When Blake Rodriguez was growing up on the Lower East Side, his parents would take him out to Staten Island to visit extended family. His favorite part of those trips was hanging out with the Rottweilers.
“I was fascinated that a 200-pound dog would listen to a little kid,” says Rodriguez, who now makes his living teaching dogs to listen to their humans—and vice-versa—as the proprietor of Dream Come True K9, a behavioral training, walking and boarding service.
After growing up dog-less in the Hillman Houses, Rodriguez adopted a shepherd mix, Soco, during his college years at SUNY-Potsdam. Soco was his first dog-training project, and is often at Rodriguez’s side as he makes his rounds collecting and dropping off his furry clients.