The 1st opportunity for New Client Sign-Up is 10/1/15
SEE YOU SOON!!!
*** NOTE: CFPS IS ON VACATION UNTIL 9/19/15***
The 1st opportunity for New Client Sign-Up is 10/1/15
SEE YOU SOON!!!
Binky and Lilly in Missouri outside on "The Property."
Believe it or not Lilly was kept outside in her former home. All the time. In Arizona.
THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS AN OUTDOOR DOG.
Especially in Arizona. In the Summer.
Yes Folks, in 2015 I still meet...face-to-face...morons who intentionally leave their dogs outside.
In the Summer.
Oh, you don't like that word? "Moron is a term once used in psychology to denote mild intellectual disability."
How about this word? Ignoramus: "a person who does not know much: an ignorant or stupid person."
OK...you tell me. What word would you use? Be honest.
I thought about this post quite a bit; contrary to what you might be thinking at this moment. It was of course triggered recently by yet another person...described as above, who tried to hire me for pet sitting, but intentionally keeps their two dogs outside. The reasons matter not, how the confrontation went down between them and me also matters not.
I thought about writing on damaged psychology of the dog who is forced to live out of doors. I thought about discussing the different cultural implications of certain races, religious upbringing, and regions of the US and world who believe in the "concept" of "Indoor" and "Outdoor" dogs.
Yes...I thought all that through.
Here's the thing; I am so far from that "concept" of the "Outdoor" dog in my own mind that I suddenly realized why I get caught by people like this. When I say "caught" I mean that I've been sucked into making an appointment and actually taking time and gas to go to their house to sign them up as pet sitting clients, only to be severely shocked by their animal "care" practices that I have to immediately and abruptly walk out.
In my mind I am still so appalled by certain people's animal care practices that I've formed some kind of mental block about it. I actually believe...until I have a shocking reality check that 90% of the people out there "must know" these things are wrong.
This is progress, however. Really. After 23 years...and counting....of being a professional pet caregiver I finally know why I still get caught. So there's that.
But I can't NOT include some of the reasons why there is NO SUCH THING AS AN OUTDOOR DOG in this post.
Mind you the following reasons apply for any dog in ANY state...not just here where last week it hit 119 degrees in parts of the Valley...where the moron-ignoramus-insert-name-here tried to become my client.
DOGS ARE PACK ANIMALS THAT THRIVE ON COMPANIONSHIP.
When I arrived at Mr. Moron's house and met the two dogs for the first time, they were so desperate for attention they continually climbed all over me and were trying to hang on my arms and body in a "hugging" fashion. Basically they were pleading at me to be saved as hard as they could.
BACKYARD DOGS HAVE MORE BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS.
Mr Moron complained that the dogs would not "stop" acting "this" way. Don't worry...I told him why they acted "this" way.
BACKYARD DOGS ARE HARDER TO TRAIN.
Mr. Moron also complained that the 1st dog was "fine" until he got the 2nd dog. Then the 2nd dog would not house-break. It was then...he claimed that they were delegated to the back yard. I took one look at that 2nd dog...a very intelligent and calm (once he figured me out) Pittie and I knew I'd be able to housebreak him inside an hour.
Interestingly, the wife said she couldn't have them in the house because she was severely allergic to them.
BACKYARD DOGS HAVE HIGHER RATES OF EUTHANASIA.
I almost told Mr. Moron that he had one too many dogs...but I quickly realized that he had two too many dogs. I also realized it didn't matter anyway. That household is so screwed up...those dogs will soon end up at the Pound. I'm certain of it.
Moral To The Story:
Since at this stage in my career I can still be fooled by these kinds of people...I now realize it's not my fault. I am continually progressing and staying on top of modern animal care practices...yes, because it's my job...yes, but I do this job because it takes a certain type of person to be able to do this kind of job. A kind of person I would never want to be any different from. Never. Ever.
Also, you folks out there. Yes...you. Do you know people who do this? Do you live next door to some? Do they reside in your neighborhoods? Are you guilty of it yourself?
Why have you allowed it to continue? I don't want to hear your excuses. I want to you to look at yourselves in a mirror and ask yourselves...WHY. Why have I let it continue?
Read these articles: This one. And this one.
If you have read these articles....and this post, and still don't see a problem...do your dog(s) a favor and find them a home where they will not be continually forced to suffer out there.
To everyone else; give your dogs/cats/birds/ferrets/turtles...whatever you got; an extra hug...for me...and for those two poor dogs, who I'm sure will suffer a lot more before anything changes in their lives. Think of them...send positive thoughts. Please.
Clockwise; Shirley, a Poodle; Bailey, a Chi X Terrier, and Jesse a Chihuahua.
I'm currently visiting Shirley, Bailey and Jesse three times a day while their parent recovers from a broken hip.
So what do you do if you've got a similar situation? Certainly it's a little easier when you have elected surgery coming up and you have some time to search for a pet sitter.
Little Jesse likes to get up close and personal!
But, in an emergency situation you really have no way to get somebody to come in to care for your animals, unless you've got close-by relatives, whom you've got a great relationship with...AND they've already got a key to your home.
I've been doing this type of work for a long, long time. I guarantee you that that is not the norm. Many people live far away from their family members...especially in retirement states like Arizona. In addition to that they are not that close with family members in the first place.
Shirley is the most attention-getting hog (dog) I've ever met!
So what happens? A frantic call to neighbors (if the number is available), and then an apologetic request for them to come in and care for the pets.
Ah...but what if you think the way your neighbors care for their own animals is....well...this short of abusive? What if because of allergies your neighbor wouldn't go near your kitty with a ten foot pole? What if your neighbor travels for his job?
What if the adult neighbor you called assures you she will attend to your pet...but instead sends her eight year-old child to do it, instead?!
SHHHHHH...don't tell Jesse and Shirley, but Bailey is my favorite!
You'll want a professional...especially in this situation. You'll want to be able to concentrate on getting well...stressing about your animals all the time is not going to allow that.
Now...while you are calm...and not injured, or in the hospital, search out a pet sitter. Write out all the things you do everyday on a regular basis for your animals. Write down the kind of foods you buy for them...the supplements; where you keep their leashes, dishes, toys...etc. What are their habits?
Do a weekend test-run, with a new pet sitter. Try two, or three. Heck, it could be fun...you'll be getting away for a coupla weekends, to boot. Why not?
Your critters will thank you for it!!!
One of the reasons people want to hire a pet sitter like me, is because I am a one-woman show. I'm not a big, impersonal company with a lot of employees....who you meet the first time...me...is the same person who'll do the actual sits. While this is convenient for some, I noticed that because I'm NOT a big company people forget that I AM in spite of that...still a company. A company that I rely on for income. Though I do this work out of an undying love for animals...I do the job to make an income. Not only that but I have real company expenses, such as insurance, a large phone bill, website expenses, gas to buy, supplies to buy, and office equipment to purchase. AND...I have to pay more in taxes. Creature Feature Pet Sitting, LLC is a real business whether people want to remember that or not...it is, no matter what.
Having said all that, I've noticed an unfortunate trend. First let me give you some context: Most pet sitters do not like doing Overnights and Live-Ins. The reasons are varied, but there are some common themes; that being that time is taken away from their own families and homes (especially difficult at holiday times); all chores are put on hold and their own animals get less time from them. Personally, I have changed my OWN vacation dates countless times to accommodate requests. Not to mention that it takes special attention to detail by sitters to fit in the short-visits that other clients book at the same time that the Overnights and Live-Ins are booked.
As a result many pet sitters do not do them, or rather than just coming out and refusing the job...they will charge an extraordinary amount for the service....thinking all along that there will be no takers.
In the last 2 years or so the pet sitters who used to do Overnights and Live-Ins in spite of all these challenges are no longer doing them. Many pet sitters have retired...indeed those folks who pioneered this type of service in the 1980s are now in their 60s and 70s. Many have taken other jobs as a result of the recent economic crash, and others have simply moved away. Still others are just tired of the treatment by some clients that I will explain about shortly.
As a result of this pet sitter shortage I am seeing an uptick in people contacting me and inquiring about Overnight and Live-In service. At the same time established clients are booking that service sooner and sooner in advance. As much as six months in advance in many cases. You see they know they have to get their requests early to get me.
But, since I am a one-woman show that means that I am turning away anyone who inquires about the dates that are already booked...after all I am one person and can't sleep at more than one person's home at a time. Also, these bookings are more often than not made at the peak times for traveling, which are holidays and summer. Which means if someone has booked a Christmas Live-In in July....I am turning people away for SIX months! So when that service is then cancelled even a few weeks before the scheduled sit...I am out that money, as everyone who I turned away has already made other accommodations.
In conclusion; the very reason that clients chose me as their pet sitter...has turned out to be a double-edged sword for me.
As a result I am forced to create a no-exceptions policy regarding Overnights and Live-Ins. That whenever that service is booked, and please be sure about your choice, as now it must be paid for in its entirety at the time of booking....and there is NO refund. And this is even if...and especially if you cancel.
You know when I started pet sitting professionally in 1992, I had one page for client information...just one. Now I've got five. They are full of disclaimers, policies, and a lot of bold capitol letters. I have always been fair and professional in my business practices, and I have a lot of business experience, so it's not paranoia or passive-aggressiveness that has caused this red tape procedure.
I'll just leave you with that thought.