Last summer a client had friends watering their extensive garden so that I might spend my entire time with the cats. They are two sweet, well socialized kitties and I spent most of the time playing with them and listening to one trilling in delight.
When I left, the watering friends greeted me and then hesitantly asked if I was the niece. Standing there with my set of client keys and a file folder I said,” No, I am the professionall pet sitter”.
Apparently this friend found it hilarious that they were using a pet sitter because she laughed and could barely speak as I politely said goodbye and moved away to my car.
I estimate that 60% of our new clients tell me in our initial conversation that they have used friends, relatives or neighbors and no longer will be doing so because they have been disappointed. The reasons are as numerous as the people but there is a theme. The “sitter” failed to show up is a frequent reason- And the “sitter” didn’t really care that they didn’t go! I’ve also heard that let a cat or dog out who was lost, or didn’t fill the water dish or scoop the litter for a week. I’ve heard stories of parties or just plain bad care. Sometimes the new client simply feels they can’t impose anymore.
Somehow the idea of hiring a professional was funny to the woman I encountered today, but I have discovered that people who are responsible pet owners want to properly care for their animals. They worry if they are not sure their pets are being cared for properly or that the animals may be stressed. They have found it so simple to just call their pet sitter who has their keys and full care instructions. Some have told me they feel better knowing I run a business that is fully insured and that I pay taxes.
We try to make it easy for our clients to leave their pets in our care. We really do care about these pets and try to engage them in exercise and mental stimulation. A big compliment we enjoy is our clients calling to say they have returned and that the pets are relaxed and not frantic, as if they had been gone just a few hours rather than weeks.
Its okay if someone thinks my profession is funny. What is not funny is someone not being responsible for pets and leaving them with someone unsympathetic, incompetent or worse: with no one. I wonder sometimes if there were an emergency what would happen to the pets that no one was caring for. Sadly, as a sitter I have had to handle client emergencies. I was glad to be there to help.
I have been caring for pets professionally for over 20 years. It is such an elegant solution for pet care that more and more people are choosing pet sitters to care for their pets and home.