“There are already three dogs with me in the car,” she warns us.
Why was the meeting with Tammy Pieters set for 6:45 a.m. in front of Montreal East City Hall Park, when she lives in Montreal North? It’s because she keeps a Doberman named Mila… with her masters. “It’s the first time they’ve gone on vacation. Mila is a survivor of Lebanon and she is very anxious, ”says the trainer and dog walker.
In the backseat, Mila tames Tammy Pieters’ dogs, a standard poodle and a Boston terrier named Hitch and BB. She must get used to it since a little later in the day, we will be nine living beings on board.
On the control panel are post-its with the names of all the beasts that Tammy Pieters and her contractors (she’s desperate for more!) will take to the air during the day, whether to walk or go to the dog park. This makes you dizzy, as do the many sets of keys in the central compartment.
“It’s a lot of management,” agrees Tammy Pieters. Besides, the ringtone of his phone will be heard countless times.
“I have a big industry in the East and there’s a whole range of clienteles,” she points out.
Another cliché to let go of is that dogs are better off in big houses than in small apartments. “The important thing is what you do with your dog and when he sees other dogs. »
From the first stuffed animal that Tammy Pieters has to pick up, from an elderly woman with health problems, we can see how much she is also a confidante for animal owners.
Tammy Pieters does business with couples who have canine disagreements. And like a sitter, she has to reassure “parents” by sending them a photo of their animal. “They just got on the plane,” she said after reassuring Mila’s masters.
Tammy Pieters has been surrounded by dogs since 2006, which suits her solitary nature, which she explains by spending four months in an incubator after her premature birth, and her need for stability caused by multiple moves.
Tammy Pieters wanted to be a mother, but changed her mind when she learned that hers suffered from schizophrenia. A mother who died of cancer just before her father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “My life hasn’t always been easy, but I’m blessed,” insists Tammy Pieters.
From then on, she began to read everything she could about canine psychology. “I was going to the dog park to film them. Learning their body language, how to correct others,” she says as we get caught up in traffic congestion on the Metropolitan Highway.
It was by doing volunteer work that Tammy Pieters established a clientele and found her calling. Even treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma didn’t stop her from working in 2015. “Lucky I had my dogs,” she says before picking up Angus, a 140lb pooch who’s in pain. the paw.
It’s obvious when we arrive at the Jean-Talon dog park in Saint-Léonard, where we will go twice a day: everyone knows Tammy Pieters. “Hi, Angela,” she says to a Russian-born woman who arrives with her two big beasts: Boris and Adele.
Angela had written to Tammy Pieters earlier to be at the dog park at the same time as her. “Boris is a dominant dog and Tammy knows how to help me calm him down. »
“Everyone talks to each other here. We have sangria drinks on Friday nights,” says Nancy Digiulio, introducing us to Rex, a former street dog from Italy.
Suddenly, the hearts of everyone in the park stop beating when a little off-leash dog comes within two hairs of causing an accident while crossing Jean-Talon Street.
Conclusion: The Pomeranian jumped out of the window of his owner’s car. “He heard the other dogs,” said Tammy Pieters.
The deep nature of different dog breeds and their need to socialize should not be underestimated. “The pack spirit comes through,” she says as we drive the second cohort of dogs back for the day before taking on a third in Rosemont.
We had proof of this with Mila. After seven hours in his company, it was a completely different hound frolicking in joy at Pelican Park. “We can see that she is fine,” rejoiced Tammy Pieters.
The schedule for the rest of the day? Two other individual walks, calendar management, not counting the night at the masters of Mila.
Strange to sleep over with clients? “My work is so physical that at the end of the day, I fall asleep! As long as I’m with my dogs,” says Tammy Pieters.