The Shitty Pet Sitter.

I have this sweet little dog.


This is Ginger.

She is a rescue. We adopted Ginger from a friend who adopted her from a kennel somewhere in Colorado. We don’t really know what she is. Other than just “dog”. Her kennel papers said “basenji mix”. Which is possible. And the vet said almost certainly “pit bull mix”. I somehow discovered these mountain feist dogs on the amazing internet that look SO MUCH like her. Anyway. Who knows. We don’t care what she is. She’s just Ginger.

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Ginger is smart and energetic. She is great with Eddie. He gets a little frustrated when she licks his face too much. And I understand, because her breath reeks. She is obedient. She will not touch food until you tell her it is okay to do so. She can be a little judgmental around new people. She doesn’t like everyone. She didn’t really like my mom. Ha ha. She gets really nervous when strangers pick up Eddie. She’s a great dog, overall.

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But oh man. She hates other dogs. Like, a lot. It annoying limits the things we can do with her. Dog parks are totally off-limits. Doggy play dates. Doggy day cares. So when we travel, like we did this past weekend, we hire a pet sitter to come take care of her while we are gone.

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We found the pet sitter on Angie’s list. She had a ton of great reviews. I met her. Ginger met her. She seemed friendly and responsible. At this point, she has watched Ginger four or so times. She comes twice per day, takes ginger out, feeds her and hangs out with her for a half hour.

Or so I thought.

Our security system records every time a door in our house is opened or closed. On a whim, Matt decided to check it for the period of time that we were out of town. And he discovered that the pet sitter came once per day, for less than 10 minutes. To be exact, seven minutes on Saturday, and eight minutes on Sunday.

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If you have never loved a dog, you might not be able to understand the rage that is boiling inside of me right now. Imagine eating once per day and holding your pee for over 24 hours. And then imagine putting someone you love in that situation, even unknowingly. And also imagine that we gave a shitty, deceptive person the key to our house. I have lot of anger.

Matt said, “What do we do? Do we call her out?”

And I said, “FUCK YES!”

So we arranged a time with the pet sitter for her to bring back our house key. And I contemplated what exactly I would say to her. Confrontation is one of my least favorite things. Usually when I have to confront someone, one of two things happen: My emotions get the better of me and I say really mean things and swear a lot, and then regret it, or I say nothing or downplay the situation or act like its no big deal, and then also regret it. I was a little nervous leading up to the confrontation. I wondered how she would react. Would she get angry and defensive? Yell at me? Would she deny it? Would she say our security system is wrong?

She did none of those things, and not to brag, but I was awesome.

I was calm, I looked her in the eye, I told her what our security system revealed.

She gasped and apologized, and said she had hired an additional pet sitter to help her out. And it was they who didn’t come take care of my dog.

I don’t believe this story. But I asked her why she gave the key to my house to someone I’ve never met, and who has never met my dog.

She apologized again, and said she should have asked first.

Then Matt pointed out that even the visits she did complete where less than 10 minutes. She tried to say we agreed on that length of time. So I asked her why she charged us for 30 minute visits. She had nothing. She apologized yet again and said we didn’t have to pay.

I said, “I wasn’t planning on it.”

And then I said, “The other problem is that I found you on Angie’s list. And the whole reason Angie’s list works is because of customers’ honest reviews. So I want you to know I am going to leave an honest review on there.”

She nodded, turned and skulked out of my house.

It might seem like the obvious response to the situation, or a small victory, but for me, it was great. It might be the first time I have successfully and unapologetically confronted someone who has wronged me. Without losing my cool, and without trivializing the situation. And it felt awesome.

And I did it all with a baby on my hip, bitches.

You’ll be happy to know that Ginger is back on her usual eating, peeing, pooping and snuggling schedule.

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2 thoughts on “The Shitty Pet Sitter.

  1. This really sucks Shannon! Your lucky enough to have a security system that could tell you all that. We just left Theo for the first time at a new kennell and the poor thing came back reeking of pee. Its so hard finding a decent place. It seems people who take care of dogs can be extremely deceiving!

    1. Totally! And it makes no sense. Why would someone go into that field if they didn’t care a lot about animals?!

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