Lady Gaga's Dog Walker
The Value of a Pet Sitter / Dog Walker
God bless Lady Gaga's dog walker, Ryan Fischer! He, like the good shepherd that pet sitters and dog walkers are, was ready to protect his charges at all costs. Even after he was shot in the chest, he tried desperately to hold on to the dogs. Two got taken, one remained.
I read an article today that reported the other two dogs have been returned to Lady Gaga. If you haven't heard, her dog walker was walking Lady Gaga's dogs when he was brutally attacked and two of Lady Gaga's three dogs were stolen.
Luckily, there is a happy ending to this story. The dog walker survived the shot, neighbors called 911 and the other two dogs were turned in.
I don't know Ryan, but I want to say to him on behalf of all the pet sitters and dog walkers out there: JOB WELL DONE GOOD AND FAITHFUL SHEPHERD! You did your best and literally laid down your life to try and protect the dogs.
I'm sure he would have done that even if their owner wasn't a celebrity.
Sometimes I don't think people realize how much heart goes into what pet sitters do, and sometimes people will complain about the cost of hiring a pet sitter / dog walker, but I think that is because people don't always realize the intense responsibility these professionals have. Owners leave their two most prized possessions in the care of pet professionals - their pets and their homes. No small responsibility!
If you are a consistent reader of my blog, you know that I've explained the worth of a professional pet sitter time and time again, and I've talked about all the nuanced responsibilities these professionals have during the course of their days.
Ryan Fischer, if you are reading this blog, thank you, thank you, thank you. You are the ultimate role model of a good pet sitter. You literally hung on for dear life as much as you could to protect the dogs in your care, and you must be so overjoyed that the dogs have been returned.
I'm glad that Lady Gaga called Ryan a hero because he truly is. When pet sitters leave a pet owner's home to walk a dog, they are aware of their responsibilities and how various things might happen along the walk. Their goal is to provide a fun walk for the dog(s), give them a chance to "do their business", keep the walk safe, give the dogs exercise, and return them home with tails wagging!
Ryan and the dogs will have to recuperate psychologically as well as physically now. Ryan will be even more hyper-vigilant when walking dogs. The dogs will probably be the same for a while. Perhaps the dogs will be more protective of Ryan because they love him and saw him hurt. The dogs may stick closer together and might have fear of going on walks for a while, or fear of strangers. Lady Gaga will be more concerned about this happening again too and might request shorter walks for a while until everyone is emotionally healed up, or maybe the walking route will be changed.
I am concerned too, about the other scheduled pet visits/ dog walks that Ryan had that day. Because he was injured, was there somebody as a backup who could continue his duties that day for him? How much work is he going to be missing now that he has been injured? Getting shot in the chest will take time to heal and might affect him in ways that make him sore when dogs pull on a leash. Lots of variables here.
It sounds like Lady Gaga is a really nice person and will help take care of Ryan. Maybe she will cover his medical bills or someone will start a Go Fund Me page for him to help him recoup his business losses and pay his bills until he is back on his feet.
Personal sharing: I only had one scary instance with strangers approaching me and a dog I was walking. I was walking a dog in a touristy area where some celebrities do live or vacation. The dog I was walking did not belong to a celebrity, however, the dog would be known as a "designer dog" - and probably cost the owner a lot of money to purchase.
It was winter, and the area around the client's home was quite deserted. A car pulled over with three women in it. They got out and walked towards me. I thought that perhaps they just wanted directions. One of the ladies asked me if the dog I was with was so and so's dog ( a celebrity name) and I said no. One lady bent down to look at the dog's tags. I was afraid she was going to scoop her up. So I quickly bent down and took the dog into my arms.
One woman said, "It is his dog, isn't it?". I said, no it wasn't, and please leave because we have to continue our walk. I said it sternly and meant business. The ladies got into the car, mumbling to themselves, and drove away in their lime green VW bug. I watched them drive away before I put the dog down and we continued our walk.
When I arrived back at my client's home, I told the owner what had transpired. She said she knows that particular celebrity, and yes they do have a home in the neighborhood. She said he has a different type of dog and the women were probably just fans, and she thanked me for scooping up her dog because they could have snatched her anyway.
Pet sitters and dog walkers are worth their weight in gold because they are very concerned and safety conscious and like Ryan, will go to the ends of the earth, or lay down their lives to protect the pets in their care.
Once again, thank you to Ryan for being a good role model, and may you have a swift healing, physically and emotionally, and may you have many more years of happy dog walking for Lady Gaga and many other clients!