Animals are Always More than a Job
This morning during our car ride back home after our morning visits Lara and I were discussing one of our sitter's, Kaye, and how she had walked to a client's house the night before. This client hired us because she had surgery and was non-weight baring. Kaye felt a responsibility to get to the client and take care of her dog. I mentioned to Lara that Kaye is the exact type of sitter we need and that we need sitters who feel taking care of the pets is more than just a job.
Lara responded to this by telling me she agreed and that to her animals had always been more than a job. She grew up on a diary farm taking care of the calves and went to college to earn a degree in Equine Science. To her it goes beyond just being more than a job but they are more than a responsibility. We could be the only opportunity to animals have to eat or go outside or get human interaction when bad weather strikes and they are counting on us. The humans are our clients but the animals are the ones we perform the service for. They need us to take care of them no matter the weather and what Kaye did, while above the call of duty, is what is necessary to care for the pets.
While we appreciate Kaye and all professional pet sitters that braved the elements yesterday we know that we have sitters that don't feel safe driving or venturing out in this type of weather and we wouldn't ask them to. All we'd ask of them is to let us know they can't so we can cover those visits. An odd fact about me is I admire Hannibal Barca and his leadership. It is said the secret to his success as a leader is he never asked his men to do anything he wasn't willing to do himself. So while Kaye walked that evening to a visit Lara and I that afternoon had found Princess Anne Road impassible due to drifting snow and walked the 1.5 miles from Vanguard Landing to the home of the dog we had to visit and this is not the first time we've done something like this.
In October of 2016 Virginia Beach was hit by Hurricane Matthew after it was supposed to turn out to sea. We had told our clients that we didn't think it was going to be a problem as all the predictive models said it wasn't going to hit are at most it would graze us. instead it dropped a massive amount of rain on Virginia Beach and we were flooded out of many of the neighborhoods we had to do visits in. Several times we parked our cars outside of a neighborhood or as close as we could get and walked in. Often times wading in hip deep water. We did this because the animals need us.
Weather happens. It will continue to happen. Winter Storm Grayson and Hurricane Matthew are the two most recent examples of extreme weather events in our area but they won't be the last and the pets won't care then just as they didn't care these last two times. Pets will always be more than a job to us and we will continue to go to whatever lengths we can to make certain they're taken care of.