Monday, August 2, 2010

Ashley's Pet Service

I spent my long weekend animal sitting! Yes, I have a few clients in the neighborhood whose animals I look after when they are away on holiday. I had three clients this weekend: I stayed at the Danes' house with them for a few days and a couple of nights and popped in during mornings and early evenings at two houses to feed cats, bring newspapers in, water plants, change litter, etc. I really enjoyed it.

It's so nice to make money, feel productive and needed and also, of course, hang out with animals! My puppy Pounce, included, who I walked and ran with. By the way, his first birthday was this week!These are some of the animals' adorable antics:

  • Male Great Dane slobbered all over my arm in hungry anticipation as I put his bowl food of food under his giant head.
  • He and his sister watched me pick up after them, laughing. Okay, not laughing.
  • One of the cats meowed beggingly to be let outside, but when I opened the door she wouldn't go outside. Instead, she looked up at me like I was an idiot.
  • She kneaded my bare shoulder. Ouch! When I said "Ah. Ah. Ah. Ah!" She dug her claws in harder! This is sadistic affection, I guess.
  • The cat at the other house was sitting in the garden one day when I came over to feed him.
  • He nuzzles my legs and meows when I'm putting his wet food in his bowl at the counter; then when I put it down, he eats ravenously. I put his food back into the fridge and collect my things. As soon as I walk to the stairway that leads to the door, he races me to it. I have nearly fallen down the stairs rushing to get to the door, open it and close it behind before he gets to it! Then I hear him meowing inside and I worry I've closed it on his tail, so I open it a pinch to make sure, then close it again. Phew!
Unfortunately, now I'm sneezing and wheezing a bit because I'm allergic to cats! I try to get in and out of their houses quickly, but it doesn't always work. If I wasn't allergic, I would stay and cuddle more often. They're so cute!

I have new animal clients too! A couple who live in the street behind mine have a four month old German Shepherd. My mom ran into the woman earlier who relayed a pickle she was in: For two days this week her and her husband's schedule don't allow one of them to let the dog out at noon and 4 pm. So my mom offered my services to her! I met the puppy. He's sooo cute and playful, of course. He's a bit rowdy, but, having taken care of a Great Dane puppy, I was able to subdue him. When he jumped on me, I pushed him off. Then I stood up and, like his owner instructed, I picked him up by the collar and said "No!" After doing that twice he left me alone. He kept jumping on my mom, though! This dog weighs 50 pounds, so I'm going to have to watch him carefully and be very firm so he doesn't knock me over. Soon, he will know I'm boss just like the Danes do! I'm excited to pet him and play with him!

On our walk home, my mom and I talked to a woman up the street from us. I said, "You have a dog, right?" She said they'd put it down two years ago. "A black lab right?" She was impressed with my memory. Anyway, I told her about all of my clients in the neighborhood and she said it would have been much more convenient for me to have looked after her cat while she and her family were on holiday. So she's going to remember me for next time!

I feel so excited about all this. It's perfect for me because I love animals; I could use the money and I've been feeling pretty good. I want to get a lot of work regularly until I start school in January, but I don't want to put up posters. I don't want to work for people and animals I don't know. Plus, there are already a few posters in my neighborhood offering similar services. Word-of-mouth seems to be effective to me. My clients really appreciate me and have recommended me to others on occasion. I think that's so special. People really trust me with their animals and their homes. It's also great for them because I charge so much less than kennels and drop-in services:

$20 per day for a dog(s)
$10 per day for a cat(s)

These fees are standard no matter how many times I have to go in to see the animals. It includes everything from feeding (washing bowls too, of course), changing litter, feeding fish, bringing mail in, watering flowers, etc. It would include walking too, but I haven't yet had a client whose dog was small enough for me to walk.

This used to bother me because I love to walk and I love dogs, but now that I have Pounce, I walk him! Wow. He's a year old now. I can't remember what life was like without him. It's so nice to come home to him, cuddle him and walk him. He's also very cute, eh? I looked after him even during periods when I really wasn't feeling well. My mom did most of the work, but I enjoyed having something to care for, instead of just being cared for myself.

I've been doing well for about a month now, so it's nice that I get to care for animals regularly! I'm kind of paying for it now, though. All of that walking has really tired me out. I always want to sleep! Also, my legs are especially fatigued. It's work to stand or walk for more than a few minutes a lot of the time. They hurt when I'm standing or walking. I have to push myself to get up from the chair. That's it, though! And I'm perfectly mobile and not very wobbly.


  1. Wow, you're cheap! :)

    But I mean that in the best way.

    The sitters around here get like $25.00 an hour (depending on the services).

  2. I've just come across your blog and find it inspirational. It is great that you've got this pet business happening. Will be wonderful for you..:)

  3. Hey, that's not bad money for doing something you enjoy.
    Watch yourself on those stairs, my dear.

  4. I don't know if I could ever do what you did. I don't think I have the energy. It's a good job though.


  5. Pounce is so adorable! How nice to find something which earns a bit of money AND feeds the need to cuddle with so many wonderful pets. :c)

  6. Good luck with the pet sitting business. If I were closer - lots closer! - you could add Gunny to the mix!


  7. Pounce is adorable. When I saw the picture, I, at first, thought it was a toy stuffed dog.

    Your prices are quite low. If I lived nearby I'd hire you, not just for your rates, but because you seem to love animals and take good care of them.

  8. Pity you aren't in Boston; I have three totally mad mutts you could look after for me when I go away!

  9. thinking of walking dogs myself!very soon......mind you I never stop with my own!

  10. Animals are wonderful. I have finally learned to love dogs; not to be afraid of them. My other three children all have some so I had to!

    I'm glad you found my blog and came over and commented. So now I can come here and meet you. You are very inspirational and I'll be back to read more.

  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog... reading some of your previous posts you remind me of my 25 year old daughter. Trying to find her place in the world while her friends are buying homes, getting married, having children... but like I tell her, your time to shine will come.
    Animal daycare... if you can make money doing something you like to do then go for it!

  12. Jack - Haha, yes I am cheap! Yes, when I try to make a new client, I must remind them of that!

    L'Aussie - Welcome and thanks for visiting! Inspirational! Aw that's nice. This pet business is wonderful. Thanks!

    Joe - Yes, enjoying it is a bonus. I will watch the stairs next time!

    Clarissa - Yes, doing so many jobs at once is a bit taxing, but definitely doable!

    Jayne - Thanks for the Pounce compliment! Yes, this job really is a win-win situation.

    Jane - Thanks! Yes, it's a shame my business is restricted to my neighborhood...

    Helen - Thanks for the Pounce compliment and believing I'm good with animals. I am definitely cheap! Yes, Pounce is like a toy!

    Kate - That sounds like a riot! Three dogs. Wow. That must keep you in shape!

    John - Yes, I know you love animals. It seems like an excellent business venture for you.

    Ann - I'm glad you overcame your fear of dogs. Frequent exposure can definitely help people become more comfortable. You're very welcome! Thanks for saying I'm inspirational and I look forward to seeing you again. Welcome!

    Dawn - You're very welcome and thanks for stopping by mine! It is hard to feel left behind, but you're so right... Our time will come soon enough! It gives me something so exciting to look forward to. Yes, this animal sitting thing is right up my alley!

  13. Hello again sweetie. I've tagged you over on my blog. Please say yes..:)

  14. Hey thanks for stoping by. You have my dream job...well when I was a kid anyway. Now I can hardly take care of the 3 pets I have and ones a fish. My cat is always looking at my like I'm an idiot, I think they love doing it.
    Love the puppy shot...happy birthday to him. :)

  15. BTW I'm following ya back...wagging my tail.

  16. Wow, you are cheap! I've paid anywhere from $15-$20 per visit and sometimes thats not even for an hour. But the furry kids are worth it. Hooray for feeling productive and making $

  17. L'Aussie - Thanks for the link love! I'll have to add that particular blog to my following list. I only have your other one.

    Michelle - Pounce and I thank you! He's a bit jealous because this is his dream job too! I'm glad you are following me!

    Denise - That's a bit steep, isn't it? But you're right, they are worth it! Oh, the things we do for our pets...