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In the last class of one of my final college courses, the professor asked a group of advertising majors an interesting question – “If you won the lottery today and money was no longer a concern, what would you do for ‘work’?” To put it another way, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Easier said than done though, right?

As you may already know, I created Dash Dog Running over four years ago as a side business/project/hobby. For 40+ hours a week, I’ve paid my bills as an advertising copywriter. I’ve worked at two of Buffalo’s largest ad agencies. I’ve had interesting projects, great co-workers, and career stability. As far as jobs go, writing radio commercials and websites every day isn’t a bad gig, but it’s not exactly the answer to the question my college professor posed. So a few weeks ago, I left my agency as a full-time employee and embarked on a journey to find out if I can make a successful career out of combining two of my biggest passions: running and dogs.

One of my favorite things about Dash Dog Running is that it makes everyone happy. My human clients see the benefits that running offers, whether it’s weight loss, increased stamina, or improved behavior for their beloved pets. My canine clients have been known to remember what day we typically run, wait at the door when they hear my name, and greet me with elaborate, exuberant welcoming rituals. Even random people on the street tend to have smiles on their faces when they see us run by.

Ok, there was one cranky lady that yelled, “That dog shouldn’t be running!” out of her car while I was jogging with one of my two dogs, Maddie, a Pekingese/dachshund mix (I guarantee you that despite her tiny stature, Maddie could teach this women a thing or two about exercise, but I digress). Other than that, who could complain about a pooch having fun and getting some much-needed exercise? Especially when over half of dogs in the U.S. are classified as overweight and obese. Making even a dent in that statistic would make me a very happy person and proud business owner.

Having more time to devote to Dash means more taking on dogs, recruiting more runners, and adding more services. Maybe it’s overly idealistic and perhaps Buffalo isn’t ready for a full-time dog running business, but there’s only one way to find out.