This is the third and final part of my series about my pet sitting business. In Parts 1 and 2 I told how the business started and the difficulties I had throughout. Now, the inevitable end of the business has come.
At our next business meeting, I had to admit that even trying as hard as I had, pet sitting was just not for me. I couldn’t handle the worry and stress of caring for other people’s animals, and I hated the hours (I should have seen that coming, obviously). I am really a person who likes to get up in the morning, do my work, and then relax. I can’t focus with constant interruptions, I need a routine. Both my sister and I had even taken a study at home course through Pet Sitters International to become certified professional pet sitters. We thought it would look good for the business to have this designation. I also hoped that more knowledge would make me more comfortable in the field. Unfortunately, all the knowledge in the world could not overcome my OCD and my high strung personality. At least I did try….I think I did everything I could to try to make it work for me.
At the same time, my sister and business partner, Lynn’s, personal situation had changed and she could no longer do overnight visits. She was still willing and happy to handle evening and weekend visits. I was still running the business end of things and enjoyed doing that very much. It didn’t take that much of my time but it did give me a little bit of extra income which was welcome. I was also willing to be an emergency backup for our other partner, Sheryl.
But Sheryl wanted more regular backup on weekdays, so she could take time off as needed. By this point, I had no interest in doing that. I’d had enough “fun”! We considered hiring another person to help with that, but it was just too difficult to find someone when we just didn’t have that much to offer them other than occasional visits here and there. There wasn’t enough business to give two people sufficient work. We just couldn’t figure out how to keep the business going and make it work for everyone. Things were coming to a head, and it was time to let the business go, even though it was sad for everyone.
At least I learned a lot about myself through all of this. Other than having to admit that I am a neurotic mess, I loved meeting other people’s animals. I just was not comfortable going into their homes and being responsible for their security. I worry enough about my own animal’s safety and security when I have to leave them, so it just didn’t work for me. It was a good experience and I am still glad we gave it a try. It is really what led me to writing this blog, and here I am comfortable. Writing is something I have wanted to do my whole life and now I have found a way to do it (though I still need to figure out how to make money doing it). I still get to meet other people’s pets….virtually, if not personally, anyway. I never would have discovered all of the other wonderful pet blogs out there if not for starting my own. I also learned how to start a website and a Facebook page through the pet sitting business, which was a great help when starting this blog. Running that Facebook page gave me an opportunity to try to help people find their lost pets, and the connections I made introduced me to the animal advocate world.
There may be other pet-related careers in my future. I have some ideas rolling around in my mind. For now I am content with where I am at, but who knows what the future might hold. One thing I know for sure is that pets are and always will be one of the most important things in my life. Whether it is on a personal or a professional level, I am devoted to them and to their welfare.