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  • Writer's pictureLinda

In pet sitting, it's a Goldilocks thing!

Goldilocks discovered what was "just right" for her. Pet sitters can too.

In the fairytale "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", Goldilocks tried out different chairs, bowls of porridge, and beds. In each case, she found a chair, porridge, and bed that was "just right". It was a process of discovery.

I think, in my ever-evolving mind, that pet sitting is the same sort of discovery process. Let me explain.....

When pet sitters start pet sitting there is always a learning curve. A sitter quickly realizes that being a professional pet sitter (or even a hobby pet sitter) requires a lot more than just cuddling with pets, taking peaceful dog walks on sunny days, and feeding pets.

A new pet sitter quickly discovers that they need to find their groove in this interesting field. Each client presents different situations - different pets, different locations, different makeup of the house, different care situations.

While there are basic tasks that every pet sitter does during a visit, a lot of the visit depends on what I just said in the above paragraph. There are nuances.

So, not only does a pet sitter have to find his/her "flow" in the general field of pet sitting, they must also discover it within each client's home.

Each pet sitting situation presents the sitter with different "chairs, porridges, and beds" that pet sitters must try out and find their "just right" situation like Goldilocks did in the fairytale.

Here are some of the nuances that pet sitters must discover and master with each client and within each home in order to have a "Goldilocks moment".

1. They must find a good speed in which to do a pet visit. Not too fast or too slow for the pets or him/herself.

2. They must learn how NOT to overbook so they don't get behind schedule or rush to the point of making mistakes.

3. They must discover the best buffer time between visits so they can accommodate running a little late every now and then and still make it to the next client's home on time.

4. They must be attentive to how long it takes them to accomplish various tasks. Like, how long it takes to clean out two litter boxes in one home, give a cat a med, and have adequate playtime and time to take in the mail and other tasks agreed upon with the client.

5. They must be alert and proactive so they can prevent problems. A pet sitter always has his/her antenna up to deal with things in a timely manner before they become problems and disrupt one's schedule and comfort level.

6. A pet sitter must be aware of how his/her physical speed at the home impacts the pets. For example, a too frantic of a pace in accomplishing one's duties could cause anxiety in pets, while a too slow pace will make a sitter late for the next visit. This will come in time at each client's home.

7. Pet sitters must find the perfect comfort speed when walking a dog so she/he does not push the pet too fast and cause anxiety for both the sitter and the dog. If you have a dog that walks slow, you'll have to take that into consideration in the time you have for a pet visit/dog walk.

8. Part of achieving the "Goldilocks moment" is focus. Focus and being present in the moment helps the sitter and the pets. A sitter should not be distracted by their cell phone and should not bring anyone else to the visit with them (unless they are training another sitter and that has been okayed by the client first).

Have you ever noticed that fairytales have happy endings? Goldilocks, after some trial and error, found her comfort zone - her "just right" moment and was happy with her chair, bed, and porridge.

Pet sitters, in time, will also achieve this but they must discover, use trial and error, be alert, and focus.

When this does not happen, the sitter and pets will not have a good experience and everyone will be frustrated. Cutting corners never seems to work, does it? Take it slow. Find that "Goldilocks moment", and then you'll be able to say at the end of each day, "and they lived happily ever after"!

Happy pet sitting y'all!




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