Friday, October 28, 2011

Ditch the Kennel, Hire the Neighborhood Kid

Samantha, dogsitter extraordinaire

I don’t have anything against kennels, they fulfill a need. But if you have a choice, I say hire the neighborhood kid to watch your dog while you’re away. I’ve been on both ends of it.

When I was a boy I took care of a couple of dogs. My brother did too. It was fun and pretty good money. The dog got to stay where it was most comfortable—inside its home—and we became additional trustees in the dog’s world. That’s important for a couple of reasons. If a dog is ever on the loose, or in danger, and needs to hear a trusted voice—you could be the one. I can’t tell you how many times I shepherded neighbors’ dogs home.

Not only that, you get to know your neighbors better and develop a trust with them. When we lived in Wilmington, Delaware, we could always count on the Collins kids next door. They were dependable, our dogs loved them, and I felt much better about giving my money to them than to a kennel.

I don’t see a lot of kids today knocking on doors for driveways to shovel, or leaves to rake. I don’t think it’s because they’re totally work averse, they just don’t always know where the work is. Create a job for them. It works for everybody.

Ever been a dogsitter? Share a story below.

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