Rachel and Elena are roommates and Rover sitters in Boston’s North End. Together, this dog loving duo ranks among the city’s top sitters.
They were introduced to Rover in the summer of 2013 and have been active sitters ever since. My interview with them delves into what it takes to be a top sitter and how to fit Rover into your life, even with a full time job.
What made you decide to become Rover dog sitters?
We both wanted to fill a dog void but it didn’t make sense for either of us to adopt a dog at the time. We knew it would be too expensive and we worried about the burden of 24/7 responsibility. When we heard about Rover we thought, this will be a great way to earn extra money and celebrate our love for dogs.
What do you both do for a living outside of Rover?
Rachel: I work at Brigham and Women’s Hospital as an Operations Projects Coordinator.
Elena: I’m an Account Executive at a PR firm in Boston.
So you both work full time jobs—how are you able to manage the responsibility of Rover and fit it into your schedules?
We have slightly opposite schedules, which is really how we make it work. Rachel leaves really early in the morning and returns home earlier, Elena leaves later and returns home later. This way, we never have to leave a dog in our apartment for long. We make sure to include this information in our profile and always communicate our schedules to an owner when we receive a request. This way we can ensure that our schedules will work for the dogs we host, and everybody is happy!
Have you done anything fun with your Rover money?
We split all of our Rover earnings and put it toward shared bills like monthly rent and utilities. It’s been really nice because it alleviates some of the high cost of living in Boston. We feel like we can treat ourselves more often to things like going out to dinner at the amazing Italian restaurants in our neighborhood and to fun nights out with our friends more than we did before we started Rover.
What are some of your favorite dog friendly Boston spots?
We’ve discovered lots of dog friendly places and spaces since starting Rover. Our favorite parks include Washington Park, Christopher Columbus park, and the Richmond Street Dog Park. We also love to take Rover dogs on parts of the harbor walk which follows a long stretch of Boston’s waterfront. You can walk from Charlestown all the way to Dorchester. We’ve become very familiar with stores and restaurants in the North End that allow dogs. These include Going Bananas, Mother Anna’s, Joes American Bar & Grill, and Legal Seafoods. Also, fun fact: You can shop at Anthropologie in Back Bay with a dog in tow.
What has been the most surprising thing about being a Rover sitter?
Rachel: The most surprising thing for me is how different every single dog we’ve cared for is. They all have a unique personality. It’s highly entertaining.
Elena: I didn’t grow up with a dog, so for me, it was surprising to find out how much work dogs really are. However, I’ve also been introduced to the unconditional love that dogs give. Coming home to a goofy Rover dog always makes me happy, no matter what kind of day I had at work.
What is your favorite “Rover sitter moment” thus far?
We had a cockapoo named Brady a few months ago. He was just under a year old and was absolutely adorable. One night, a few days into the stay, we were sitting in our living room watching TV and both doing work on our computers. We noticed that things were eerily quiet in the kitchen, the room Brady had been hanging out in, so we got up to investigate. Turns out, he had broken into our toilet paper stash, and was hard at work, on a mission to shred every roll we had. The kitchen was covered in toilet paper. We couldn’t even be mad at him, all we could do was laugh. He had such a cute and innocent look on his face, it was adorable. Only a puppy can make six rolls of shredded toilet paper floating all over your kitchen endearing.
What advice do you have for anyone thinking about becoming a Rover sitter?
Guard your toilet paper stash. Just kidding. Being a Rover sitter is so much fun but new sitters should be prepared to handle the responsibility of caring for a dog that is not your own. Dog sitting is a “work hard play hard” kind of job. As long as you are prepared for that, it’s a very rewarding job and it has truly enriched our lives.