In a perfect world, no one should ever have to kennel their dog. For dog owners who travel, either for business or vacation this can cause a dilemma. That’s where I come in. Yes, in my neighborhood I am The Dog Sitter; kind of like Robert Redford from The Horse Whisperer except with less hair, more chins, a bigger belly, and a bum knee.
No Need to Apply
I didn’t ask for this position, it just seemed to fall into my lap. The folks across the street like to camp and hunt and since they watch our cat when we are away, it’s only natural that I would help with their dog Maddie. My buddy next door travels a lot so somehow I’ve practically adopted Jasmine. The folks behind us are good friends so I am more than willing to watch Calvin when they vacation. The funny thing is: I don’t even have a dog, I’m a cat guy.
Some Tips for the Dog Owner
If you want a friend or neighbor to do a little dog sitting, usually all you need do is ask. That’s a biggie though. My buddy next door has gotten so accustomed to me watching Jasmine he just says, “Oh by the way, I’ll be out of town next week.” I assume this means I’m watching the dog but being asked would be nice; throw in a “Please” is even nicer.
Spell it Out
Make sure your dog sitter knows what needs to be done. Does Fido need to be walked? Are there any medications involved? Does it matter what time the pooch eats? That’s a biggie because I work nights and when my buddy is gone, Jasmine and I do brunch, not breakfast.
Some dogs need to be walked while others can get by with their own backyard jaunts. Calvin from the house behind me needs to be walked. Actually if you ever saw us on the street you would say Calvin is walking me. All my neighbors have their own backyards with doggie doors so the dogs can be in or out as they please; I basically just have to feed them. If you’re asking someone to come over and walk the dog every day or worse yet have the dog stay with them, you’re asking an awful lot. Either it better be a really good friend or you should be paying them.
Paying for the service
I really don’t know what a fee should be for dog sitting. My services are free because they are my neighbors, it’s not that big a deal to just check on and feed their dogs, and they help me out too; that’s what good neighbors do. That doesn’t mean a little present wouldn’t be appreciated, though I really don’t need another t-shirt from Vegas or a coffee mug from the Atlanta airport. Jasmine’s owner, my buddy from next door has been promising to take me to dinner. The problem is he’s been promising for three years. Don’t be like him.