Walking the Dogs of Worcester with Michael Cronin

This week’s latest call began with a chance encounter, when a Worcester Magazine reporter looked down the sidewalk as he strolled through Elm Park and noticed a business card reading ‘Professional Dog Walking’ lying face up on the sidewalk. This business card belonged to Michael Cronin, who spends his afternoons walking dogs in Worcester’s many parks part-time. Last Call called the phone number on this card and caught up with Cronin to chat about dog walking apps, furry friends and the city he calls home.

Can you tell us about your current gig?

I only have about five clients in Worcester and I can cycle there. I guess it’s not ironic, but I wrote the word “professional” to reassure that my business was going to be professional. I like being independent, and it’s easier for me to do that and more low-tech. I just meet the person, usually by text, and keep all the profits. I do not take photos or videos. That’s how I like to do. I wanted to go do it myself last fall, which seems a long way off now. I had the idea to do it in the summer and really started working last fall.

Did you also walk dogs before that?

I was doing the dog walking apps before that, Wag! and Rover. Few people are on Rover. Wag is much easier, but my Wag days were when I decided I had to go. I was in Boston and took many walks, sometimes two a day, and eventually got kicked off the app. Their criteria for expulsion are quite broad, so I had three different cases of “I can’t do this, I can’t do that”. The error is human. I don’t miss the app and it was really chill to be let go.

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