The Six Questions
Who: Rich Henry, 41, of Oakland
What: He’s a 6-foot-8,270-pound former bouncer and rock band security guard who runs a dog walking and doggy day care business in Oakland.
When: In 2010, Henry took his savings and bought insurance and a license to open Oakland Dog Walker. He started a dog blog and website, www.oakland-dog.com, and linked them together and began getting calls.
Where: Joaquin Miller Park is Henry’s favorite place to take “clients.” “I do morning walks, evening walks and I work with dogs that need to work with socialization and basic training,” he says. Henry also sends photos and text messages to the animals’ owners to show them what their dogs are doing while they’re at work or on vacation.
Why: Working in security is no walk in the park. “I’ve had everything from gun threats to people pulling knives on me — and who wants that?” he says. Henry even tried working a desk job at an Internet start-up in Emeryville, but his blood pressure soared, and his weight jumped to 350 pounds. He’s lost 80 pounds since starting his dog walking business.
How: Henry walks up to 20 dogs a day with the help of his girlfriend, his brother and a friend. He says he’s been training for this job all his life. “I’ve always been a dog person. Even when I was little, my mom called me Dr. Doolittle. If you see me on the street, I’ve got all these tattoos and the size — but once you get to know me, I’m not really a tough guy after all.”