A dog lover before he took up running, Clayton Roth discovered that long runs with his young Black Lab, Lucy, was the perfect remedy for her hyperactivity. After research, planning and practice runs with friends’ dogs, he opened his dog-running/ walking/sitting business, Canine Cardio of Rhode Island, in 2012. You can spot him any given day running with the pack on the East Side.
Do you have any favorite breeds? What makes someone a favorite client?
I run with Border Collies, [they] have tons of energy. Black Labs and Rhodesian Ridgebacks are fun and I walk a Mastiff – a 160-pound ‘big boy.’ [My] favorite customers are those
who are very involved in their dogs and know a lot about them.
What are some pet (pun intended) peeves?
On Blackstone Boulevard there are really fast drivers who think it’s a two-lane road; you never see a cop over there. At crosswalks... a line of ten cars driving and no one stops [for a pedestrian]. Isn’t it state law? And dog owners who are on their cell phones and not paying attention or have their dogs off-leash.
Do you have any favorite East Side running venues?
I do quite a few runs on Blackstone Boulevard [where] I love people watching. I see familiar faces [who are] quite the cast of characters. The field behind the JCC is nice to chase balls. Basically, all the open fields are good. I mostly run around the neighborhoods where most of my clients live. There are quite a few dogs that I walk on Benefit Street. I like walking in that neighborhood – it’s historic with big homes.
With such modest fees, how do you make the economics work?
I do an off-leash dog group walk with four dogs [with] an hour of swimming, running, etc. The off-leash group is a good thing. A lot of dog walkers won’t even do single dogs. I guess I’m not in it to be rich. Even my friend who had a dog walking business said, “You shouldn’t do the single runs,” but that’s what got me into it. I really enjoy it.
Ever have a bad day at the office?
I could be having a bad day – [if I’m] really tired and hungry – and then the dogs are happy to see me. It’s made me appreciate the small things in life. It’s a great job.
A Professionally Certified Dog Walker and member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, Roth is certified in dog and human CPR. Contact him at 919-2267 or visit his website.