Back From The Country

Last weekend through Wednesday I spent 4 days in a nice country setting. The weather wasn't the best, a bit on the cool and rainy side but we did take advantage of the great outdoors when it was good. I kept the TV off until night and had the door open so I could hear all of the birds. Three dogs take their morning walk down the lane to get the paper. Two little dogs on one leash in one hand, and a ball launcher in the other hand for the bigger dog. The newspaper under the arm on the way back all takes a lot of coordination. I have never used a ball launcher before, but boy can they fly. And so does Daisy the cattle dog. I have never seen a dog run so fast for a ball.

In the afternoons we would go behind the house and launch more balls for her, and the little ones have a pile of toys to play with. I call this the toy boneyard. They stay out here for all seasons, some are even partially buried when the grass takes over.

Image may contain: plant, grass, outdoor and nature

Daisy, Tuxedo, Cairo, Ruffie and Tazzie

The two cats were nice to have around but mostly made themselves visible when they wanted food or a lap. If I sat in the recliner....boom....I had 2 dogs and 1 cat piling on me. Both cats take medicine but it was kind of hit and miss to actually get it to them at the right time. They have their own schedules you know.

The house is nice with a lot of character, built by the husband. Probably the worst thing about the stay is that they use well water and it has sulfer in it. It stinks, every time you turn on the water. Washing dishes, showering, and brushing my teeth just about made me gag. I brought a gallon of drinking water even though they have a Britta for filtering. I'll take my chlorinated city water any day.

When I met them for the first time, the first thing she wanted to talk about was my fee. I told her 40 for the first dog, 20 for each of the others and nothing for the cats. That was 80 a night for 4 nights. She squinched up her face and said they are both retired and couldn't afford that. She claimed they rarely travel because they can't afford to go anywhere. As independent contractors we are able to change our prices, and most do. I told her I would do it for 60. I'm still new and can't afford to turn business away.

The longer I stayed though, it was apparent to me that I may have been taken advantage of. As I looked around I could see high end furniture, a Mitsubishi heat exchange system, and evidence of past trips; one even to India to meet a Swami or something. The kitchen was stocked with only organic health food items which we all know is not cheap. Not one item with a Walmart or Dollar store label, like my house. The real kicker though is when I was looking around the property one last time before I left (she had showed me most of the out-buildings), and didn't recall her showing me this round building. I poked my head inside and what did I see but a hot tub. A full functioning hot tub ready to go!

I don't care what people have or do not have but it hurts to have someone tell you they can't afford your fees and you feel obligated to do the job for less. Next time there will be no discount. It comes with the business though and I need to learn to be stronger and stand up for myself.

All-in-all it was a good stay though. The animals were pretty well behaved and the property was beautiful. I really fell for Tazzie and actually felt sad when I left. She put her little paw up on the fence like she didn't want me to go. Nothing like the love of a dog.


Grumpy said…
As an old boss of mine used to say "Once you give on price you'll have Hell of a time raising it". I think you should stick to the pricing; they knew what it was when they signed on. Plus, they were packed and ready to go. Were they going to cancel their trip?

Anyway, nice setting to work in. Glad you're enjoying the job.
Valerie said…
Grumpy said it all and I say you have gained from the experience in that you won't give in another time. Ah yes, the love of a dog is a wonderful thing and it sounds as though you enjoyed your stay with those animals.
Mr. Shife said…
Looks like a pretty nice place to spend a few days. Sorry to hear that the owners took advantage of your generosity. I really do enjoy hearing all of these dog sitting stories, kden. It seems like you found yourself a nice little gig. Take care.

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