This is another chapter in our ongoing interviews with Sitter Community members. You can read the first interview here.
We spoke with Amy in Austin, TX, recently about her unique day-to-day as a Sitter with Rover and to learn more about her experiences!
How did you get started pet sitting or dog walking?
My husband and I had left our home in Portland, OR, to spend some time traveling the country. I had previously worked as a pet photographer and was searching for a reliable way to make money on the road. A friend had mentioned Rover to me and I began researching it right away. It seemed like a perfect fit and I signed up.
How long have you been pet sitting or walking with Rover?
I started with Rover in August of 2017. So today marks just about 8 months.
For you, what is the best thing about being a pet sitter or walker?
I just love dogs so much. I enjoy spending time with such a broad range of pups. They all have such different stories and pasts, it's wonderful to watch them grow.
Would you tell us about causes or activities you devote your time to or issues you feel passionate about?
While in Portland I volunteered for a local hospice program called the Pet Peace of Mind. It's a program that's aimed to help keep pets with their people as they transition into end of life. I also did a small stint of photography work at our local county animal shelter. There I ended up selling prints of a few photos and made over $3,000 that I donated back into the shelter.
What's your sitter "super power"?
I'd say it's patience with the elders. I try to be understanding when it takes a minute for them to get up. Sometimes they don't want to take their medication or they have an accident in the house. Dogs are only on this earth for a short time, so I try to help make that time be the best it can be even if things take a little longer.
If you needed a pet sitter or dog walker, what are the top 3 characteristics you would seek out?
Patience, experience, and a positive attitude.
How do you recharge after a busy day?
I go home and pet my cats while editing photographs. I'm also a pet photographer and find it really calming to just sit on the couch with my pets, my laptop, and a good Pandora station.
What is your favorite podcast, TV show and/or movie?
The one podcast that I've never missed an episode of is called The Boogie Monster. It's two comedians working through the logistics of various conspiracy theories. Sometimes they stay on topic...sometimes they don't. Almost every episode offers up a delicious recipe as well.
Do you have a favorite story about a dog you have met through Rover?
I met a retired greyhound in Phoenix named Arty. He'd won almost every race he was in and was the absolute sweetest. His owner had mentioned that because of his history he had a tendency to chase cats. I walked him twice a week and he would barely even acknowledge the cats we saw. Maybe his ears would perk up a bit, but he never pulled toward them and always walked wonderfully.
One day a plastic bag went fluttering by in a breeze and ol' Arty about lost it. He wanted to chase it so bad, and was obviously frustrated that I wouldn't let him. I stopped walking so we could both regain our composure and the wind shifted bringing the bag right to him. When he realized what it was he looked a little embarrassed. That was the first and last time he ever tried to chase anything in my care.
What advice would you give to a new sitter or walker?
Always carry extra poop bags. When you've only got one left, your dog pal is almost guaranteed to go twice.
Can you tell us a bit more about your travels and how you travel?
About a year ago my husband and I devised a plan to travel the country in an RV.
We donated or sold most of our things and purchased a 26' class A motorhome.
It's been so much fun. We've been slowly working our way South and East and usually stay in a city for about a month or two. Without Rover this would not be possible.
When we get to each city I immediately set my status to available and begin meeting dogs right away. It's been a wonderful way to get to know each city.
As I travel around different neighborhoods for walks and house sits I not only get an insider view, but have also networked with some really amazing people. Being a tourist is fun but actually living in these places has been life changing. Once the weather turns or we decide we're ready for the next adventure we just pack up our little rolling home and go!
Wooohoooo!!! So much fun to chat with you :smileyhappy:
If you’d like to visit Amy’s profile link and see more of her super photography, click here