- Language Tips
Ma Wendi is used to curious glances when she walks six teddy bear dogs at the same time.
They are not all hers - the 25-year-old veterinary graduate is a full-time dog walker.
"I have to take care of 12 dogs at most," said Ma, a graduate of Jilin University.
She lives in a 70-square-meter apartment in downtown Beijing and keeps the dogs in her sitting room.
Just like a dog kindergarten, the owners drop their pets off in the morning and pick them up in the evening.
She charges 500 yuan ($80) a month per dog, and most customers leave their dogs at her house for a week.
She has served more than 50 customers, a dozen of whom are regular ones.
The busiest time is around Spring Festival, because many people go back to their hometowns for family reunions or go traveling.
"Compared with people who have to be in their offices during the day, I don't have to get up early to squeeze into the subway carriages in rush hour, and I still make a decent salary," she said.
"But it's a tiring job. I have to work whenever there are dogs at home, and no time to enjoy myself. Sometimes I want to go out for a meal or shopping, but I can't do so because I worry about them," she said.
Most of the dogs she takes care of are small, including Pomeranians and poodles. She knows all the dogs' names, and when she calls one's name, the dog instantly knows she's referring to it.
Ma Wendi, a 25-year-old full-time dog walker, walks 12 dogs in her downtown Beijing neighborhood last month. [Provided to China Daily]