Our April MVP: Michael Schiff!

by Chun-Soon on May 1, 2010

All our Walkers work hard every day, braving the wind, rain, and a whole host of dog-walking challenges on the mean streets of Brooklyn. However, each month we feature one person who rises above the storm, above and beyond the call of (doggie) duty — above all others.  This month, that Walker is Michael, our man in Prospect-and-Crown Heights. Though he is a relatively new addition to the Team, Michael has proven himself to be one of the most compassionate and hardworking people we know.  His positive attitude and devotion to the company make him this month’s MVP!

pB: Michael, what’s your favorite part about walking dogs for a living, and how did you wind up with pB?

Michael: My favorite part of the job so far is when I’ve been able to win over a more challenging pooch.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the natural born sweethearts to pieces – but there has been something particularly rewarding when having to earn the trust and affection.

And I ended up at pB the best way possible – through the kind referral of a previous MVP!

pB: Has it been everything you hoped it would be? What’s the most challenging part about your job?

Michael: Oh, I would say more so! For one thing it has introduced me to breeds I had never had any personal interaction with before. Just as an example – who knew how much I’d love Pit Bulls?  Not me before pB.

For me the biggest challenge is the same as with any job – and I’ve had many from film and TV production to corporate database coordinating – and that’s mustering my start-of-the-day initiative.  By the time I arrive at my first walk I’m flying smooth though, and the dogs have a huge role in this.  My time with them is simply more rewarding than past jobs have been, and everyday is guaranteed to be different!

pB: What’s the funniest thing that has happened when you were on the job?

Michael: Well, I can’t seem to get over their instinct to roll around in the grass.  Something about that expression of glee always makes me crack up!

pB: You’ve only been with us a month, but you do care for some of our more “special needs” pups. You’re so patient!

Michael: Patience is indeed the key.  Look, we all have our quirks and we all have them for a reason.  I just remind myself that for some of these pups we don’t even know what their early experiences consisted of.  Sympathy is much more productive than judgement in such cases.

pB: What’s one thing you would say to someone thinking of becoming a dog-walker?

Michael: That’s an easy one. Always remember that your first priority is the animal, and not just safety (which is a given) but general best interests – regardless of the weather, your own mood, etc.

pB: What else do you do, when you’re not walkin’ those dogs? Who IS Michael Schiff?

Michael: Michael Schiff is first and foremost a lover of all things creative.  I majored in film and am always in the midst of writing a screenplay.  I also adore theater, music, dance, and the fine arts – and seek to surround myself with people involved in or at least passionate for these things.  I also place a great deal of stock in remaining genuine (which, incidentally, is a big plus amongst canines and felines alike). Being genuine doesn’t always go hand-in-hand with professionalism, as many of us know far too well, but I find it incredibly interesting to constantly pursue a reconciliation between the two.  I’ll save my political and existential beliefs for another interview!  :o)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Chun-Soon Li May 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

hooray on being this months MVP, Michael! And thanks for the shout out 🙂 Looking forward to our next walk with the pups together.

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