He lets the dogs out

Dog walker

Pay: $17 per hour

Mr Keith Low, 18, loves dogs.

The final-year student at Hwa Chong Institution has been a dog-walker for the last two years.

He has walked german shepherds, shetland sheepdogs and terriers.

Even with his A levels looming, he continues to help another family walk their golden retriever, Simba, once a fortnight.

He says: "If I don't walk Simba, it will feel restless and won't get enough exercise.

"Dog walking also lets me take my mind off books and is good exercise for me."

When his school holidays start, Keith will walk two dogs every week.

Keith's interest in animals started two years ago, after he saw a stray cat captured by pest controllers.

He thought of keeping a pet, but his family was against it.

That's when he began posting ads online and through his blog, Singapore Tails, offering to walk other people's dogs.

He sticks to familiar routes along pavements, through parks and playgrounds.

He says: "Sometimes, Simba gets excited when it encounters cats or other dogs. I must prevent it from getting too close, or it might get injured."

Dog walking has also allowed Keith to better understand animals.

He says: "A dog can't tell you what it's feeling. To gauge its health, you have to read cues like its behaviour and the condition of its stools."

And it can be a messy job. Whenever a dog defecates - sometimes twice during a walk - he cleans it up.

But he says: "Every time I see a dog eager for a walk, my heart melts."

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