Reader Rave: OB’s Own Dog Whisperer

by on July 5, 2009 · 17 comments

in Ocean Beach, Reader Rant

Editor: The following was sent to us unsolicited by Larry Kosta about his friend and OB Rag blogger Dave Gilbert. We knew Dave walked dogs for part of his living – the other part is as a musician – but had no idea of the depth of his love for our four-legged canine friends.

by Larry Kosta, Jr.

When I got to know Dave Gilbert a little better, I asked him what he did.  He told me he was a dog walker.

I thought to myself, is that really a job? This isn’t New York City.  Do people in San Diego actually pay to have their dogs walked?

Dave continued to tune his guitar and plug in his little boxes that littered the band room floor.  Still, thinking to myself, what kind of a job is that? Walking a dog?  When I was a kid I used to pick up the neighbors yard for $2.00 a week but I never thought that I could get paid for walking them.

Besides that, he’s a guitar wizard so why would he want to walk dogs anyway?

Flipping the channels late one night, I discovered Cesar Millan.  A man that created a reality TV show about dogs.  I actually watched a few episodes and I was digging Cesar’s cool and calm approach to some pretty vicious and out of control dogs.  I was really getting into Cesar’s show and how he dealt with the dog’s owners, which is apparently why their dogs are so messed up in the first place.

Like watching a NASCAR race and waiting for a crash, I kept waiting for Cesar to be ripped apart or at least get some kind of stitches, but no, it didn’t happen.

I asked Dave if he had ever seen this Cesar guy.  After all, Dave said he walked dogs too.  Hmm . . . Is Dave one of these guys thats not afraid of dogs? Like Cesar? A dog whisperer here, in OB?

Dave answered, yep, I’ve seen the show and I’ve met Cesar too.  Wow! What a trip!

Dave is a dog whisperer! Does everybody in OB know this about Dave?  Dave continued telling me that its not that easy, he doesn’t just walk these mean ass, bully dogs, he actually rehabilitates them.  Dave called it behavioral reinforcement.  He said that these walks are a way to achieve balance and at the same time teach these man eaters some social skills too.

Dave said the bigger, the meaner, the better!

I was totally stoked that Dave was not only a great musician but OB’s own, home grown Dog Whisperer.  Dave’s calls his business OB Happy Dog Walking Service.

This wasn’t meant to be an ad or commercial for Dave, but seeing that he writes for the OB Rag, and he hasn’t mentioned his dog skills, I thought the OB Rag readers should know that Dave’s not only a cool guitar playin dude, he’s also OB’s own Dog Whisperer!

{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Gilbert July 5, 2009 at 10:40 am

Wow! Thanks Larry, you rock dude!


annagrace July 5, 2009 at 11:14 am

Patience. Insight. Faith. Humor. Compassion. Music. And a good time. All rolled into one- Dave Gilbert. Thanks Larry. Dave- You rock.


Dave Gilbert July 5, 2009 at 7:13 pm

ahh thanks annagrace, that’s such a nice thing to say. I hope you know I’m one of your biggest fans too!

I should point out that not all of the dogs that I walk have issues, it’s just that I won’t shy away from any that do.

Also, I believe that ALL dogs need to be walked everyday if possible for them to reach their full potential as a family member.


CarolJ July 5, 2009 at 8:19 pm

You are pretty special Dave. Hannah and I love and miss you!


Joe Tricoli July 5, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I’ve had the pleasure to work next to Dave, know what kind of person he is and experience where his heart and passion is for these dogs. We have been through some same trials in life the one’s we care not to visit again. I’ve seen him with the rescue dogs, dogs from the animal shelters, ones from terrible homes that have to be reintroduced to caring families. This does take a special touch, compassion, love, and a lot of patience.

Some of you know him in O.B. and some in the band scene. In each person you may know there is a special GOD given talent or gift if you want to call it that. Dave sure has this gift for the love and care with these dogs. I haven’t seen him for a while but I hope he’s reading this. He does deserve the press (pardon the expression) and the recognition. Keep up the great work Dave. May GOD bless you and the dogs.

Friends for life
Joe Tricoli


jon July 6, 2009 at 7:57 am

Great story! Dave, I take back all those awful things I said about you.


lane tobias July 6, 2009 at 8:05 am

Having dave gilbert in OB is a perfect fit in such a dog-loving, music-loving, good-people loving environment. Ever since Ive gotten to know dave, Im amazed at how positive his outlook always is. Thank you for pointing it out for all to see!


Molly July 6, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Dave – that better be coffee in your hand, dude. LOL


Dave Gilbert July 6, 2009 at 4:05 pm

You guys ALL rock! I really appreciate the extra love ;)


Dave Gilbert July 6, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Oh, and yes Molly it’s coffee lol! My routine was and still is to go see my favorite coffee girls (on Voltaire & Cable) and then head down to Dog Beach with my own dogs. The handy thing was that when the coffee was gone I could fill up the empty cup with all of the broken pieces of glass that I’d find in the sand.

These days though I use a reusable mug. It saves on litter and they usually charge me less too ;)


jon July 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm

OK Dave, now that we’re scrutinizing your photo, I wanna know who the rockin’ dude on your shorts is? Is that Clapton or Jesus? Or are they one in the same? And where can I get a pair?


Dave Gilbert July 6, 2009 at 7:59 pm

Well Jon, that would be my all-time favorite, Jimi Hendrix.

I bought them at the Red House Tour Bus at our Street Scene a few days before 9/11 happened. I don’t think they’re still offering that style with Jimi at San Jose in ’69 tho.

Probably the best Street Scene I’ve been to as well, it as an awesome show, the Sex Pistols rocked there too!


jon July 7, 2009 at 10:36 am

Nice! You know my fiance named our cat Jimi. We’re big fans too. Although in hindsight we should have named him Sid Vicious!


Dawn Dunsmore July 9, 2009 at 10:34 am

You’re so awesome Dave….and humble! I knew we had the critter-lovin’ thing in common, however, I did not realize how much so!


Gretchen Gilbert August 7, 2009 at 8:05 pm

It does this mom’s heart proud to read all of these wonderful comments about my son. I can see that Dave has found a real niche in O.B. Thanks for honoring him here in this way. My first awareness of Dave’s love for dogs came when he was 4 years old and watching a Disney program about a dog that was scared of a broom. Maybe some of you remember this program. I saw it recently on the DIsney channel. Tears came to Dave’s eyes as he watched the fear that the dog was experiencing. This was the first time that I noticed Dave’s expression of empathy in that way for another living being.

Dave’s musical talent showed up early. He sang to himself in his crib (when he was supposed to be sleeping!) LOL. I may have a very convenient memory, but I’m pretty sure that he sang on key, too. I remember his singing “Away in a Manger”. I thought all kids sang on key, but I later found out otherwise.


Dave Gilbert August 7, 2009 at 9:38 pm

Ahhh, you’re the best Mom in the world!!! ;)


Sunsine August 18, 2009 at 10:30 am

Thanx for the insite, Larry, on another wonderful member of our OB community. How totally cool that we all live here in such harmony.

And to Dave….all this love and gooshie comments from Mom too?!? You rock dude!


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