First of all, thank you for cheering us on when you first heard that Teacher's Pet Sitting Service was going to be featured in today's Hippo edition. We know that without the interest and support of our human and furry clients we wouldn't have a story to tell and for that we are grateful.
One of our faithful clients, Jen, was gracious enough to photograph us with a few of our "regulars", including her golden retrievers,, Molly and Cooper, last Sunday. During the two hour photo session Jen managed to supply us with many quality photos and we were sure some of them would appear in the Hippo but none of them were chosen due to lack of space.
So, just for fun, I decided to present the original Hippo article (below) to my readers but with pictures scattered throughout and I must admit that my version is a lot more appealing. What do you think, dear reader?
Pet Sitting, Dog Walking
Several years ago in Florida, April McLeod began a dog-walking service to make some money on the side. Now in Manchester, it’s not just her side job — it’s a full-time job and a lifestyle.
Sophie, Jesse, April, Molly, and Cooper are ready to start their walk.
Together with her fiancé, Amos Lindahl, McLeod spends each day bustling about to homes all over the greater Manchester area to take Fido out for a walk, let him do his business and give him a snack. There are
days when the pair needs to make it to more than 20 homes. Including people who take advantage of the service only while they’re on vacation, the pair serve more than 200 clients in Teacher’s Pet Sitting Service (http://www.teacherspetsitservice.com/).
Pictured from left to right: Daisy (our treeing walker coon hound); April; Jesse (foxhound mix); Cooper (golden retriever);Sophie (basset/beagle mix); Amos; Molly (golden retriever).
“It’s a job for someone who doesn’t want to be bored,” McLeod said. She might be out walking pets for a couple hours, then off for an hour or two, then back on for three hours.
McLeod isn’t trying to put doggie daycare services out of business. For many animals, those places are great. They provide exercise and socialization. But for other dogs, daycare can be traumatic. This way dogs and cats get to stay in their own environment and people don’t need to worry about making arrangements for pets, McLeod said.
Great Dane, Toby, prefers staying at home
because he needs his surroundings and his routine to be
“I wanted to give the pets a chance to stay home rather than be transported to the vets to stay in a kennel or doggie daycare,” McLeod said, adding that pet daycare facilities, like child daycare sites, can be prone
to the spread of illnesses.
For McLeod and Lindahl, it’s far from a 9-to-5 job. The schedule fluctuates daily and weekly. Sometimes they need to scoot over to a home to give a dog breakfast at 7 a.m. and other times they need to head out at 8 or 9 p.m. to give a pet a nighttime airing.
Molly, Amos, Cooper, and Daisy love
their walks together.
“We have clients who are just fascinated by our schedule,” McLeod said.
McLeod began walking dogs as a service while working as an adjunct professor in Florida. She began the business full-time in Manchester in 2006, after two years teaching full-time in New Hampshire. Lindahl joined full-time about four years ago as well. McLeod began her blog http://theteacherspets.blogspot.com/ as a way to give people an inside look at what Lindahl and she do each day.
The business mainly caters to dogs and cats, but they’ve also tended to birds, rabbits and a sugar glider, a type of flying squirrel. They’ve walked mastiffs and Great Danes as well as tiny chihuahuas.
Baxter, a bullmastiff, with Amos.
The twosome meet with the family and the pets first to make sure pets are comfortable with them. Lindahl said they’ve rarely had problems with pets though one time two cats chased him out of the house.
Hunter loves relaxing on the porch with his pet sitters.
Lindahl did say the economy over the last six to eight months seems to have caused some clients to cut back, but it seems to be picking up again.