Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably seen this meme or heard this song making the rounds on the internet. “Toss A Coin” is a real ear-worm. If you don’t know what it is, I’ll take a moment to explain it you. This is from The Witcher, a fantasy show that follows Geralt of Rivia, a witcher, as he wonders The Continent hunting monsters for coin. Think of him as a bounty hunter of sorts, but only he hunts the things that go bump in the night. The guy in the picture is a bard, Jaskier, who takes it upon himself to extol the virtues of the Witcher to the various people Geralt helps along the way and make a little coin in the process for both of them. Countless memes have spun up around it, but for the people in my profession (and professions similar to mine), we have found an odd way to relate to both the song and the character it depicts.
While I wish I looked as handsome as Henry Cavill, I have some similarities to the character he plays. Geralt gets paid to hunt monsters, and admittedly, it’s rarely the people that have a lot of money that hire him. In the books, show and video game (all of which are great), Geralt is rarely hired to hunt monsters by rich nobles or kings. Usually, it’s poorer people, farmers and peasants, that offer him their coin in exchange for his services. And occasionally, he gets the question “Why can’t you do it for free?”
I don’t fight monsters, not real monsters anyway. The scary things I fight are in your dogs head and the fear that your dogs behavior creates in you. And while I think it would look pretty cool to wear armor and a sword, the truth is that my “weapons” are little more than a clicker, a treat pouch, knowledge, and patience.
Why don’t I do it for free? Well, mainly because good intentions don’t keep the lights on or food in the belly. In an ideal world, I could do this without charging people money. And while I know that some of you think my prices are high, you may not understand the costs that go into being a dog trainer. Even for a sole proprietor like me, there are a lot of expenses of operating. Supplies, maintenance for my vehicle since I don’t have a facility, gas, insurance, business licenses all factor in. Then there are expenses that people don’t think about, like continuing education costs. My certification, and certain professional memberships, require me to continue learning and to provide proof of that. Those classes are extremely expensive, most around $500 or more. And of course, there’s a powerful need to eat in there too. So, for now, I have to charge, and I charge appropriately for my services. I’d love to do this for free, I really would; but until I get my T.V. show and become a celebrity, I have to make a living.
So, toss a coin to your dog trainer, and your groomer, and your vet, and your dog walker. Remember that this is a mostly gig economy right now; and that while you shouldn’t break the bank, you should remember that others are trying to make a living as well.
As a side note, I would like to take a moment to thank you all for your patronage and support. I have seen a 159% growth in my business this last year. I could not do this without the amazing clients that I work for, and for you I am eternally grateful. Thank you all so much!
Happy Tails everyone!