By: Revanche

When you can’t throw money at the problem(s)

February 13, 2017

Dogcare and when I can't throw money at our problems I hate change (that I didn’t initiate) so much. This is turning out to be the season of many changes, many more than we had originally planned.

We have that awful neighbor / house thing happening right now, which means we have to pare our things down to the bare minimum, and then put a great deal of furniture in storage. That also requires renting a truck to move said furniture to and from storage. And of course that’s the smaller portion of the greater problem: we have to show and sell our place, while finding a place for ourselves to buy. And then move.

That’s been stressing me out but I’ve just about been able to handle it, even with dealing with the logistics for a big trip we have to take later this year.

It’s almost like I was taunting my old friend Murphy who came swooping in with a new problem and dropped it on my head.

I’ve been trying to book our favorite, and most trusted, and let’s be honest, our only trusted petsitters well ahead of time. We always try to give them as much notice as possible. This isn’t just our favorite sitter, this is The Perfect Sitter. They made themselves available when JuggerBaby was born, picking him up, dropping him off, bathing him, keeping him an extra day when we had to stay in the hospital another night. They take him for hikes, their dogs cuddle with him, they sleep together on his bed. They text with pictures and updates regularly, they spot even the slightest new thing wrong with him and alert me immediately.

But – you knew that was coming, right? – they are unexpectedly unavailable for several months this year. We would normally need to leave Seamus with them a few times, and now we have to find a new sitter entirely.

This has happened before.

A few weeks before we went to Italy, 20 days before we were set to leave, our sitter had serious issues that prevented her from watching Doggle. Given the short timeframe we had to find another sitter, I wanted to skip the trip and stay home with Doggle and Seamus who had just come to live with us. That feeling seemed irrational at the time. There are competent, caring people who can care for a dog, and some of them live right here! We finally chose to trust a friend – I’ve regretted it ever since. The worst possible thing happened: we lost Doggle.

Can you imagine how little I want to go on any trip, much less an international trip in these uncertain times, and leave Seamus in the hands of someone who hasn’t proven to be a completely reliable, intelligent, resourceful sitter with great communication?

This is one of those times where I would normally just say damn the cost, and find a way to fly out a trusted friend for a vacation for the price of hanging out with and caring for Seamus.

This is one of those times that totally sucks because I can’t afford to throw that kind of money at the problem. Our housing situation is going to suck up every bit of cash we have and then some.

I have more than just 3 weeks to find someone suitable, this time, but I can’t shake that horrible feeling that this is going to turn out terribly again and I don’t know how I’d forgive myself if that came to be true.

:: Tell me that it’s possible to find a second great dogsitter in a few weeks? Tell me good stories of your pets (or kids if that’s your thing) being taken care of by other people?

8 Responses to “When you can’t throw money at the problem(s)”

  1. Mimi says:


    I’m not sure where you are in the Bay Area, but I’d be happy to recommend our petsitter if you are in the South Bay. One thing that i have done in the past is to hire a pet sitter for a trial weekend and see how you feel about them at the end of it.

    • Revanche says:

      If you wouldn’t mind sharing your sitter’s info, that would be great! You can email it to me at revanche @ (without the spaces) if you have time. Thanks for the offer!

  2. I’m always terrified about leaving our dogs with someone the first time. On our first out-of-town trip after Baguette was born, our in-laws came over a couple of times per day to feed and walk Wicket. It was in the middle of an intense heat wave, and they decided to take her home with them because their house was a little cooler. I was so scared that she would leave and try to find her way back to us, but thankfully she was delighted to stay with them–we started referring to their house as “Wicket’s Disneyland” because she would get so excited any time we took her over.

    They were not willing to take in Butch and Sundance, and it turned out that our groomer had just started doing pet boarding, so we took them to her house for a few days. At that point Sundance had a tendency to bolt through any open door or gate–he wanted to see the whole world! All at once! Right now!–so I was really anxious that he would run out and get hurt. But she and her family were very careful, and both dogs had a wonderful time with her.

    She had some serious health problems and couldn’t take the dogs a few times, and we got a referral from a friend for another boarding place. It’s a home-based business, and they have a small kennel in their back yard. Everything is very clean, and the boys are always happy and healthy when we pick them up. We felt bad about shifting away from the groomer for boarding, but her original rates were too low to be sustainable, and now it costs about as much to board the dogs as it does to go on vacation. (Mind you, she makes sure they get lots of exercise and activity, and she’ll groom them for an extra fee before you pick them up). I don’t think her new rates are inappropriate, but they aren’t affordable for us. So our backup place has become our go-to place.

    I hope you find someone you feel good about. It makes such a difference to not worry. And I’m so sorry about Doggle.
    Tragic Sandwich recently posted…2017My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Oh, you know my pain. I’m so glad that you were able to find good and reliable care for the pups. It is awfully pricey, so I have to factor it into all our vacation plans so we know if it’s realistic to go or not. There has to be a good intersection between cost and quality of care.

  3. Good story of pet being cared for: There were a couple of kids who loved our dog Rocky – a ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. When we went away, we asked their parents if they’d be willing to babysit him. The parents fell in love with Rocky as much as their kids had. Within a few months, this family had their own ruby Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
    I hope that you find another pet sitter and that your have a happy pet sitting story to share after your trip.
    Fruclassity (Ruth) recently posted…How to “Know Thyself” in Debt PayoffMy Profile

  4. Linda says:

    When I moved across the country and settled here in North Bay the first thing I had to do was find a reliable dog walker and care for my dog when I was out of town. Since Hannah dog does not want to be around other dogs, this presented a challenge.

    I started out by asking at the vet’s office if they had recommendations on dog walkers. Once I found my dog walker, everything else started to fall into place. Dog walker referred me to her trainer, who then referred me to a local woman who does boarding and is very selective of her clientele. That woman knows how to handle dogs, and Hannah dog was just fine there, even with other dogs visible and near her. I now have a couple people to do house-sitting when I go out of town and Hannah stays in her comfort zone. The cost is the same (or even a little less) as boarding, and I know that the fish and plants will be tended, too.

    It will work out. Start tapping into your network, be prepared to pay for good care, and all will be well.
    Linda recently posted…Extreme introvertingMy Profile

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