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Balboa Park dog lover says her job is a 'Walk in the Park'

Dorothy Agius walks and paints dogs with incredible 'Pet Portraits'

SAN DIEGO — How would you like a job where you set your own hours? A job that is always outdoors and allows you to stand out from the pack? In this Zevely Zone, I went to Balboa Park to meet a dog walker who turns heads where ever  she goes. "Good dogs," said Dorothy Agius who I spotted walking 16 dogs. When you take a stroll in a park, you talk and walk with those at your side. Which means, all day every day, Dorothy is talking to dogs. "Today is going to be a good day," said Dorothy. "Good boy Sonny, good girl Sidney."

Credit: Agius Pet Services

Agius Pet Services started 25 years ago. Dorothy loves walking dogs.  "They love life, they are cute, they are full of love unconditional love," she said. "We have Daisy May, Charlie, Beau." Not only can Dorothy name every one of them, but she also studies all 16 of their personalities. "Sonny is really sweet," she said. "I think they are all nice, they all have their issues, like humans do, ha, ha, ha."

Credit: Agius Pet Services

Dorothy believes in 'Zero Trace' dog walking which means when the dogs leave presents behind, she stops and picks up each one. For $35 a day, Dorothy will pick up your dog, take it to Balboa Park for five or six hours and then bring your dog home. "Depending on the weather we do two-to-five-mile walks. Then I pack them all back in the van and I take them home," said Dorothy.  

Credit: Agius Pet Services

Not only does Dorothy walk the dogs, but she also paints the dogs. "Oh, that is my heart," said Dorothy who often memorializes the animals that have passed away with pet portraits. She showed me the painting of her best friend Angus who died. "Angus was, I don't know if I can, I'm sorry," Dorothy was brought to tears just thinking about Angus who used to take these group walks with the pack every day. "Yeah, until the day he died," said Dorothy.  

Which is all the more reason to keep this tradition alive where the Chihuahua rides up top of her pushcart and the English Bulldogs ride down low. "Go on in, he usually gets in better, but I think you are scaring him a little bit," said Dorothy. "It's all good. It's just a camera, just a camera."

Credit: Agius Pet Services

Imagine commanding 16 canines, without one going after our News 8 cameraman?  "Leave it," said Dorothy. "Good dogs, keep going. Good boy Albe. That was very brave."  

One park goer marveled at Dorothy's skill with the animals. "I think it's absolutely amazing, I think she is like Cesar Millan that she has dogs of every single size," said Joanna. "They are all so very calm usually."

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Dorothy appreciated the compliment but admitted, "That's what people say but sometimes I do yell, ha, ha," said Dorothy. "Okay guys, you are knocking me out of the situation here." When sharing the sidewalk with 16 dogs is your biggest challenge you know your job is a walk in the park. "Good dogs, yeah!" Dorothy praised. "Excellent."

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If you'd like to learn more about Dorothy's dog walking service or her pet portraits go to her website by clicking here.