Today I’m pleased to be sharing an extract from Trials and Tribulations of a Pet Sitter as part of the blog blitz organised by Rachel’s Random Resources.
Hilarious and heart warming true stories of a Pet Sitter.
Laura takes us on her journey describing the immense joy that the animals have brought into her life. But it’s not all fun and games. With sometimes as many as ten dogs around her home, things can get a tad hectic. Not to forget the every day challenges faced in keeping the pets happy and safe when out walking. Luckily she is not alone in her quest; her unusually dominant Golden Retriever ‘Brece’ is always by her side. Brece earns her keep by convincingly playing the part of the alpha female, ensuring harmony amongst the pack.
At times, the responsibility that Laura faces becomes overwhelming. She may think she has everything covered but that hand of fate could quite easily swoop down, creating havoc for her and the dogs. Laura has endured many close calls and teetered on the precipice of disaster may a time. The longer she continues with her pet sitting enterprise, the more likely hood that total disaster will actually strike. Is she tempting fate?
Laura Marchant is the Bridget Jones of the pet sitting world!
Laura Marchant was born in 1959 in the seaside resort of Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England. Both her parents were born in the same town, so not exactly a family of intrepid travellers! As a child Laura and her siblings were fortunate enough to own shares in the families pets. Unbeknown to Laura at the time, her love for the animals formed the blueprint for a large part of her life.
In 2011 she finally found her vocation, and in the comfort of her own home, set up a pet boarding business. For the next 7 years she shared her abode with a pack of dogs. A lot of this time was spent watching over the animals and observing their behaviour, which in turn inspired her to write her first novel ‘Trials and Tribulations of a Pet Sitter’.
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As part of my pet sitting business I offered a house sitting service. A lady called Marion took on the actual role of the house sitter.
I deeply regret the first house sitting job that I arranged for Marion and the position that I put her in. It was our very first assignment job back in 2011 and I was inexperienced in my new role. But in my defence, the customer had grossly misled me as to the extent of the rat infestation in her home!
At the consultation with the customer Elizabeth, she warned me that she had a couple of rats knocking about in the back garden. She owned six dogs, three rabbits and of course the rats, which she casually mentioned in passing. The house backed onto a brook and rather unwisely she kept the rabbit hutch in the back garden closely situated to the water. The rats from the brook were naturally attracted to the rabbit grain. It occurred to me that the vermin situation was not aided by the fact that the hutch was at ground level and not elevated in any way shape or form. Elizabeth understood that the rats were attracted by the rabbit food yet did nothing to rectify the situation. I found it strange that she ignored the health risk to herself and dogs, but kept my thoughts in my head. Elizabeth tried to assure me that the rats only came out at night to scavenge any grain that may have fallen out of the hutch, ‘You wouldn’t even know they were there!’
I provisionally booked Marion to house sit for Elizabeth. The actual booking would only be confirmed if Marion agreed to stay in a house with a rat issue and that was a highly unlikely scenario, or so I thought. After I left the house, I immediately made the call to Marion and put the revolting proposal to her; candidly informing her about the vermin but reiterating Elizabeth’s comments;
“You won’t even know they are there.”
It was a certainty that Marion would decline the unattractive invitation, most people wouldn’t have touched the job with a barge pole. Marion proved me wrong. I was completely startled when without hesitation she accepted the position. Being the tough old bird that she is, she resiliently replied; “Well, what I can’t see, can’t hurt me.”
So, with that we took Elizabeth at her word and agreed to house-sit for her. Several weeks after the job I learned from Marion that Elizabeth’s prediction was completely incorrect. When Marion was staying at the house she knew full well that the rats were there. The vermin, were bold as brass coming out in broad daylight, scavenging for scraps, and in their numbers, half a dozen at a time. Marion didn’t even get any respite at night, when darkness fell the rats invaded the kitchen. As she lay in bed, she could hear them scratching and scuttling about. Entering the kitchen each morning, sleep deprived, she was greeted by traces of rat urine on the worktops! Although clearly not comfortable with the situation Marion barely complained; such a tough old bird.