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Meet Alyssa Rosenthal of Leash LA in Highland Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Rosenthal.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I moved to Los Angeles from the Northern California mountains to pursue a career in makeup and film like so many do, but quickly found my heart longing for something different. It’s sometimes hard to admit to yourself that a dream you’ve been chasing for so long is no longer your dream; but, once I was able to accept that it’s ok for dreams to change, I focused my energy on new dreams which included a terrifyingly exciting career change and have never looked back.

I knew, I needed to be outside with Mother Nature and I knew I needed to work with animals. I worked for a few years with another dog walking company and realized that this was it! This is what my heart had been longing for. So, I eventually branched out on my own to found Leash LA! I’ve been working professionally with dogs ever since and I couldn’t be happier!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’m not sure any road is truly smooth and I’m not sure that I would want it to be.

Those bumps and cracks in the pavement of life build character and show you just what you’re capable of. So, no. It wasn’t a smooth road and honestly still isn’t. Being a small business owner is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I face new challenges and celebrate small triumphs almost on a daily basis! Aside from the straight up business side which surely exists and may have taken the most actual learning, caring for people’s loved ones comes with loads of things you need to assimilate and it’s is a huge responsibility that I take excruciatingly seriously. If you have pets imagine the amount of detail you give to the people coming in to care for them, now multiply that by 50 – I remember it all! In part, because I feel I have to but more because I care to. Shelby will quickly overheat if it’s above 73°, Walker can’t walk on bark chips because they blister his paws, Milo will throw up if you let him drink too much water after the walk, Tommy, Ethel, Zach and Lulu (all poodle mixes) are prone to foxtails hiding in their coat, the list of specifics goes on. Not to mention remembering everyone’s address, alarm codes, to text the owners, how much food they get, who’s scheduled when, what dogs can go with whom… sometimes, my head feels as if it will explode with the amount of information I pack in but it’s all information I find necessary and honestly love having. That can be overwhelming, to give so much of yourself to so many different dogs and people.

Scheduling 50 clients and finessing a schedule that meets everyone’s needs is a full-time job in of itself that I don’t actually have the set-aside hours for but still somehow manage.

Setting boundaries have been brutal. When it’s your business office hours aren’t really a thing. At least once a week I say to myself “don’t take calls or respond to texts or emails between the hours of 7 PM and 7 AM” and every week I break that rule. I want to be in yes mode but figuring out the off switch is necessary and a skill I’ve not yet mastered.

Of all of this, through one of the hardest things every single time is when a dog you’ve grown to know and love has to leave this earth, you just can’t prepare your heart for that. Sometimes the loss is sudden and you wake up planning to see their furry face later that day and you get THAT call and it just runs a dagger right through you. I’ve had people suggest that I need to find a way to separate myself but that’s just not me, it’s not something I can do. I care about each and every one of these dogs so completely, it’s important that I connect with them, to build that love and trust. I’ve known some of these clients since they were puppies and to face the reality that nothing lasts forever and that death is real and it’s going to happen, well that just never gets smoother.

Leash LA – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Leash LA provides structured dog walks and hikes and provides basic one on one obedience training.

I feel that the way I run and structure my company is a bit different than that of the average dog walker, it’s important to me to provide not just the physical element on a walk but the mental as well! Creating a respectful human to dog relationship that promotes healthy habits and sets appropriate boundaries for the dogs is important to me and I feel it sets me apart. I think that overall I’m most proud of providing educational inspiration to people that book with me. I love seeing families with calm happy dogs and I love helping them fulfill that either with training or walks!

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is a glorious cocktail of failure, growth, and happiness. You need all three in my opinion. If you don’t fail, you can’t learn, if you don’t learn you can’t grow, and without growth, those brilliant blooms that make it all worthwhile never come to fruition and happiness evade you.

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