BlogWalking

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Just Walk DC was started when Meg Levine took over a free lance route from Joshua Stephens in early 2011.

Meg Levine worked for a dog walking company for two years in Van Ness, DC before moving to New Orleans to work at a veterinarian's office. In late 2010, Meg moved back to DC and took over Just Walk while Joshua moved to New York.

From there, Just Walk DC grew in North West DC and on Capitol Hill. In May, Shira Pilarski officially came on as an apprentice and started expanding her route in NW, DC and Meg moved most of her attention to her route on the Hill.

2012 saw further expansion for Just Walk in DC.  In the spring, Meg and Shira were joined by Kit Wagner, and Just Walk's coverage expanded to cover Capitol Hill, northward and westward to Logan Circle.  In the autumn, we again expanded, adding Rob Santucci to the team so that all four of us could focus on more concentrated areas of our overall coverage area.

In the spring of 2013, Shira left Just Walk for an opportunity in DC's public library system, and was replaced in Just Walk by Madison Smith.

In the autumn of 2014, Rob left to return full-time to graduate school, and we decided to downsize the collective rather than replacing Rob, and in January of 2015 Madison moved away and was replaced by Coreen Puetz, formerly of the DC Humane Society.

Though it took some time to gain our footing in a new locale, Just Walk's Baltimore branch is now well into its second year. Growth has been steady and has proven to accelerate exponentially over time. Right now, we're in the process of bringing on yet another collective member and we really couldn't be more excited.

All of us were dogwalkers well before Just Walk came into the world, so it's very likely that we would all be working our same jobs no matter what the circumstance. The fact that we have been able to turn simple jobs into meaningful careers as part of real project with political ramifications means that all the sweat and insomnia have been made with their while.

The last year hasn't simply centered itself around expanding our client base and paying ourselves a bit more each month, but also around constantly refining our model, so that the project becomes not only a sustainable source of income for all of our collective members, but also an enduring example of the benefits of worker self-management.

Even in the few short years that Just Walk has been in existence, we have worked tirelessly to find and weed out weaknesses in our model, while also putting to use and expanding upon every small success. Even the easiest part of the job, the part where we actually get to walk the dogs, is one that we're constantly trying to find ways to improve.

From animal CPR certification, to expanding our formal training skills, all the way to our pie-in-the-sky dreams about what the project might someday be, we are constantly trying to make our services, our jobs and our lives better and better.

As we now wade into Spring, one that promises to be filled with new challenges for all of us, both as workers and activists, we hope that the work we love continues to sustain us in new and fascinating ways. This new website and blog that you're reading right now are hopefully the first steps in that direction. If nothing else, you can certainly count on the reliable service that we pride ourselves on. But, with so much change (social, political, economic) on the horizon, we think it's a safe bet that we'll be evolving more than ever before. We hope you'll join us as we walk down roads old and new.

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Ethical Dog Walking and Pet Care Services

Just Walk is an employee-owned business providing dog walking services in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, MD. We believe dignity ought to have a central place in pet care -- for clients, for animals, and for workers.