One thing I have learned after 30 years as a pet sitter … dogs are masters at communication! When you look into those big brown eyes you see love, confusion, happiness, hurt, anger, jealousy, pain, excitement, etc.
Dogs are better at communication than most people. They have no hidden agendas and are very straight-forward in letting you know what they want.
Dogs are also masters at getting humans to do what makes them happy, much like young children!
How does this “talent” translate when the pet sitter comes? Well, let’s just say that most dogs would tell their pet sitter that they are supposed to get at least 15 treats each visit and forget the nutritious dog food!
Left to their own devices, dogs would convince the pet sitter that they should be taken out for a five mile hike instead of a walk around the block as the owner directed. Of course, a 2-hour tummy rub and ear scratching are always high on the list.
Dogs want anything to do with attention. They greet their pet sitter as if she were “Queen for the Day.” Honestly, where else could you find a job anywhere in the world where your clients are always thrilled to see you and could care less how you look, smell or whether your hair is perfect.
It is YOU the dog is thrilled to see and the attention you will give because he knows you are there 100% for him!
I had a client with a Golden Retriever who was a real con-artist. This dog had trained the owner so well that when she went out of town, she’d leave me a kitchen counter covered with little sandwich bags — each one filled with treats, chewies, or other of his favorites.
Each baggie was marked with a date and whether it was for morning, afternoon or evening distribution.
If she was gone for a week, that was 21 bags!
With each of my visits, the dog would be delirious with excitement; like a kid in a candy store. He knew what was coming and sat in the kitchen and would not move until he was given the appropriate goodie bag for the assigned time of day.
The owner was adamant that he was to receive all the treats. On the few occasions he didn’t finish them, I had to eat them or the client would be upset. (Those raw-hide sticks aren’t half bad!)
What about your dog — a master of communication or a clever con artist? I’d love to hear your pet’s story.;-)
Carole Tomas is the owner and president of Pet Pleasers, Inc. She is a graduate of Ohio University and a Charter Member of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters. When she began Pet Pleasers in 1985, business was conducted Old School via a landline, snail mail and an answering machine the size of a breadbox. No internet, email, text messaging, digital photos, social media or mobile phones! What has remained constant over three decades: Carole’s love of animals and an unwavering passion for professional pet sitting.