Call me overbearing. Call me neurotic.
As a professional pet sitter, my motto is "expect the best, but prepare for the worst," so I ask my clients to let me know when they are home safely.
Why do I care?
Imagine they don't return home safely, and I don't know it. Though it's never happened in my entire pet sitting career, imagine it did....I made my last visit for the "Smith Family Pets" at noon on Saturday because they are scheduled to return at 4:00 p.m. But they don't. Could they be...
• held up camping and out of cell phone range
• at the airport with drained cell phones, no charger, and a cancelled flight
• something worse, which I won't mention
What would happen to the pets who'd been in my care if their family hadn't arrived home as scheduled and could not communicate that information to me? Who cares about pooping on the floor at this point? What about dehydration or starvation?
So how do I solve this problem? I ask my clients to give me a call or text or email when they have arrived home safely. Even if it's 2:00 a.m....just let me know. I'll see the text and go right back to sleep, and I'll probably sleep easier knowing the animals are taken care of.
Most of the time, if my clients are delayed, they let me know. I'm able to extend their visits, and all is well.
In order to ensure they let me know about their arrival home, I let them know during our initial consult that I expect a "safe arrival" message upon their return, and it's all spelled out in my terms and conditions. I also leave my clients treats and a note letting them know how things went. That note always includes a little reminder: "please let me know when you arrive home safely." If I don't hear from them when expected, they will get a call from me, and if I don't hear back from them in a reasonable amount of time, I will then make a visit to the pets to make sure all is well. I've done this a couple of times, only to find out that all was well and the clients had simply forgotten to call. Thank goodness.
I find that my clients really appreciate this feature of our service. It may seem silly and unnecessary at first, but once they think of what might happen if this precaution was not set in place, they immediately get on board and thank me for my insightful ways.
Insightful and caring? Thanks! Those closest to me call me a worry wart. I'll take insightful and caring any day.