Woody. That’s who. . .
I’m often asked, How do you occupy your time here in Florida during the winter months? Short answer: In between the holidays and a couple road trips, I’ve been kept busy here in Winter Garden with Rover.
ROVER works something like Uber or Airbnb. Your bookings are arranged on a ROVER app: you set your availability, and dog “rules”, money is handled online, and ROVER takes about a 15% fee. Rover is essentially Airbnb for dogs. The guest selects amenities (allowed on furniture, special needs, number of walks each day, etc.). After the stay, both the dog and the hosts are reviewed.
For the Love of Dog
Caring for a pup is something I get great satisfaction from. And, it provides a service to families needing inexpensive care for their dog. Being in a tourist destination, I also get a fair share of requests from people who are on vacation, enjoying the Disney parks and resorts, maybe a cruise- where their Rover cannot rove.
So, with that introduction… meet a few of my friends:
My pet profile allows me to select breed, size, age, energy level, etc. For me, the door is open to anyone who needs a sitter while they’re away. I take two dogs as long as they’re from the same family. Besides that, what sets me apart from other sitters is, I don’t have a dog. I take their dog in, give it all the attention it needs without the distraction of another dog, and treat their dog as if it were mine.
So, back in November, after our Florida Keys road trip, I opened up my Rover calendar. Right away I had a request for late January. This gal had booked me three months in advance! Smart. Why? Many Rover hosts will profile dogs and back away from this breed and size. And this is a TWO WEEK stay! That’s a long time for a dog you may be uncomfortable with. That’s what I was beginning to think after the first two days. Sparrow is a two year old pit bull mix with the energy of a stick of dynamite.
But once he got into the Woody and Hali routine, he essentially became “our dog”. No, I wasn’t looking forward to the day his people were picking him up ON THE SECOND DAY, rather Sparrow started growing on us. We had Portland guests stay for a week when he devolved from that stick of dynamite to the pop of a Chinese firecracker.
As I cleaned the inside of the car, he would follow me, play with the vacuum, and take his afternoon nap in the backseat. He’d sleep the night through in his crate next to my bed. When I got up, he got up. When I pulled out his leash for “ramblin’ time” he’d bolt around the living room, leap over the couch just as I’d lassoed his leash over his thick neck. He became my shadow.
Yeah, Sparrow was a bit scary, at first. Wasn’t sure how the two weeks would play out. His people were in Greece and appreciated the daily updates and photos (credit Hali). He would actually snuggle after a long day of play. A well exercised dog is a good dog. That’s my tagline.
He was happy his folks picked him up, threw the bag of food, treats, and crate in the back of their car and he followed. He was going home. Will I miss Sparrow? Yeah, who doesn’t miss his own shadow? What’s nice is Sparrow is gone, he’s no longer “our dog”. We’ve left the Sunshine State for Illinois. That’s right, we’re spending Valentines Day in the Windy City. Why? Our trip to China is on hold. Flexibility and mobility is how we play. That’s why Rover works for us. Our philosophy, which we will share with potential Rover clients and anyone looking to bring a dog into their home: a dog keeps you young and active.
Your Best Friend is my Best Friend
Another wagline. Hey, and let me know if you might be interested in joining Rover. There are some benefits if we work together, you know, if you scratch my back… HERE’S THE LINK:
Thanks for following “ramblin’ time”.