The first time I saw professional dog walkers was when I was posted in New York City as a foreign correspondent in 1999.
Here in Istanbul I mostly saw stray dogs. Not surprisingly as many pious Muslims consider dogs to be ritually unclean.
The last couple of years I see an increasing number of young Turks in affluent hoods proudly walking with their dog on a leash. Turkish friends told me they want to show off as they have their dog as a status symbol of a modern, western Turk.
But many of those dog owners have busy schedules and have little time to walk their dogs.
What is the solution? Individuals who are paid by dog owners to walk their dogs for them. Some dog walkers will take many dogs for a walk at once, like these ones.
In some countries and jurisdictions dog walking businesses must be licensed and have animal first-aid-trained employees. Not in Turkey.
Wikipedia tells me that in the United States, the first professional dog walker ‘is believed to have been Jim Buck, who in 1960 launched his dog walking service in New York City’.