Our very first Dog Walker of the Month is Greg Clarke, whose claim to fame is his ability to tackle a ton of hour long walks daily. He has been working with NYC Pooch for almost 4 years, and has made a mark between 88 and 97 streets on the Upper West Side.
But like many of us, he wasn’t always a dog walker.
After graduation from college, he moved from Florida to New York, a writing degree under his belt: “I actually started as a cinema studies major [at University of Central Florida] with the intent of applying to the film school, but I switched to creative writing at the end of freshman year and focused on poetry mostly…” Greg told me. He had been writing since he was a kid and taking workshops in college was something that made sense to him.
I was interested in how he got to New York from Florida. To me, that seems like a move not taken lightly. But he said that New York was a place he grew up knowing well–his parents had once lived on Long Island, and had stories. So the move after college was easy. Finding a job was another story.
After a tough experience at an office job, Greg looked up from all the paper work and saw that dog walking in New York was an option. In fact, he was introduced to it by a friend who was already working as a walker. “…I was so excited about it that I just started applying to every dog walking job I could.” He laughed. And he landed one with NYC Pooch! And we’re lucky to have him.
Greg is a hard working and natural caretaker for the pooches on the Upper West Side. And like his dedication to dogs, he has the same focus on other aspects of his life! He still writes and dabbles in film, both creating and appreciating the arts. He helped edit his college’s magazine, took martial arts, and he is an avid climber.
“…I was a little freaked out by heights, and I wanted to try to conquer that.” He explained, saying that in 8th grade he and some friends went to a camp with a climbing gym. They joined a team after that! He still frequents gyms, and even ventures into nature.
“I don’t know, I’ve only really climbed the East Coast…” Was his response when I asked about his favorite place to climb. “…but my favorite spot is probably a place in Alabama called Horse Pens 40.” I did a little poking around, and Horse Pens 40 has a huge amount of Native American history, and during the Civil War, people would hide their horses in the natural rock formations. The land supposedly got its name from it’s first recorded deed.
We circled back to to Greg’s creative side. His favorite fiction author is David Foster Wallace. When it comes to poetry, however: “…right now, I’m going to say Jim Daniels. Ask me tomorrow and it would be different.” Understandable!
When it comes to Greg’s film side, he loves both the critical and fun. “Larry Fessenden…is kind of my hero…He runs a small studio out of Brooklyn..” He draws a lot from horror, occasionally keeps up on blogging, and is getting ready to shoot his first feature. Meanwhile, he gave me one of his shorts to share with everyone! But a heads up, there’s a little bit of language.
Thanks, Greg! We appreciate everything you do!