I get asked quite often, "what made you start this business?".
There are couple of reasons....
First and foremost, my love for animals. I have always been an animal lover since my childhood. I would be the one to bring home that stray cat to mom and have the guts to ask, "can we keep 'em?". Most of the time, the answer was "no'. But, that didn't stop me from showering the stray with attention, food and water.
I grew up around animals. Mostly cats in my household. My aunt had/has dogs. I whole heartedly believe that having an animal or two or three make one's life more complete. As an adult with children of my own, I made sure that they were around animals all the time. Animals have a way of teaching a child or even an adult about unconditional love, responsibility, kindness, etc. Our family is blessed to have the love of 4 energetic dogs and a very old cat. She will probably out live us all! :)
The second reason was kinda like a "light bulb" moment for me. You see, once upon a time, I used to kennel my dogs when we went on vacation. I really had never heard of a "pet sitter". Honestly, my gut hurt every time I dropped them off, which was not that often. Once a year or so for our "family vacation". I hated knowing that they were in a run with a bunch of other dogs barking into the night. I worried that they wondered, "why would my person drop me off here and just leave?". I know, I know...some of you say that they are dogs and they don't know they difference. I happen to disagree with that. I believe that a dog's love for it's family is unending and unconditional. They depend on us.
But, I digress...Needless to say, I happened upon a bad experience with a kennel. I was mortified when I went to pick up my loves from boarding. Upon seeing my mini doxie, I had noticed that she had lost weight. When the bedding I had left came out, it was soiled with vomit and feces. I couldn't believe it. What upset me the most was the customer service. Not once was I contacted about how my babies were doing! This was a shock to me! I was so saddened and apologized to my babies for days. I swore they would never go through that again.
Then, one day it came to me...there has to be a better way. I started researching the Internet. I figured there are people who do baby sitting, house sitting, what about pet sitting? This was back in 2007 and believe it or not, pet sitting in El Paso was not a "big" thing. I found a few people who ran their businesses around town. So, I said to myself, "self, you have always had a tremendous love for animals and a business like this is much needed in our community...let's look into starting a pet sitting business!"!
It wasn't easy getting started. Lots of time was spent researching marketing, laws, etc. My main mission was to create a business that could enable pet owners to leave their loves at home while they are away. I wanted to take the stress out of having to kennel your pet. I have found in almost 5 years of business that pet owners are very passionate people and in most cases the best people you will ever meet. They only want the best for their loved ones, just as I do for mine. I so wanted to create a service for pet owners so that they could feel confident that their loved ones would be comfortable in their own environment, be in no danger of contracting an illness, and have their routines go uninterrupted. They could also rest assured that I would be in constant contact with updates, questions, and/or concerns. And, they could contact me at a moments notice to see how everything is going. My dream came to life in April of 2008!
I am so happy to say that it has been almost 5 years since For Pet's Sake Pet Sitting launched. I have had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful pet owners and pets that have become like my own. I am very blessed to have the pleasure of visiting with my regulars everyday and meeting new clients on a regular basis. Word of mouth is my best advertising. I really appreciate all of you that have passed my name around to others so that their pets can feel safe and comfortable in the absence of their owners.
And....if you are wondering, no I never took my babies back to the kennel. Don't get me wrong, some kennels and boarding facilities are great and do it right. It's just not for my babies and I know that it's not for a lot of pet owner's babies. I was blessed to find a wonderful friend/pet sitter who lived right across the street from me. Her family is military and eventually moved away. I miss her dearly. She always did a great job making sure my pets were safe and comfortable while we were away. After she moved, I had to find a new sitter. And I did! At this time, it seemed like Pet Sitters were popping up all over El Paso! Our new Pet sitter is a God send and does a great job! My pets know and love her and I feel at ease that they are happy and comfortable while we are away.
You know, the business side of me feels the competitive nature of this business creeping up, but the human side says that there really aren't enough of us out there that do what we do. I look forward to every day that I can spend taking care of my client's pets. It gives me great pleasure and I feel very blessed that this is MY life.
I have never had a day where I think "its a job". I absolutely love what I do and wouldn't change it for the world.
So, that's my story...<3
Love to all~~ Steph