We had snow last night and it continued through the morning to bring us another 20 centimetres of the white stuff (about 8 inches.) That’s not a lot on its own…but the blizzard conditions and white-outs make driving treacherous.
Fortunately we’re still in holiday mode and only had to visit one household with 2 cats and one with 2 dogs today. Also luckily, both calls were in our small town so we could walk and avoid a disaster on the unplowed roads. We didn’t have to consider contingency plans…then again, I suppose walking is a form of contingency plan! And when I say we could walk…I mean my husband walked over this morning while I was still in bed. (I’m making him an extra special dinner tonight!)
But what about tomorrow night and the next one and the rest of the winter? What do you do when the forces of nature, car breakdowns, sickness, or family emergencies hit?
When you start out as a pet sitter, you tend to think in the same terms as any other job, that sometimes you just don’t go. Or you figure you’ll find a way. But it’s better to have a contingency plan in place if you can. Little furry faces are out there looking for you!
Sometimes it Takes Two
We have two of us doing the job, to begin with. That helps enormously. We also have emergency contacts for the clients who we can call if we can’t reach the client. Often the client will call a neighbor with a key. Sometimes, despite our efforts, it’s impossible for anyone to get to the animal in the short term and regrettably that means a puddle on the floor or very crossed legs. Usually the storms will blow themselves out and if we’re on a vacation sit, we arrive as soon as we can once it’s safe.
There’s another alternative. If you know a weather issue is arising, you might go early and stay the night or pick up the animal and bring him to your place. We have this written into our contract that the choice is up to us when we’re considering the animal’s and our safety. Most often we can call or text the client so they have the option to come home early, too.
Each circumstance is different so you’ll need plenty of contingency plans to keep ahead of the game. And being prepared makes all the difference for feeling in control and enjoying the job.
Until next time…have fun out there!