Friday, September 5, 2008

Pet sitter burn-out

I can’t afford a vacation. Like everyone else in the world, the economy is hitting me hard. The good news is my pet sitting hasn’t fallen off as much as I had feared. School in Poway started two weeks ago, almost three weeks earlier than other years, and that put an end to summer vacation. The September Slump in my business started early.

I try to take advantage of the slow periods, and remind myself that it always picks up again. A week before school started, I thought to myself if I didn’t get a break from so many dogs, I would go insane. Six very active dogs a day staying here, five of my own dogs, and pet sitting visits on top of that. Then I suddenly had a week completely off, and I was a vegetable the entire week. I don’t think I left the couch except to take a long-delayed ride on my horse!

Looking at my calendar I see some more frantic periods coming up, the busiest being Thanksgiving and Christmas. I am already fully booked for boarding. But there is a week in September and a week in October that are full too, with young active dogs. And a cat staying here.

How will I survive? How will I cope with all this constant activity at the house? By taking it one day at a time. If the dogs get too fired up, I will put them outside for awhile and let them play (if it’s not too hot). I will retreat to my bedroom (off limits to all dogs, including mine) for a nap. I will crate a dog for an hour if he won’t settle down.

I will stop for a latte on my way out to do visits. I will count my income daily and pat myself on the back for working so hard. I will have an occasional meal with friends so I can talk to a human being! I will stop and enjoy the pets I am sitting, and spend some individual cuddle time with each of them. It reminds me of why I decided to do this in the first place. Because these animals are so sweet. I may even take along a book and sit on the couch with a cat on my lap for an hour.

I will go out for a horseback ride and enjoy the quiet time with my horse or with my friends. I will take one dog for a nice long walk. I will eat well, take my vitamins and get enough sleep. I can do this! 

This photo features several of my clients playing hard and having fun- and ready for a good nap afterwards! © 2008 Terry Albert


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