THE DOG WALKER

A recent college graduate, Nadir Samara makes more money walking dogs in Brooklyn than he did working for an insurance company in Philadelphia.

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Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.

 

Aired on August 18, 2017, October 20, 2017, March 30, 2018, and December 2, 2019.

TRANSCRIPT

MY FAVORITE PART OF DOG WALKING IS DOG HUGS.

WHEN YOU OPEN THE DOOR AND DOGS JUST JUMP UP IN YOUR LAP, WHAT'S UP, BUDDY?

HOW YOU DOING?

IT IS THE BEST THING.

I MAKE FILMS, MUSIC, ALL THAT CREATIVE STUFF.

WITH DOG WALKING I WILL COME HOME VERY PHYSICALLY EXHAUSTED, MY LEGS DON'T WORK HALF THE TIME.

BUT BECAUSE THE WORK HOURS ARE REALLY FOUR HOURS A DAY, MAYBE FIVE, I CAN BE WAY MORE CREATIVE WITH THE LESS HOURS I HAVE IN MY DAY TO DO WHAT I WANT.

MY DEFINITION OF MAKING IT IN LIFE IS DOING WHAT YOU LOVE FOR THE RIGHT REASONS AND STILL SUPPORTING YOURSELF AND THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE THAT NEED TO BE SUPPORTED.

IT IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT.

MY NAME IS NODDER AND I'M A DOG WALKER.

♪♪

TODAY WE WALKED TERESA IN THE AM.

IN THE PM WE WALKED CARL, TEDDY, RUBY, ARCHIE AND TUCKER.

BEAUTIFUL.

YOU'RE SO BEAUTIFUL.

LOOK AT YOU, LIKE A MILLION BUCKS.

WHEN I WAS YOUNGER I WAS TERRIBLY AFRAID OF DOGS.

I COULDN'T STAND 'EM, AND BASICALLY MY BEST FRIEND HAD LIKE FIVE OF THEM.

SO KIND OF GETTING TO KNOW HIM AND BEING AT HIS HOUSE I CAME TO GET OVER MY FEAR AND STARTED TO LIKE DOGS, AND NOW I LOVE, LOVE DOGS.

IT IS A DREAM COME TRUE.

TO BE OUTSIDE PLAYING WITH ANIMALS, YOU KNOW, FIVE DAYS OUT OF THE WEEK.

I MOVED TO NEW YORK IN AUGUST OF 2016, AND THE REASON THAT I MOVED HERE WAS BECAUSE I GOT A COUPLE OF JOB OFFICE IN THE FILM INDUSTRY AND THAT'S WHAT I HAVE MY DEGREE IN.

SO I FIGURED IT WAS TIME TO MOVE.

I LIVE IN FLAT BUSH, BROOKLYN RIGHT NOW.

I HAVE TWO ROOMMATES.

I LIVE IN A THREE BEDROOM APARTMENT.

MY RENT IS $700 PER MONTH.

WHEN I WAS WORKING IN THE CORPORATE SIDE OF INSURANCE COMPANY IN PHILADELPHIA, I WAS MAKING ABOUT $50,000 A YEAR.

MY CHECKS RANGE FROM ABOUT, OKAY, THE LOW END WOULD BE $600 AND THE HIGH END WOULD BE LIKE $825, MAKING $400 MORE A WEEK ACTUALLY WALKING DOGS.

CARL WAS A TRIPOD, A THREE-LEGGED DOG, AND HAS TEN TIMES AS MUCH ENERGY AS HALF THE FOUR-LEGGED DOGS WE WALK.

DO YOUR THINK, CARL.

YOU DOESN'T HAVE TO LIFT A LEG BECAUSE THERE'S NO LEG TO LIFT.

EVERYONE KNOWS RUBY.

EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY ABOUT RUBY.

IT IS GREAT AND ADORABLE BUT IT CAN BE A PAIN SOMETIMES.

THE BIGGEST HURDLE FOR ME AS A DOG WALKER IS THE FACT THAT WE ARE IN BROOKLYN, THE CITY OF BROOKLYN HEIGHTS IS ALMOST ENTIRELY TOURISTS.

I KNOW THAT PEOPLE'S REACTION IS TO LIKE MAKE KISSY FACES AND THAT STUFF TO DOGS.

THE PROBLEM IS THAT BY DEFINITION YOU'RE DISTRACTING HIM.

IF I HAVE FIVE DOGS IN MY HAND AND TWO ARE LOOKING AT YOU, THEY'RE PULLING AWAY FROM THE PACK.

THEY'RE ALL SUPER NICE.

THE OTHER MAIN HURDLE WOULD BE DOGS THAT LIKE TRASH OR BIRDS, THAT KIND OF STUFF.

WE WALK A DOG CALLED KATIE WHO MAY AS WELL HAVE PULLED ME OUT OF MY SOCKS BECAUSE SHE DOVE AT A SQUIRREL AND A BIRD AND IT WAS LIKE YANK, YANK.

DIDN'T FEEL GOOD.

♪♪

PAUL IS A FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS, THREE BROTHERS, A MOM AND DAD ARE INVOLVED.

IT IS TIGHT-KNIT COMMUNITY THAT I REALLY ENJOY BEING A PART OF.

IT IS A LITTLE WEIRD BECAUSE WE'RE INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS SO I'M NOT GOING TO GET A TAX RETURN.

I GET 1099 INSTEAD OF W-2.

MY SALARY RIGHT NOW IS COVERING ALL OF MY EXPENSES.

I AM SAVING -- A LOT OF MY FRIENDS JOKE AROUND WITH ME, OH, MAN, IF YOU MEET A GIRL AND OUT AND SHE SAYS WHAT DO YOU DO, DO YOU SAY LIKE A FREELANCE FILM MAKER OR ANYTHING?

I KNOW, I ENJOY WHAT I DO.

CARL AND TUCKER WERE NEXT TO EACH OTHER.

I WISH I HAD GOTTEN TUCKER FIRST INSTEAD OF CARL JUST LOGISTICALLY.

TEDDY BIT ON HIS LEASH I BELIEVE FOR THE THIRD TIME.

HE LIKES TO EAT HIS LEASHES.

I AM EXTREMELY PROUD TO BE A DOG WALKER, NOT BECAUSE OF THE KIND OF JOB IT IS OR IS NOT BUT BECAUSE OF THE WAY THAT I WAS RAISED AND THE WAY THAT I BELIEVE THE WORLD WORKS.

IF YOU ARE PAYING YOUR BILLS, YOU COULD BE ANYTHING.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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