This month marks the 2-Year Anniversary of our wonderful petsitter Ariel Parrella-Aureli joining our team! Time has really flown having such a blast with this girl. She joined our team as a young Columbia College freshman in late 2014, from Sante Fe, New Mexico. The urban midwestern life was different from back home where she used to fly planes in the desert, but Ariel has only thrived in Chicago.
Ariel now writes for her school’s newspaper, The Chronicle, when she’s not out walking all of our furry friends. Though it does limit her time with C_UP, we couldn’t be more happy for her that she’s found two things she loves to do. She’s worked with a handful of our clients for the full 2 years she’s been with us as well. Check out what longtime clients Lena and Zack's experience has been with Ariel as she weighs in on her time with us so far, below!
“She's looked after our dog [Ruby] we've never had any issues and Ariel has been able to keep our minds at ease while we were away from home...She goes out of her way to make sure that everything is taken care of and hasn't ever cut corners. Not only do we trust her, but our dog does as well. It feels like Ariel has become part of our family and we couldn't be happier. We are pleased to have found her through Chicago Urban Pets. Congrats to Ariel on 2 years!” - Lena and Zack P.
What's your favorite part about the job?
My favorite part about the job is hanging out with dogs, meeting new dogs and loving dogs! Also exploring the city by walking is a huge advantage.
Have you overcome difficult situations while working this job?
I've overcome hardships by listening to my gut and not being afraid to ask the owners questions if a problem arises. Communication is key!
Can you take away any skills from this job and apply them to your developing career?
Any skills that I'll take away... professional yet friendly client interaction and writing updates improve my personable skills and will help me in my writing career. I do a lot of that in my journalism job!
What do you hope to be when you “grow up?”
Haha! Umm... a person with a job that I love and that can get me near animals in one way or another!
What does being a dogwalker/petsitter mean to you?
Being a dog walker to me means spending time with my four-legged friends and taking on a simple responsibility that demonstrates trust and commitment.
Cheers to you Ariel, it's been a wonderful two years of many yet to come!
Your dog’s snoot is way more powerful than you could have ever imagined. Yes, they actually must stick their nose in your crotch and smell every other dog’s butt. To us homo sapiens these are two big social taboos that, aside from very dirty looks, would get us arrested for assault. To our brethren canines though, this is simply how they gather information according to Alexandra Horowitz, canine cognition specialist at Barnard College.
Following the very successful Inside Of A Dog, her latest book Being A Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell delves into all the questions we humans have about why dogs just have to stick their nose in everybody’s business. Alas, there is a reason! In the visual world we created for ourselves, dogs see with their nose, explains Horowitz. This past week she gave an interview to NPR’s “Fresh Air” program which you can listen to here. Listening in to this program Horowitz speaks more about her research between dogs and that ol’ olfactory system.
Horowitz also suggests taking your pup on a “smell walk” from time to time. So next time you’re out with your floof and they go into donkey-mode to smell something, indulge them. It’s their natural instinct, but more importantly it is how they understand our world and live in it. As a dog-walker, I like to call these “smelly days” when I don’t walk very far with a pup because they sniff everything along our route.
A dog’s sense of smell is mesmerizing when you stop to think about it, especially when it’s so much more amplified than our own. Even their exhale increases the amount of what scent they can pick up, versus our exhale that eliminates any smell we are sensing. How cool is that!
With the release of her new book, Alexandra Horowitz is headed to Chicago to do a special book signing and luncheon at the Union League Club of Chicago on Thursday, October 20th, 2016 at 11:30am. Tickets can be purchased at this link to attend the luncheon, and books are available for sale at the venue as well. If you’d like just a copy of her book, you can purchase it here in all forms paper and electronic.
Check out more about Alexandra Horowitz who has contributed to TED Ed, the Smithsonian, and the New Yorker. And don't forget to buy your tickets to meet her in person below!