chihuahua or a mini poodle."
If that's the mentality of either you OR Eva, then you both shouldn't be in the dogwalking business, end of story.
"I would NOT go work if someone gave me like 3 hours notice that they wanted their dogs walked."
Except that you would (and do, likely), because you would *have* to be there to be "part of the team", since Eva can't do anything physical without *your* help.
"You say that a dog walker needs to be able to "yank a dog out of unforeseen paths of oncoming vehicles (i.e., if a truck doesn't see you coming, or if the dog suddenly takes a dart to the left/right/wherever)." I don't know where to begin with this. Do you assume that she walking in the middle of the road?"
Are you saying that you guys NEVER cross the street and only walk on the sidewalk? That's a mighty big sidewalk and a real fun walk.
"Oh her AIDE will have to do jump in if there's a fight!- you're goddamn right I will. Her job is to keep the dogs safe."
Yeah, you said it right there--it's HER job to keep the dogs safe, but she can't do it because YOU do it. Gotcha. (I guess the weed must be pretty strong down there in the south.)
"Does it matter that its my hands and not hers? Yeah, I pick up the poop and she keeps the whole fucking fee- how unfair. Poor me. But she's the one that started the business, that spends countess hours advertising, that pays for insurance, pays for the gas, writes up the invoices, keeps in contact with the owners, etc etc etc."
If the real world was really like this, we would *all* be "hiring" people to do our jobs and getting the full price for what our "hirees" do (and hey, in some parts of our world, they DO do that, so why not just hop a plane to China?). So how's it like to be treated as a slave? I wouldn't know, I've never allowed myself to be treated like that by anyone, but apparently you're a-o.k. with it. But as a customer or potential customer, I would like to know who's going to be doing the job I'm paying them for and to be able to pay THAT person for the work that they do.
I have written extensively on this already, and I have to reiterate that I have never said that Eva is completely incapable to deal with dogs. Quite the contrary. But I HAVE written that there is a point where one has to recognize and accept ones' limitations, no matter how painful and frustrating. OBVIOUSLY she had to've come to SOME recognition of her limitations when she had to give that pittie that she adored so much back. But to keep on enabling her desires when it's so sadly clear that there are things that just can't be done with a body that just sucks so much ass is NOT doing her any favors. I'll make my own assumptions here: That the refusal to realize what can and can't be done is what is leading to the constant posts over the years (at least five years now, maybe more) that she will get out of her parent's house and strike out on her own only to end up back at her parent's house is what is continuing this cycle of denial and build-up of frustration. I know what she's written, because she's a great writer and posts all over the place. She was supposed to've been UP HERE studying at the IHSHS, so what happened to that? It sucks because it didn't happen due to whatever circumstances, but that doesn't mean that she has to *give up*/resign herself. She's got to realize (and have people around her to encourage it) what her own limitations are and where she can build upon her strengths, and it's obvious that her strengths are in academia.
So before you come back with another rantish screed about how I just know nothing about her situation and what she does, think twice. I don't *presume* to know what's best for Eva, but I can make a reasonable judgment from your videos and her writings (some of which, as you have now seen, are peppered with white lies) what would be a better situation for the dogs in a commercial setting.
Wow! I kinda feel bad for him that he has so much hate. I wasn't really bothered by it because what he says is completely false. He hasn't tried to repost on Yelp! but I wouldn't put it past him. My aide wanted to reply but I was like, "No, don't give him the satisfaction."
P.S. Sorry for the long post but you can't put cuts in blogger.