This year, Rover put forth a challenge to dog sitters in 10 U.S. cities: Connect with new pet parents, and enter for a chance to win a stunning Hawaiian vacation.
Sitters were eligible to win four nights in an ocean suite at the Fairmont Kea Lani in Maui, HI; daily breakfast for two featuring fresh local fruits, pastries, an omelette bar, and more; a $500 American Express gift card to cover additional expenses during those travels; a Hawaiian canoe experience for two; and round-trip airfare for two to Maui, Hawaii!
Well, the results are in: Amanda D., a dog sitter and vet tech student from Everett, WA, is our winner! Amanda took a little time out of her busy day of pet sitting and vacation planning to chat with us about Rover, dogs, and her upcoming trip to paradise.
ROVER: Congratulations on your win! We’d love to learn a little more about how you got started as a Rover pet sitter. What inspired you to start pet sitting?
AMANDA: I first became involved with Rover when someone from Rover did a demonstration at the school I attend as a vet tech student.
I was extremely interested right off the bat, as I have always done pet sitting off and on. I suppose my initial interest in pet sitting began in high school. I have always had dogs and I have always loved dogs. What better way to make some extra spending money than to hang out with dogs!
ROVER: What do you like most about being a Rover pet sitter?
AMANDA: My favorite part about being a Rover.com pet sitter is getting to watch all different dogs, different breeds, personalities, quirks.
Each and every dog is unique and I absolutely love getting to know each one!
ROVER: Tell us a little about your own dogs.
AMANDA: I have two dogs of my own: Lucy Diamond is a Chihuahua. She will be 11 years old on April 25th. She has been my very best friend since the moment I got her.
When she was a bit younger she came everywhere with me, and even now, it’s a rare occasion that she isn’t with me or near by.
She has more clothing than anyone else in my home and she is almost always dressed.
I also have a three-year-old German shepherd named Yogi. I have only had him a year and a half (he originally belonged to my brother who passed away in October 2013). We spend quite a bit of time together. We go for lots of walks, and frequent the local dog parks.
We are also working toward starting agility training. Right now, we’re in an advanced obedience class that meets once each week. He absolutely loves it!
ROVER: So you’re studying to become a vet tech—that sounds like an amazing job! What are some of the unique challenges and joys of being a vet tech? Has this training helped you as a pet sitter?
AMANDA: My schooling has helped tremendously during my time as a Rover sitter. I am able to quickly realize when an animal isn’t well, as well as administer medications, and I have a lot of practice doing so.
Being a Rover sitter has also helped me excel in school. With each dog I watch, I obtain more and more knowledge about different breeds, medical conditions, nutrition and diet—even canine pregnancy and whelping.
ROVER: At Rover, we’re all dog lovers—there’s nothing quite like that human/canine bond. In your opinion, what is it about dogs that makes them such incredible companions and friends?
AMANDA: What makes a dog such an amazing companion? A dog will always be happy to see you when you get home from a long day. If I’ve had a particularly bad day, all it takes to put me in a better mood is seeing my dogs.
Dogs are so keen to human emotion. My dogs can always tell how I’m feeling.
It’s also so rewarding to know that I am making a dog’s life the best it could possibly be. It is really kind of difficult to put into words exactly how I feel when I am with my dogs, or other peoples’ dogs as well—it’s just an amazing feeling.
ROVER: Share a highlight of your experience pet sitting—like a lovable dog or a great stay.
AMANDA: Let’s see, a highlight…I would have to say there is one dog in particular that I walk several times a week that I have absolutely fallen in love with! Her name is Sophie—she was one of my first few Rover clients! I see her so often, and we have our whole routine down to a science.
Even though all the dogs I have watched have been amazing, Sophie is almost like a surrogate puppy. I love her like she were my own, and I imagine it will be a sad day for me when she no longer needs me.
ROVER: And lastly…Hooray for Hawaii vacations! Have you started thinking about when you’ll take this trip? What are you most excited about seeing in Hawaii?
AMANDA: OMG Hawaii! I am so excited! I will be taking the trip in May with my boyfriend. This trip will actually be right in time for our 1 year anniversary!
I have never been to Hawaii, but he has. He has already told me that we have to have shaved ice from this certain place. I think I may even man up and try spam…however I think I’m the most excited to snorkel for the 1st time!
Congratulations to Amanda, and to all the sitters who welcomed dogs into their homes, lives, and hearts over the holidays.