I'm used to walking approximately 9 dogs a day, sometimes in not nice weather, but holy crap this winter was insane. We had multiple snow "events" and days in between of single digit weather. My poor little dreadies must have looked like icicles on my head!
Snow days are fun, especially when the dogs will roll around, dig, and catch snow balls. If I'm lucky, I'll only have dog walks on snow days and all my clients will stay home from work and cancel. Cat sits are usually canceled as well if I leave out extra food and water the night before. Major thanks to the cool people who don't expect me to die on the way to scoop their litter! However, if I have a dog client who is out of town, that dog still relies on me to go outside.
Thankfully I own a Subaru and that thing kicks some major butt in the snow. While other people are spinning their wheels and getting stuck, I pass them ... or pull over and help. I learned this about my car because during our first three snows this year, I had overnight clients.
The first time, I didn't take the forecast seriously and left my overnight to check on my cats. The drive back was treacherous, taking about three times longer than if it weren't snowing. I really should have known better but was worried sick that my cats would go hungry and I wanted some part of my Sunday at home. That was not smart.
I learned from that experience and showed up for my next snowy overnight 5 hours early, at roughly 2 pm. The dog and I did a workout video and got caught up on The Walking Dead thanks to my client's On Demand. Not too shabby!
By the third snow storm prediction, I had this down to a science. I left my overnight at 5 am to take care of my morning pet sits, check on my cats and grab some food, then went straight back by 10 am. Luckily the only dog walk I had that day was walking distance away.
|My Subaru's thermometer as I left a morning pet sit|
Compared to the snow, the record breaking single digit thermometer readings weren't that bad. The little dogs wouldn't walk for long, and many understanding clients told me to cut their time short. The big dogs, however, were ready to rock n' roll. Cold? Who cares! It's time to walk! I wore two base layers, followed by jeans and hoodie, coat, scarf, heated earmuffs, hat, two pairs of gloves, hand and foot warmers. The only thing that was cold was my face. We'll fix that next year ...
The thing that kind of sucks about snow days is not getting reimbursed for your trouble. If I show up for my overnight at 10 am, I don't get paid a single penny more. Meanwhile, I don't charge my canceled clients because, hey, it's not their fault it snowed. So please show your pet sitter some love when it gets nasty out. A little tip never hurt anyone's feelings. Or, some clients will make me a cup of hot coffee when they're home or will leave a bar of chocolate by my notes. It's the kindness of these people, and the wagging tails of course, that remind me why I even bothered to try.