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“I haven’t done too much playing in concert as of late,” says singer/guitarist Dave Gilbert, “so I started the OB Happy Dog Walking Service.”


He says the doggie duty requires walking from six to twelve miles each day, making the job more consistent than musician work, despite playing in three local bands at the moment. “Club owners don’t pay their acts much, if anything at all. You can make decent cash playing casinos, but it can also destroy your musical soul if you play strictly for pay.”

 Gilbert launched his canine sideline by posting tear-off flyers around O.B. and Point Loma and, more recently, commissioning promo T-shirts from local poster artist George Davis. “Working with dogs is my Zen,” says the longtime animal lover. “I was born in the Year of the Dog, so I think that gave me a leg up, so to speak. The past few of years of dog walking have taught me a lot about patience and understanding.”  

He says Happy Dog rarely conflicts with his show schedule. “It was a lot harder juggling music gigs back when my day job was working in the automotive industry. Not to mention few gigs are as lucrative and steady [as dog walking]…I really wouldn’t want to be in another tribute act.”

 Some of Gilbert’s dog friends have shown their own musical aspirations. “I recorded my Rottweiler barking on an improvisational piece I was working on called ‘Rockweiler.’ And then I had a dog that didn’t like it when I would jam on my axe. But, when I sat the guitar down, she did a mean Jimi Hendrix-style solo, playing it with her teeth.”


“Hahaha, even my dog plays guitar!”

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