Chances are if you see JJ walking through Central Park or the West Village, she’ll have a dog on a leash—and a handful or two of wild spinach she’s just gathered. Also known as lambs’ quarters, she once saw the wild greens for sale at the farmer’s market for a whopping $29/pound. “And it grows abundantly in the city!” She laughs.
A self-described “country person,” JJ moved to NYC last year and has found a way to bring her farm upbringing to life in the Big Apple. The secret? A combo of pet sitting and urban foraging.
JJ always knew she loved animals and expected she’d always have them her life. What she didn’t expect? A move to New York City in her retirement years, which meant a complete change of lifestyle—and no more pets. Fortunately, she found the perfect solution: pet sitting through Rover. “This is the first time I’ve lived without an animal in my life, and it’s the next best thing,” she says, and adds, “in many ways, I can be of better service to animals now.”
Bringing the country to the city
As for the foraging, it comes naturally to her. “When I was kid, I would go out in the garden and pick what I wanted, plus edible weeds, too,” she explains. Now, she recognizes plants like lambs’ quarters that grow wild in untended sidewalk garden beds or urban green spaces. She’ll trim a few inches, knowing it’ll all grow back soon enough.
Her love of plants is connected to her love of animals. “You see the world differently” when you’re so familiar with the natural world around you, she says. “To me, life is a great big tapestry.”
This intuition comes through when she talks about animals. She specializes in caring for senior dogs and dogs with special needs, and is comfortable and experienced giving medications and injections. She’s certified in pet CPR and first aid, as well. Additionally, she understands a great deal about dog behavior and psychology.
“I give a lot of respect to dogs,” she says. “I make sure to take time to notice the dog’s rhythms and patterns. They’re grieving because their person has gone away, and I’m there to help them feel calm, relaxed, and safe.”
She loves being able to care for dogs directly in the comfort of their familiar homes, where she can be sure to “pamper them” and take them out for plenty of walks.
Rover has been a good fit for JJ because it’s helped her more quickly launch and manage her own pet sitting business. “There’s a well-supported staff of people who really, really care,” she says, “and it’s a kind of a gift to have the marketing taken care of.”
She values meeting the pets before she takes an assignment, and learning about their routines, lives, and temperaments. She says often, dogs she meets will come right over and sit in her lap.
Take one look at her profile, and you’ll see that her clients agree.