Updated: Jul 4
When I do overnight pet sitting, my clients not only trust me with their precious pets but also their home — essentially everything they care about. That's a big leap of faith and that extension of trust is always forefront when I'm in someone's house. It's why I've adopted a "Leave Only Paw Prints" philosophy.
It’s not too different from a camping excursion, I carry in my necessities and carry them back out without leaving any trace that I was there.
My purpose is to care for animals. I’m not a house guest. Other than asking for Wi-Fi access, I’m self sufficient. I have a small cooler, coffee pot, utensils, and a sleeping cot. I pack out all my trash, wipe down any surface I contact and do a quick vacuum of the areas where I sit and sleep.
Under most circumstances, I shower at my own home. And while most homeowners happily offer their kitchen to me, I never use any appliance other than the microwave. Any room that isn’t needed by the pets stays closed while I’m there.
This not only respects the home but it also insures that I’m not going to accidentally break something or forget to return it to how I found it. Plus it makes for a super fast and repeatable process for me as I come and go from one house to the next. I have my “Go Kit” packed and ready at all times. Even if I’m not planning an overnight, emergencies happen in my client’s lives and I find myself leaping into action somewhat randomly.
The only downside to leaving only paw prints is that sometimes my clients wonder if I was ever there at all. :-)