Humans of New York is the Internet's favorite inspirational photo blog. Covering whatever interesting characters photographer Brandon Stanton finds wandering the streets of NYC, the blog has attracted worldwide fame by taking the bold stance that randos are people. Although it's always popular, at times HONY has gone super-viral for not being racist, and for getting comments from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. But even its normal posts can be real gems, and this one is no exception. Yesterday, Stanton profiled a truly unique professional dog walker with a style all his own and an awesome story.
Here's the full text of the post:
I was a maître d’ at a restaurant for thirteen years. But one week I got a really bad case of pneumonia that put me in the hospital. While I was lying in that hospital bed, I was thinking about how I really didn’t want to go back to work. Then that motivational speaker came on TV. You know-- the one that has all those teeth in his mouth. And he said: ‘Think back to what made you happy when you were young! That’s what you should be doing!’ Well I grew up in the country, and I always had a lot of dogs, so I thought that nothing would make me happier than to be a dog walker. But I knew I needed to distinguish myself. So I decided to make a uniform. I smoked a joint and came up with this outfit. I wanted people to look at me and think: ‘If this man is walking our dog, and there’s some sort of major disaster, he’s going to survive. He’s going to fish for those dogs. He’s going to build a bunker and shelter those dogs until it’s safe to bring them home.’ After I finished the design, I got four of my friends to wear the uniform, and we borrowed all the neighbors’ dogs, and we walked them down 5th avenue while handing out business cards. I got five customers that first day.
Let this be a lesson to anyone who assumes all dog walkers are 24-year-old struggling comedians who are stoned all the time. Some of them are middle-aged paramilitary badasses who've survived a brush with death and are stoned all the time. That's much cooler.