Rae Borsetti was the kind of kid who always crossed the street to pet a dog.
At 24, she’s not much different—but this time many of the dogs come to her.
Borsetti, a Hampden resident who grew up in Owings Mills, has started her own dog-walking and pet-sitting business called Sunshine Dogwalking, because she missed the animals when she started a teaching career after college.
Borsetti started walking dogs while she was still a student at American University.
“I grew up with dogs—a golden and a bichon frise,” Borsetti said. “So in college, I got the idea to be a dog-walker, and I started advertising on Craigslist, and I started walking a few dogs on my own there.”
Her business expanded to pet-sitting, and soon she had an established clientele in D.C.
But it's not always easy.
“I was walking this rottweiler, and she was so sweet, so sweet, so sweet to me,” Borsetti said. “When she finally decided she did not want to go for a walk—I think she was beginning to be become a little bit arthritic—she was like, ‘Nope I am not going for a walk.’ I reached out to put her leash on, and she bit me.”
Borsetti doesn’t hold a grudge. In fact, she laughed while she told the story.
“You’d think I’d be scared of dogs after that,” she said. “It was just a warning bite. I’m sure she could have done more damage if she wanted to. She was just letting me know.”
One of Borsetti’s favorite dog-walking experiences involved two large dogs—a Weimeraner and a Rhodesian ridgeback—who were “highly squirrel-oriented,” according to Borsetti.
“I would walk them together on a street with many squirrels,” Borsetti said. “I would just hold their leashes, knees bent and leaning back to counterbalance the pulling so that I looked like I was skiing.”
Now in Baltimore, living with an Australian cattle dog and two cats, Borsetti volunteers at the Maryland SPCA and is working on building her business.
“So far I have done a handful of pet-sitting jobs, and am still trying to build up the midday dog walking thing,” said Borsetti, who will accept clients in Timonium, Towson and Baltimore. “I go out and walk and give my business cards to people all the time.”
Borsetti also works part-time at Timonium’s Earth Treks Climbing Gym.
Seth Murphy, the director at Earth Treks, has known her since she first started climbing at age 10, and said he would trust her with more than his dogs.
“I would trust her with my kids!” Murphy chuckled. “I would trust her with anything. She’s a great employee and an even better friend for sure.”
For more information regarding services and pricing for Borsetti's dog-walking and pet-sitting business, visit the Sunshine Dogwalking website.