I started out pet sitting and dog walking for fun. Purely as a hobby to get me out of the house more and to spend time with animals which I like more than the majority of people. Turns out, people are hard up for other people that will actually care for their pets as if they are their own. Before I knew it, my “hobby” had turned into a real business.
With LuLaRoe, which I still do, I jumped in feet first and it was fantastic. With this business, I’ve taken a little more time to get acclimated before getting my LLC, registering, and all that jazz. This is the year that I make everything official with the pet biz.
My process is similar to other pet minders. I conduct a meet & greet to make sure that a) the owner isn’t a psycho that wants to wear my skin, and b) to make sure I mesh with the pets. I’ve never ever had an animal take an immediate dislike to me. I’ve never really had an animal dislike me period.
I recently took on a new client and the meet and greet went great. I went over on a Friday afternoon after the owner was on a plane for her much need mini vacation. I did what I always do and unlocked the door while calling for the pooches. The 3 of them, two littles, and a big came running down the stairs. There was nothing to alert me that the biggie was anxious, aggressive or territorial. Until she latched onto my elbow and bit me, and then tightened her bite. To get her to release her bite, I had to kick/ knee her with my mending broken leg and pull the door to on her head. I didn’t in anyway hurt her. There was just nothing but physical force being exerted on her that was going to get her to release me. I stepped back from the screen door and saw a dog I didn’t recognize from the meet and greet. She was vicious. Snapping and snarling and clawing at the door.
I immediately called the owner and caught her between flights. Biggie had never bit anyone before and had never been what I’m calling “door aggressive”. There had been some changes recently in their living situation and I honestly think Biggie was just overwhelmed with it all. Poor thing. So, how did I manage the rest of the weekend with a dog that clearly wanted to eat me upon arrival?
- Dog Treats. I threw them across the room and got myself inside the house with a trash can between myself and Biggie. The hubby and I quickly found out that she truly was only door aggressive. Once in the house, as long as you didn’t approach the front door, she was fine.
- Choke Chain. After that first visit, I bought a cheap choke chain from Walmart. On the advice of a dog trainer friend, I utilized that for the rest of the weekend as it didn’t put me as near to her face when I would go to leash her up to go out.
- Phone a friend. The hubby went with me moving forward. We also learned if I stood behind the storm door and opened it, she would happily run to him in the corner of the fenced in yard and not attack me.
I’ve never been bitten by a dog before. It hurts! I’m up to date on all of my shots and so was Biggie. If that hadn’t been the case, I would have went to Urgent Care to get checked out. As it was, I had major bruising and a few puncture/ teeth marks that broke the skin. I cleaned them out well and watched them closely. It’s up to you how you react. If you think you need to be seen, get seen. Use your common sense.
I’m writing this basically to say it happens. I’ll certainly be more cautious entering homes from this point forward. It’s also driven home the point that I need to take my “go bag” with first aid equipment and pet what-nots EVERY. WHERE. I. GO. Hopefully this never happens to you, but if it does, keep your head about you and work out the safest possible option for both you and the pooch.