These Pups Are Meant For Walkin'

These Pups Are Meant For Walkin'

By Colleen Savage

Photos By Stephanie Nolt

Take a walk down Main Street any afternoon and tell me what you see. The sites vary from day-to-day depending on the time of year and the weather, but one thing is always a constant: dogs. Manayunk loves their dogs! You are guaranteed to see a dog any time of day or year. Whether it’s a big dog, small dog, a dog dining al fresco, a dog holding down the fort at a local business, or a dog in the midst of a stroll, you are guaranteed to see one. However, what most folks don’t know is many of the dogs on walks aren’t with their owners, but with one of the many jaunty dog walkers of Manayunk. Recently, we spoke with four ladies who you’ll often see walking dogs around Manayunk and here is what they had to say:

Sandy Zanetto

Walk This Way, LLC

Why did you choose Manayunk for your business?
I began the business in Center City because I lived there. When I moved to Manayunk, it was a no brainer to continue here. Manayunk is a very dog friendly place. There are lots of dog-people here and I saw a great need for our services. In Manayunk, you are always apt to run into another pup or friendly dog-person!

Top 3 favorite dog breeds?
Small, medium and large!

Who is your favorite celebrity dog, real or cartoon?
Is Scooby Doo too obvious?

What is your favorite animal-centered nonprofit?

Locally, we support PAWS. They do amazing work in the Philly area and are the city’s largest no-kill shelter. They operate two high-volume, low-cost clinics serving pet owners and rescue organizations that lack access to affordable basic veterinary care. We do several fundraising events a year and always have PAWS as the rescue recipient. On a broader scale, Best Friends Sanctuary in Utah.

How has dog walking affected your life outside of work?
My awesome team at Walk This Way, Dara our office manager who keeps it all together, Meagan, Faith, Rebecca, Nicole, Rachel, Corrine, Sueann, Jessica and Amanda have all taught me what you can accomplish if you work together towards a common goal! Beyond this, I have learned that the unconditional love we get from our animals is a wonderful thing that works both ways.

Tanya Grant

TOP TAILS® Dog Walking & Pet Sitting

What makes TOP TAILS® unique?
At TOP TAILS®, we are all animal lovers and true professionals who have pets of our own and know the love you feel for your pet. When you can’t be home, we want to give your pets the same love and attention you would give them. Our rates are reasonable and our pet care is tailored to meet each family's individual needs. We provide fantastic customer service and offer the convenience of online scheduling.

What makes a great dog walker?
Being fully present. When I’m walking dogs, I give them all of my attention. This includes putting my phone away, being aware of my surroundings and knowing the dog’s behavior nuances so I am ready for anything. Also, practicing pet safety is of the utmost importance when walking dogs.

If you were a dog, what kind would you be?
A Corgi. We have the same personality characteristics: Bold, Friendly, Outgoing, Playful, Protective, Tenacious.

What’s your favorite dog-centered movie or TV show?
101 Dalmatians will always be one of my favorite movies.

Why work with dogs? What draws you to them over other animals?

Dogs have so much personality. They are very intuitive, smart animals. They offer great companionship and unconditional love. Who doesn’t love being greeted at the door everyday by tail wags and pure joy?!

Shannon Vottero


What’s your favorite place to take dogs in Manayunk?

I love walking along the Wissahickon Park for educational field trips and exercise with our dog clients. Main Street is also a great place to socialize at dog-friendly restaurants for dogs and people.

What makes your service different from the others? What makes you unique?

In the words of one of our clients: "We are a family owned business that really cares about the dogs.” If you had an elephant or giraffe and it needed walks, we would make it work for you! My partner and I grew up with dogs and have had them our entire lives. We worked with them in every capacity from breeding, raising them and training them. We are adaptable and flexible to meet our clients scheduling needs. We are licensed and insured members of Pet Sitters International and earned the Certified Professional Pet Sitter designation. We will be attending a national pet sitters conference to learn the best techniques from the top leaders in the pet industry.

How many dogs do you walk in one day?

We average about 30 dogs per day. We need more walkers because there are more dogs than walkers!

What’s your favorite dog-centered movie or TV show?

Marley and Me (But not the last 10 minutes!)

What is your favorite animal-centered nonprofit?

Saved Me Inc. is a nonprofit organization that is focused on saving dogs & cats from shelters that are forced to euthanize due to limited amount of space. They provide quality medical care, shelter, food, and a safe & healthy environment for our rescues.

Kathleen Lambert

Kat Cares Dog Walking and Pet Sitting

What inspired you to start a dog walking service?
I was working in corporate America and was very good at what I did, but I wasn't really providing a valuable service and I certainly was not fulfilled. When I was laid off, the opportunity to give this a shot was right in front of me. After doing some soul searching, I decided to put my faith in the universe and said, "If this is what you want me to do, then the work will come.”

I started very small, with just a Craigslist post and not much advertising. Slowly and with a lot of word-of-mouth referrals, my business began to grow. I am absolutely thrilled that my clients have placed their trust in me. I care deeply about my human and canine (feline and other) clients and am committed to providing the best service to them. Not a day goes by that I am not profoundly grateful for this opportunity...I always say, "I have the best job in the world!"

Why work with dogs? What draws you to them over other animals?
Dogs have an incredible desire to learn and to please humans. They are phenomenal examples of unconditional love! I find it to be an amazing thing to witness and very humbling.

What piece of advice would you give to all of your dog-owning clients?
Exercise your dogs as often as possible and provide boundaries for them! Walk them as often as your schedule permits, and make sure they know who is in charge (and it's not them). This takes dedication and practice, but you will have well-behaved and happy dogs as a result and a happier home for it.

What is your favorite dog product?
The “Gentle Leader” or “Halti.” It goes around the dog’s snout and makes walking with more challenging pups so much easier! It controls the dog’s head movements, thus keeping them from pulling as much. Also, a simple water spray bottle. A few squirts can curb unwanted behavior!

Who is your favorite celebrity dog, real or cartoon?
Verdell from As Good As It Gets

What is your favorite animal-centered nonprofit?

ACCT Philly is the region’s largest animal care and control service provider, serving the City of Philadelphia by contract. ACCT Philly manages the city’s animal shelter facility in North Philadelphia handling nearly 28,000 animals annually, from dogs and cats to small animals, reptiles, birds and wildlife.

Recent Posts
Leave a Comment!
This thread has been closed from taking new comments.