Thursday, November 11, 2010

Petsitting- a 24/7 job and then some

The view of the pool
“Honey,” she said as she passed her husband the phone, “It’s the cat lady…”

What a great name for a business, I mused: The Cat Lady. Except most people would call me the dog lady instead. On this day I was the cat lady, and I was visiting a new client to arrange care for their cat, Sweetie, over Thanksgiving.

Pet sitters can make a lot of money this time of year, but it is a lot of work too. Every morning this week I have been out before 7 am, letting two dogs out for a run and feeding them breakfast. Their owner invited me to make myself at home, and I did. I enjoyed my coffee and the hilltop view of the pool and the city while Lily and Whitty ran laps around the yard.

Lily and Whitty and the view
Each evening at dinnertime I am back, feeding them and giving them another run. A neighbor comes over before bedtime to let them out, or I would be back at 9 or 10 pm for one last outing.

Whenever I have dogs that need to be let out, I am out early and late every day, and sometimes a third visit in between. Then I do all my once-a-day kitty visits and come home and relax awhile before the afternoon rounds.

When I was married, this was a harder schedule to keep. I used to do my late-night visits after my husband went to bed at 9 pm. Sometimes I had to be out at dinnertime. I’m sure having kids would make it even harder to schedule pet sitting and still have a family life.  

Last night as I sat watching the Country Music Awards, thinking my workday was done, I got a call. My client was stranded in San Francisco, and they didn’t want their old dog outside all night. Could I go get her? Of course. So off I went. I was tired, but I like the people and the dog a lot, and I wanted to help them out. “Pet care” is also “caring.”

Boarding dogs at my home has eased up some of the running around, but now I never get away from my client dogs. I have to care for all of them–and my own dogs and horses–before I head out on that 7 am visit.

Holidays are even tougher. This is when we make our most money, but we end up sacrificing our holiday with the family. I always give myself a few hours in the evening to have dinner with friends, and my family comes down on another day to celebrate. It’s hard to leave a party and head out to do petsits, but that is what we signed up for, and those pets and their owners are counting on us. You can take time off in January.

Meanwhile, plan a few hours off here and there over the holidays so you don’t burn out, so you can see your family and friends, and so you have some fun!

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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment:

The Pet Lady said...

You're definitely right about pet sitting being more than a full time job. I'm a pet sitter in Corona, California.

Thanks for posting,
Corona, California