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July 02 , 2009

The Dog Walker

An Anarchist's Encounters with the Good, the Bad, and the Canine


A dog book for the 99%, The Dog Walker is a hugely entertaining look at the world’s greatest job—by an activist who spent a decade as a dog walker for the political class

Dog walking: it’s every eight-year-old’s dream! You spend your day outdoors; you interact exclusively with silly, loving, ridiculous dogs; and you get paid for it. But the reality is . . . well, actually, the reality is pretty great, too, at least according to the anarchist Joshua Stephens’s eye-opening account of the dog walker’s life.

An Anthony Bourdain of the dog walking set, Stephens reports on what every master of the trade—and every informed consumer—needs to know: always keep a spare set of keys, always have references, and never, ever board your beloved pet. But Stephens also goes deeper: he shows us what dog walking reveals about everything from gentrification to street harassment, and why radical empathy must always anchor every interaction—canine or otherwise.

Rich with hilarious anecdotes, brilliant observations, and a powerful political conscience, The Dog Walker calls to mind David Rakoff at his most sardonic—if, that is, Rakoff had been an anarchist who walked dogs for a living. An irreverent and perceptive fish-out-of-water story, The Dog Walker is totally irresistible.

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