Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Knotty Dog Walking in the Summer

This one's going to be short because vacation season is in full swing and I'm so busy that my own household only gets 30 minute pet sits! They're coming at me from all angles, boarding, overnights, pet sits ... tons of notice, emergency requests ... So yeah I'm a little unprepared for the blog.

Someone asked me today how hot my head must get walking in the sun. I would say it's about the same as when I had straight hair. And I still utilize the age old pony tail. But for a special treat, I wash my hair in the morning and let it dry in the sun while I walk the pooches. That way I start the day off cool and my dreads dry by the time I'm finished without using the hairdryer.

I've also discovered the thermos sipp. Go buy one right now. I'll wait. This thing keeps your water cold all day even in a piping hot Subarau that sits in the sun for half hours at a time. You know I don't drop $20 on just anything. This is money well spent! But let's not get stupid, be sure to use your Target debit card for free shipping and 5% off.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Tips on Tipping Your Dog Walker

Is it ok to tip your dog walker? Yes! Is it expected? Well ... that depends on the dog walker. I have a friend who pet sits part time and she won't take a repeat client if they didn't tip. As a full timer, I don't have that luxury and I've learned never to expect a tip. I can't help it, tip anticipation builds around the holidays or if a known tipper is back on my calendar. (You might want to jot down somewhere how much you gave the dog walker last Christmas. I remember.)

You would think that the really difficult client with the dog that tries to bite you and the cat that pukes on a daily basis would kick in a few extra bucks. That's usually not the case. Rather, I have found that the uber easy, just-let-the-dog-out-and-leave-the-poop-in-the-yard, laid back people with equally laid back pets tend to be the most generous.

Is there such a thing as a bad tip? My dog walker friends say no. I would argue, however, that some rewards I have received could have used a little more thought. Below, please find some of the memorable tips I've received and suggestions for modification.

$10 "if you would please vacuum the floor on Sunday. But if you don't want to just leave the money and we'll vacuum when we get home."

Better Tip
$10 no strings attached. I'll prolly do a better job anyway to live up to the gift.

A coupon for a $49 massage for the holidays.

Better Tip
A gift card for a $49 massage for the holidays.

Food kinda sorta left by where I leave my notes. Wait, is that for me? Did I just eat your snack?

Better Tip
Clearly marked snack, taking into account any food sensitivities your pet sitter may have. It's ok to ask.

A 6 pack of Shock Top

Better Tip
Can't think of one. How totally awesome to give your dog walker a 6 pack on a sunny Friday afternoon.

You get where I'm going with this. At the end of the day, it truly is the thought that counts. It's so touching when my little old lady clients get out the billfold and hand me a dollar or two extra. If you can't afford to tip and aren't an adorable little old lady, a simple handwritten thank you note goes a long way. I actually keep a collection of them. Bonus points if your kid writes it. Or your dog.