OAKLEAF – The middle school brainchild of a doggy poop scooping business received a social media shout out Sunday from “Dirty Job’s” host Mike Rowe for finally proving “when it comes to …
OAKLEAF – The middle school brainchild of a doggy poop scooping business received a social media shout out Sunday from “Dirty Job’s” host Mike Rowe for finally proving “when it comes to [number two], somebody’s gotta be [number one].”
Kyle Graham, 13, founder of Call of Doodie Pet Waste Removal, has received a huge amount of attention since Rowe posted the Facebook message Kyle wrote to him. Rowe even cited him as an inspiration. At press time, the post was had already reached 93,000 likes and more than 12,000 shares on Facebook.
“He does dirty jobs and I think my job is pretty dirty, so it would make a lot of sense to talk to him,” Graham said. “Not a lot of people like doing jobs, but the money is there.”
The description on Graham’s company website reads, “It is my sworn duty to help you win the war against your backyard doodie. Once a week our Special Forces will invade your yard and take out those dirty, stinking land mines that your best friend leaves behind,” which about sums his business model up.
Graham founded his business approximately a year and a half ago and said he rakes in about $250 a week. Graham’s customers pay a $40 monthly fee for him to come in once a week – prices vary depending on the number of dogs and frequency of pickups. Graham also offers a onetime pickup fee.
Business has been good for Graham. In his short entrepreneurial stint, he’s already raised enough money to buy a 17-foot bass fishing boat for $3,300. But he isn’t stopping there, he has set his sights on a newer year Jeep Wrangler next so he can hit the mud dunes with his friends.
Graham’s mother said she is amazed at the feedback he has received through Facebook messages and email, but is even more blown away at the offers from companies he’s received through Rowe’s endorsement of Graham’s dirty job.
“I think this just in and of itself has taught him so many life lessons in such a short time,” Jennifer Graham said. “The importance of saving for something you’re interested in like a boat, now a jeep. The life lessons, even as simple as having clients that call his cell phone. How many kids these days don’t have cell phone manners?”
Kyle said the work was hard at first, but once he became accustomed to a routine of going out at his scheduled times to clean up after his customers’ dogs the work became easier for him. Of course, the added bonus of a steady income brings a smile to Kyle’s face.
The tools of Kyle’s trade are simple, a double layered plastic bag, rubber gloves, a five-gallon bucket and dog treats. No doubt the dog treats speed up customer turnover.
Jennifer said there could even be an opportunity to franchise and hire employees if the business continues to pick up. Kyle said he would consider it and isn’t sure exactly what career path he wants to travel. He said he would be content with dirty jobs his whole life as long as he gets to continue owning his own business.
“Just depends where there’s a niche, but this seems to be working pretty good at the moment,” Kyle said.
Next year Kyle makes the switch to Clay Virtual Academy as he enters eighth grade. He said he could use his time more effectively in an academic setting outside of the classroom. However, Kyle will take all of his electives at Oakleaf Junior High, which is within walking distance of his home.
Kyle likes soccer, mudding and fishing, so he’ll continue to do all of his favorites regardless of how many customers come busting the door down.
Currently most of Kyle’s customers live in his neighborhood, but he hopes to branch out and pick up new customers wherever he can – and soon his schedule will be even more flexible to handle it.
But until then, he’ll continue picking up his dog Tebow’s poop in the backyard for a monthly fee of electricity, food and the gas money to drive him to all of his customers.
“Somebody’s got to do it,” Jennifer said.