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Hello everyone. My husband and I are planning on taking a vacation in November (our first real vacation in over 3 years) and I was really looking forward to it until we adopted Maddie. Now, I am so torn about leaving her behind. Unfortunately, we can't take her with us. I've been looking into local kennels and pet sitting services and nothing has really made be feel quite comfortable yet. I feel like many places are very institutional. I'm getting ready to start my serious research and actually visit places where we might keep her (I'm sure these people will think I am just as high maintenance as my dog).

On top of that, I can only imagine what they'd think of me when I give them instructions:
-Maddie is a picky eater and needs a little encouragement to eat. Please sprinkle a hint of parmesan on her Wellness Super5Mix
-She needs meds 2 x a day but be sure to cleverly insert them into a Fruit Newton cookie
-Be sure to brush her 30 minutes a day
-Tug of war is her favorite game, can somebody play with her 2x a day
-She also enjoys long strolls in the park, can I make arrangements for something like that

OK, I am exaggerating a bit but so worried about leaving her with someone else
Crying or Very sad We did rescue her nearly 3 months ago and I don't want her to think that we are giving her up. I'm probably just being a big loser but wanted to see if anyone else experiences such angst in making a decision on where to board their OES and the associated guilt that comes along with it.

Thanks for an advice.
We recently went away for a long weekend and we had a friend pet sit. She took care of Truman and Rilely (the cat), brought in the mail and generally "lived" at our house while we were gone. That way, our four legged kids were comfortable at home and we also had someone to keep an eye on the house. (We have a security system but rarely use it. How dumb is that?!) I checked with our vet who charges $13 per day to board and and with a doggie daycare place where Truman occasionally goes. They charge $18 per day. I paid my friend $20 per day and it was worth every penny in peace of mind. If you have a friend who would like to earn a little extra $, you might want to ask her/him if they would consider pet sitting for you.
Wow, Stacey, lots of things to think about all at once. First, let me say how sorry I am to hear about your job situation. I know the feeling of having to work and of how stressful it can be when something happens to either you or your spouse's job.

The job offer they made you - is it a definite offer for the location an hour away from you, or can it be anywhere they want to send you? If it's for the one closest to you, I agree with Ron and Shellie - take it, you can always back out later.

As for a home doggie daycare, are there any other costs you'd have to investigate? In the U.S., there are all kinds of permits and licenses if you want to run a business out of your house, plus the area you live in has to be zoned properly (i.e., you can't have a home business in a neighborhood zoned residential). If you can open the business, are there any regulations you would need to comply with? As an example, our church wanted to open a daycare a few years back, but the state had all kinds of regulations that we had to come up to code with first - like a certain kind of exterior door with a certain kind of door latch, so many square feet of space, so many bathrooms, etc., etc., etc. Some of those regulations wouldn't be appropriate to a doggie daycare, I realize, but these are just examples.

If all this is do-able and you either have the financial resources or can get the necessary financial resources to start the business - go for it! Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

And like Jil mentioned, have you considered doing pet sitting outside your home? When we go on vacation, we use a retired couple who started their pet sitting business when the husband left his job on disability and the wife needed the extra income. They come in 3 times/day to take Drez out, feed her, and just spend some time with her. They usually stay about 45 min - 1 hour each time, and Drez just loves them.

Just some thoughts. Hope any of the info helps. And you know we're all always here for you.

Willow, Good luck in your decision making. It sounds like you have got some really good ideas going. It does sound as though you might have to do some research about licenses and such for an in-house doggy daycare. You might have to carry liability insurance as well. On the other hand if you look into pet sitting and grooming that might not be as complicated. I just left my company after 17 1/2 years of employment. The company was threatening liquidation and started to take away benefits as well as giving out hefty pay cuts. I don't seem to miss the money as much as I thought I would after cutting back in other areas. The biggest drawback was losing family medical, which we replaced with a high deductible major medical plan (much much cheaper). What I can tell you is this: Change is good! After leaving a company where I watched people chase their job all over the country (can you say airline?) I hate to see people chase jobs that usually incur a very stressful commute. Sometimes it is best to just take the risk of staying close to home for the uprights and things will work out. It is also much better on the furry children too. Just my opinion. It sounds that you do belong in animal care though. You would be great! I take my animals ONLY to places where I can feel their love for animals too.
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the nice comments! Gawd I'm such a nut! ha ha!

Gucci's mom and I'd love to take care of your furballs!!
Then again....I'd have to find someone that was really good to take care of mine while I was away. Rolling Eyes

I don't know what I'm going to do in late I'll be heading to LA for five-six days..and my son is going on vacation with my mom and sister to Hawaii...I'm already panicking. One or two is managable for some...I have 9!! Gasp! 3 dogs, 4 cats, 1 rabbit and a guinea pig (the bunny and GP are kept in a large outdoor pen which was formally a child's playhouse). So wouldn't seem fair to place them in a small cage to bring to someone's house as they have a huge area in which they are able to run.

Can't ask my mom, sis or son as it was weird how it worked out that their vacation starts the day before mine (They're going on a cruise and will be gone for 2 wks). I'm attending a magic convention, that for the first time will be held aboard a cruise ship from Vancouver to LA. (4 days and then will spend 1-2 days in LA. It's the weekend of my birthday so I got the ticket as a gift!! whooo hoooo! Still it's weird that all of us are going at the same time on vacations and all of us on cruise ships, but different ones.

Now there's a pet sitting instead of baby sitting. Another future business in the making. Ha ha!

Marianne and the boys
Good for you, Marianne, for not smoking during all this stress!! Very Happy

I do hope you can work out the pet sitting situation so that you're comfortable with it. I know you'll never relax on your vacation if you're worried about your babies.

Married at sounds so romantic!! Very Happy
Just curious as to whether you use an in-house pet sitting service when you're out of town, or if you board your dogs at a kennel?

I have used a kennel in the past at a cost of about $40 per day (for both dogs) which included food, treats and brushing each day.

I interviewed an in-house pet sitting service this weekend. The cost would be $50-$60 per day (depending on the number of trips to the house they make) and for that cost they take care of the dogs, cats, bird & fish. Plus, the benefit of them being at home.

I was wondering if you use an in-home service, what does it include? How do they charge? Per pet? Per trip? Per day?
My husband has a home office, so I don't worry about Drez during the week. When he does travel, it's usually not for more than 2-3 days. As long as I take care of Drez in the morning, she can easily make it until I get home at night.

We have a local retired couple near us that started a pet sitting service a few years back. They're great! We used them when we went to our son's college graduation for 4 days, and again a few weeks later when we went on vacation for a week. The first night, Drez wouldn't eat right away, so they stayed with her extra long to make her feel comfortable and get her to eat. They always stayed for about 30-45 minutes after she was fed, just to walk her or play with her, or just to sit and pet her. At that time we also had a rabbit, so they took care of her, too. For all this, they charged us $12 per visit x 3 times/day. They were GREAT!!

Before we decided to take Drez with us on vacation last summer, we visited our vet's boarding kennel. All it took was one look for me to know this was NOT the place I wanted Drez. The kennels were like jail cells - heavy cement walls in between each stall, a cement floor, a gate in the front. And not very wide either. Drez would have gone CRAZY there. Didn't really look at any other kennels, cause I just have a hard time with the concept of leaving her somewhere.

I used a pet sitting service in the past... but have never left Dancer and Sky. I wouldn't take them to a kennel or boarding type facility. I would rather pay twice as much to have someone come to my home.
Since we can't afford that, we just don't go anywhere. Laughing
I'm lucky my mum is a built in pet sitter, she comes to our place and stays. Great as having one that is not having current vaccinations she would not be allowed at a boarding facility. Pet sitting happens very rarely as where we go on holidays the girls go too. Wink
Sunday has arrived and the boys were ready for long'd they know that? Must be their eternal time calenders as they never attempt to go down the stairs to the door on my work days. Different thing when it's after work or weekends. In fact I have to sneak in the basement some days and go out the back gate in order to get out. Yeah!!!! 10 days off - it's spring break!!!

Before I spent the day with them I had to visit a friends home for whom I'm pet sitting and then I was free to spend the whole day with my "boys".

First up - Panda...took him to the offleash park that is acres and acres of fields. Panda and I spent 2 hrs there..he met dog buddies, went for a long walk with me and then played ball. He immedietly napped when we arrived home.

Next up - Blue and Merlin. Took them for a 1 hr walk around the trails of a local park. Stopped at a store...bought treats and then went home.

All three slept soundly - each one splayed out on the living room floor, not a peep outta them! Makes me feel good when little ole me can wear out three dogs! (Buns of steal I'm telling ya ladies...that's how to do it!)...first get three dogs.....LOL

Marianne and the boys Very Happy
If you need anymore information please feel free to call Stephanie Senechal at (352)624-1719 or email at

PAWS & CLAWS is now accepting new clients. We are offering local Pet Sitting in the Marion County area. We also offer pet massage, pet shampoo’s, and pet taxi services. If you are going on vacation or just staying late at the office?

Just give Stephanie Senechal a call for more information about your pet sitting needs. Services are available at your home or mine! We’re Pet Lovers!
What great timing.
I just went to a conference on exploring business ownership.
It was sponsored by the Small Business Administration, Goodwill and Neighborhood self-employment initiative (NSI).
They discussed what it takes to be a business owner, the pros and cons, how to write a business plan and a lot of other useful information.
They gave us a list of the top 10 home business opportunities for 2007. Number one was “pet sitting”.
I would call your local SBA and see if they have a similar program. There is no charge for this program and I will be meeting with a counselor soon.
Here is the site for the NSI
I know it is for Indiana but maybe you can find some useful information there.
If you will PM me with your e-mail address, I would be more than happy to copy the handouts and send them to you.
Hi Pam,

I had opened up a dog daycare center back in the year 2000, and yes it is still in business and going strong. I did sell out my interest in the business due to partner problems. I will tell you that having your own business can be very rewarding but is alot of work. My day started at 6AM and I finished at 10PM and that was 7 days a week. There is much to be considered before opening a business and to be successful much planning ahead is needed. Running a dog daycare is not just about walking and playing with dogs, you have to be prepared for every scenario that can/could happen both financially and just day to day. You are dealing with the public and yes some dog owners can be very difficult. Unfortunately dogs happen to come with owners, so you have to deal with them. The first thing that I would do is go to your local Chamber of Commerce and see if they have a group of retired men and women who can give you advice on starting a business. At my local Chamber of Commerce there was a group of retired business men who I sat down with submitted my business plan and proposals and got here feedback and advice. This was a free service. You also need to check your local zoning to see what is allowed, whether you run it from your home or rent out a building.

What I might recommend for you to do is to start small with a pet sitting business. I did this and was very very successful. I worked a full time job and did this on the side. I started by flyering some neighborhoods with my information I got a few calls and then by word of mouth I had a very successful side business. No startup cost, no overhead. I had to keep this business small since I had limited time and I only selected customers that lived within a two mile radius of my home.

If I can help you out further just let me know.

Good Luck to you. Remember though preparation is the key to getting successful with you business.

Take good care.

A small scale pet sitting business can also tell you what kind of interest in doggie daycare there is in your neighborhood!
I like the idea of a small scale pet sitting service as well. It gives you a chance to make a name for yourself, gain a better understanding of what a full scale dog day care service might entail, and possiblly save the profit to reinvest in a full scale dog day care service. As a side benefit it might help you with the "job blues' as you are taking active steps toward your goal.

Good luck with your decision.
I'm pet sitting my brother's dogs while they are at Disney World. Knowing we've got a few members who love Bassets & Springers, too, I wanted to share some pics.

Here is Ruby. She's five months old & cute as a bug.

She found a cleaned out marrow bone and is a happy girl. (yeah, I know the grass needs to be cut - it's on the my "to do" list Rolling Eyes )

This is Daisy. She's a special needs girl whom they adopted from a rescue about five years ago when Daisy was nine months old. She is the sweetest dog and has the best disposition. I'm really impressed with how clean her teeth are. Laughing

I woke her up for this photo, so she doesn't look too pleased with me.

And here are a couple of Genny & Ruby hanging out together.

We dog sit within the family mostly. Our big test will be in May, when all of us go out to NY for my daughter Lisa's college graduation. Between us (3 households) we will have 9 dogs, plus all the livestock chores here....for a week. I am already planning!

We also exchange pet sitting with my friend Mary. They have 2 dogs, about 7 cats and numerous birds. LeAnne's Clay is staying with her. It helps, as she lives only 3 blocks from LeAnne's house!
We are just a week away from Sheepiepalooza!
Excited Yay!!! Excited Yay!!! Excited Yay!!! Excited Yay!!! Excited Yay!!! Excited Yay!!! Excited

So here is some information for all of you:

Weather Forecast:
The weather is currently forecast for highs in the 70's, cloud cover and a 20% chance of rain.

St. Louis can get hot - I would suggest bringing mostly warm weather clothing and a jacket. Raingear is a must including for the dog. My philosophy has always been: Bring an umbrella and it won't rain! It works most of the time.

Getting around St. Louis:
We will have maps waiting for all of you at the hotel on how to get to each event. If someone is coming in and not staying at the hotel then PM if you need any directions. We have kept the directions as simple as possible.

Friday Night Gathering:
Remember the club is hosting a party at George's house for all of you forum members AND the dogs. We will serving you a Taste of St. Louis. Directions will be provided (see above).

We are having an informal parade around Forest Park after the Boat House on Saturday morning. If you would like to bring something to adorn your sheepdog - like a boa, ribbons in the hair, a hat, etc. feel free. Be creative! This is optional - cute sheepdogs don't really need anything.

Pet Sitting:
If you are planning on staying in town on Monday and sightseeing, the club members are willing to watch your dog for a donation to OES Rescue. If you would like to use this service then please PM me with the number of dogs you will need sat. I have received one already.

Don't forget to bring:
Chair - we will be in parks and you need a place to sit.
Raincoat for you and dog if desired (see above)
Parade wear (see above)

We currently have 70 people registered for Saturday and 90 for Sunday!

There are supposed to be 65 Sheepdogs in attendance between the two days. Plus a Bearded Collie, a Komondor, a Border Collie and a Basset.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you!

We only have a week to go. Shocked I better get ready.... I'm outta here!
well it has beeen a long year losing my fur kids ex ..boytoy .. and my business i am a designer doing interiors for model homes well the builder i worked with when under and took me with him after 28 years.. i have been trying to get a job . so i have 4 acres fenced in so me and duffy trainer are starting agiligy classes here so i am building all the equipment and starting a pet sitting business
PRANCIN' PAWS.. wish me luck guys i had to sell my bike pink what i loved but i found life goes on so goodbye me pinky

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