Chuck McCarthy was looking to make some extra cash. He thought about walking dogs, but “Who wants to do that?” So, he went down the only other logical path and decided to walk people.
He walks humans for $7 a mile around the streets and park near his home, pioneering an alternative to dog walking that requires no leash, just an ability to walk, talk and, above all, listen.
The idea initially struck the underemployed actor several months ago as a joke, an imaginary way to make extra cash, until it became real.
“The more I thought about it, the less crazy it seemed,” said McCarthy, draining a bottle of water – he now takes hydration seriously – and heading out into the sunshine for another walk, this time with the Guardian trotting in step.
A homemade scrawl across his T-shirt declared him The People Walker, low-budget, mobile advertising. “I’ve been doing walks almost every single day for the past week and I’m getting repeat clients, which is what you want.”
There is something that is really wonderful about this idea. Between the joy that McCarthy brings to his work and the idea of having someone to take a walk with, talk to, and keep you safe, it seems like he could really make a difference in someone’s day.