We’re excited to introduce Sylvia, an ABCDT-certified dog trainer, dog behavior specialist, and long-time sitter on Rover. Sylvia has over 100 reviews on the platform and a consistent 5-star rating from her clients. She’s so successful at what she does, and we’re excited to work with her as a sitter ambassador.
What does that mean? Over the next few months, Sylvia is going to share her wealth of experience and advice with the Rover community. We sat down with her recently to get the scoop on her pet sitting journey.
How long have you been working with dogs and pets?
I have been working with dogs in a professional capacity since 2008. I began as a sitter and walker for friends of friends, very part-time. It wasn’t something I considered a “job” then, even though it was paying some bills.
I just never could have imagined how it could foray into an actual career.
In 2012 I got a job working at a shelter in LA, which housed over 200 animals. I was working firsthand with rescue dogs, learning medical treatments, injection administration and basic illness detection. It was a crash course on dog health, rescue temperament and more.
How long have you been on the platform?
I joined the Rover platform in 2014. I’ve completed over 200 repeat client stays with 51 clients on the platform.
What makes you an expert?
Years of sales experience at an online marketing firm informed a lot of my decision making on Rover—from how to market my profile to how to close clients on services. My retention rate speaks for itself in creating a VIP experience for all clients.
I also made myself open to connection and feedback from my community by helping fellow sitters on my personal IG and engaging in discussions on how they see their business becoming successful.
Over the years, I’ve dealt with a number of difficult dog health experiences, including the death of a dog in my care (from old age—it was expected, but traumatizing nonetheless). After so many years in this business, there’s not a lot I haven’t seen. I’ve navigated many hurdles and ridden many highs of the dog-loving life.
Why are you so passionate about dogs/animals?
Working with dogs literally saved my life.
When I went to work at the rescue in 2012, I had just left my corporate sales job where I worked in a cubicle from 9a-5p. Growing up, I lived on a 2-acre ranch in wine country with goats, dogs, and geese. My mother and I raised chicks and ducklings every spring and we hiked through the vineyards daily. I was also always a very creative being. (Yeah, that’s right, I was a musical theater nerd.)
All this is to say, cubicle life didn’t suit me well. When I left that job I weighed 250 lbs and I slumped into a depression that had me bedridden for the better part of three months.
The only light in my life was my little rescue dog Tallulah. I made a decision then to get back to my joy, to get back to the animals; so I started volunteering at rescues and landed a job at one.
If it weren’t for all those loving furry faces, I don’t know how I could’ve gotten out of my bed every day. I started walking dogs and boarding. The exercise and sunshine were just what my body needed and I have been a die-hard fan of the little four-legged beings who saved my life every day since then. I became a dog behaviorist and trainer to further effect change in their lives, the same way they have mine, and now, we save each other.
Rover is the place where it all started. This platform enabled me to run my own business and learn in a safe environment how to be successful.
Instead of just taking the leap and starting my own business, fingers crossed, I was able to work under the umbrella of a prestigious name and make mistakes without losing my business. Rover gave me the life I have today and because of the platform I have a successful business and work with dogs every single day.
There is not a day that goes by that I don’t refer people to the platform, both as sitters and as customers. I have helped women start a business using the Rover platform over social media and love watching the amazing people who have a love and passion to care for dogs have an amazing platform on which they can do it.
Stay tuned for more from Sylvia!