Robyn O.'s profile

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2017-06-02 15:04:38 -0600 answered a question Do you have a contract with dog parents you can share regarding damages to your home?

I'd reiterate what Hillary had to say. Every time we take a dog, we run the risk of the dog doing damage to our homes. It usually doesn't happen but every once in awhile it does.

We try to minimize the damage in a few ways. We have hardwood floors and don't really put rugs down at all. Much easier for cleaning up accidents. We also keep various cleaners on hand including urine destroyers (although I honestly prefer vinegar better). We cover our furniture with blankets while we have dog guests. We keep a ton of toys of various sizes for chewers. We also walk active dogs a lot. Dogs who are tired are less likely to be destructive. I did have one puppy who ignored toys but would chow down on any shoe he could get a hand on. So shoes went into closets....and pillows. He turned on the pillows as soon as we put away the shoes. ;) Speaking of that, we have 2 sets of pillow and blankets. The kind we put out when we have dog guests. Then we have fancier blankets and throw pillows for company. It's almost like baby proofing except for dogs. :)

Puppies do tend to be a little more destructive than other dogs but that's okay. They're learning. I spend the time they're with me working on alternative behaviors. So "don't chew on that shoe/electrical chord/cat...here's a toy with a treat in it!!"

2017-06-02 14:30:17 -0600 answered a question people not showing up when they say they will?

I used to have this happen with 2 specific clients and it drove me nuts. Here's what I've been doing and it seems to be working for me. I always text them in advance to confirm the pick up time and add that I'm "trying to plan my day." That puts them in the mind frame that I'm not just sitting around waiting for people to pick up their dogs. Most people are courteous at that point and get it.

Every once in awhile, I'll have someone who just doesn't get it. If I do decide to re-book with them, they get VERY specific instructions. "Just confirming that 9:30am pick up! My dentist appointment that day is at 11:00am so as long as I leave by 10:30, I'll be there in time." Or "Just confirming that 1:00pm pick up! That's the day I have tickets to blah, blah, blah. As long as I leave at 2:00pm I'll be there on time." That almost always gets through to them. They'll either arrange a different time or they'll be there by the latest time I've mentioned. I've only ever had one person still show up long after (3 hours!!!) the pick up time and I really was at the doctor. I warned her!!!! LOL!!!

Remember that your time is valuable. Spell that out for people. And if they're still don't respect that, I wouldn't book with them again. We're not boarding facilities that have a 24 hour check in/check out desk. What we do offer is love and care that they won't get at a boarding facility. So emphasize the care they get while making them aware that we are different.

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2017-05-16 09:17:58 -0600 answered a question how do you guys deal with going on vacation and frequent clients?

We have a sitter who regularly watches our dogs and we refer clients to her when we go on vacation. My concern at first was losing our regulars to her when we go on vacation (she's fabulous) but that didn't really happen. People are very understanding about vacations. And I try to bring back a little gift for our regulars when we go on vacation. Nothing big. Just a little "we were thinking about you while we were gone" gift.

2017-05-16 09:10:24 -0600 answered a question Why are some owners so rude to not answer after a meet and greet which I think went very well?

My answer is similar to those above. Usually, a potential client will confirm with me that they're going to book at the meet and greet. If they don't confirm that (have other potential sitters to meet, etc.), I open my schedule. Then I'll send them a quick follow up message 24 hours later, telling them I enjoyed the meet and greet. Then I wait 24 hours and archive the request.

I honestly don't take it personally if someone doesn't contact me back. We were Rover clients before we were sitters and met with several people. The first 2 were lovely people but the last one just felt like they would really mesh well with our dog. So I always tell people I won't be offended if they don't pick us. That we want their fur kids to be in the best place for them.

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2017-02-22 11:22:21 -0600 asked a question Did I handle this the right way? Terrified of bad review?

I've been a Rover sitter for a couple of years and love it. I've never had a bad review. We've had situation where we've dealt with aggressive dogs but we know how to handle that. Then we tend to just not take them again. What we've never dealt with is a truly difficult owner.

We had a pair of dogs stay with us over the weekend and they were super sweet. We had a massive storm on Monday night and one was so scared I stayed up all night with her. I really thought we did well with both dogs. We followed instructions, gave medications. They don't wear tags (red flag) so we kept them in our yard for potty breaks. One had a blast playing with our younger dog and they both seemed happy and relaxed.

The day after pick up, I got a complaint from the owner that her younger dog's fur was matted underneath. (The dog is a long haired dog.) I had told her at pick up that we had tried to brush her but that it was impossible (the dog nipped and wiggled 2 much). Even she admitted that she's the only one who can brush her. So in this message, she demanded to know if the dog got wet. Ummm...we had a massive storm so yes. When we took the dogs potty in the morning, even I got wet!! The dog is also 10 months old and played half the day with our younger dog. That would cause matting too.

I was professional in my response but she just kept at me. I think what she wanted was a refund of some sort. I finally responded that it sounded like we aren't the best sitter for her dogs. That we loved watching them and that we appreciated her allowing us to do so. But that Rover could potentially find someone with more grooming experience.

Did I handle this the right way?? We only made $79 dollars from the stay so I wasn't going to give her a refund. I stayed up all night with one of the dogs! That same dog had to have her rear end wiped after every potty break. I earned that money!! But now I'm terrified of getting my first bad review. I'm dumbfounded by this. How does she expect a long haired dog who refuses to be brushed to NOT get matted?? This whole experience has been so confusing!!!

Does anyone know how Rover handles unwarranted reviews?? She hasn't reviewed us yet but I'm very concerned. And has anyone lost business because of one bad review??

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2017-01-04 09:22:45 -0600 commented answer Anyone else notice insanely low rates from other Rover sitters?

I didn't lose any clients and didn't put that in my post. My post was about new bookings which have picked up, btw. Those cut rate sitters seem to be dropping by the wayside. I assume they weren't serious about it or the quality of care wasn't as good??

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2017-01-04 08:47:04 -0600 answered a question Anyone else notice insanely low rates from other Rover sitters?

Just to update since I posted. A lot of those low price sitters are dropping by the wayside. They either got horrible reviews and don't get much business or they obviously weren't serious about it. Our bookings picked up after I posted this and have been steady ever since. Along with our five star reviews.

One of the responses I got on here was AWFUL and that person should be ashamed. Assuming I do this only for the money (this is NOT our primary income and I never said it was...I just understand not undercutting other Rover sitters). And no one in this city is going to find better care for their dog than I give. Period. I do this because I love dogs and because we were loyal Rover clients. I was disgusted by some of the homes I visited when we were looking for a sitter in our new city. Homes that smelled and one home where the sitter smoked like a chimney. We ended up finding a sitter 30 minutes away and have stuck with her even though there are cheaper people close by. They love our dog and treat her like family. That's what we do. I'm home all day and give the dogs we sit more attention than they probably get at home. Our home is like the best resort money can buy...and we're going to continue to charge for that. The Four Seasons wouldn't charge Motel 6 prices just because there was a Motel 6 nearby.

2017-01-04 08:36:59 -0600 commented answer Anyone else notice insanely low rates from other Rover sitters?

Wow...you made a lot of assumptions there. Actually, since I posted this, I've been getting a TON of bookings at a higher rate than you. And probably at a better quality. I'm home all day and dogs are treated like family. Your friend is disgusting and your assumptions about me are disgusting.

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2016-10-10 19:07:19 -0600 answered a question Losing Business for Preferring Meet and Greets?

I echo what the others have said. I don't take it personally and I don't accept dogs without a meet and greet. The one time I did, the dog was a nightmare. I had even done an extensive phone conversation with them prior to the stay. They lied about EVERYTHING. "Sure he's been around dogs!" (They later admitted he hadn't.) "Sure he's neutered." Nope. "He LOVES cats!!" Maybe loves cats as snacks!!

I figure if someone doesn't want to do a meet and greet they probably weren't a good fit for us or the dog was just a better fit for another sitter. :)

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2016-10-10 15:48:08 -0600 asked a question Anyone else notice insanely low rates from other Rover sitters?

We started sitting with Rover a couple of years ago and had a very steady stream of regular clients (many of whom are still regulars). We were busy all the time and loved it. However, our dog became terminally ill last Spring and we had to take a break. We needed to give her our undivided attention during her last months with us. We still watched the dogs of regulars on a case by case basis (our dog loved them and enjoyed it).

We're back sitting again and we haven't really been getting many requests from new clients. So I went online to look at the other sitters in the area. In the time we took our break, the number has grown from just a few sitters in our area to dozens. What shocked me is how little most of them are charging. As little as $15 a night, which is half what we charged. We've had to take our price down a bit. I'm all for healthy competition but this is still a business. When I started, I looked at prices in the area and charged accordingly. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to these massively low rates the new sitters are charging.

We're Rover clients as well. Our regular sitter noticed the same thing! She's been doing this for years and is worried about staying with Rover at all. I'm starting to think the same thing. I love doing this. I'm home all day and I absolutely love our fur guests! We treat them like family!! I just can't keep doing it if the amount of money I make gets cut so drastically. Anyone else notice this trend in their area??

UPDATE ON THIS POST...

Bookings picked way up after a month after I posted this. And quite a few of those cut rate sitters seem to have dropped by the wayside. They must not have been serious about it or maybe the quality of their care wasn't very good. What we've come to realize is that we shouldn't cut our rates because people choose to charge nothing. We're very good at this and our clients appreciate that. I look at it this way...would the Four Seasons cut their rates because the Motel 6 down the street is charging low rates? No. So if anyone else runs into this issue, hold your ground. If you're the best in the area, the clients will come your way. Just be patient.

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2016-02-13 09:05:17 -0600 answered a question Anyone else think Rover should count Easter as a holiday?

I think it should be! I already have unofficial requests for that weekend and I imagine it'll be busy. I plan on manually adjusting my rate as well.