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Devon's Dog Sitting began as an instagram account to document all of the pets I was able to stay with through my account on Rover, which I joined in the fall of 2015 while I was living in New York City. But I had been dog sitting long before then, and offering walks even longer.

 

Recently, I had the sudden recollection of my time as a dog walker as a child, offering walks around my neighborhood circle for a dollar apiece. I suppose I have always been an entrepreneur, because with that memory came one of making posters with the family computer, printing them out, and slipping them in the front doors of all my neighbors' homes. I had the same three clients, never quite expanding beyond our street, but for a 10-year-old it was not a bad start.

When I graduated high school, I began pet sitting sporadically for friends and family, and while I always loved it, the idea that it could be a legitimate profession never crossed my mind. 

It wasn't until I was in New York City, attending the Atlantic Acting School, that I decided I should get back into pet care. My family dog, Butterscotch, had passed away the year before, and I could feel all that love I felt for her aching in my chest with nowhere to go. As a pet sitter, I could give that love to someone else's pet and get some love in return.

I began to see ads all over the subway for a new app called Rover, and soon I was signed up, approved, and meeting my very first client in Washington Heights. He was a cat named Sebastian and he quickly became very near and dear to my heart, remaining one of my favorite clients I have ever had. At the time, the acting program I was in was rigorous and the hours were intense, so a pet care job fit my schedule perfectly. I did overnights with dogs and cats all over the city and walked a dog (shoutout to Harvey) during my lunch hour at school.

When I moved back to Dover in the beginning of 2018, I began working as a bartender in addition to fulfilling bookings through Rover. Soon, people began to know me through word-of-mouth and I started to get more work off of Rover than on it.

We cannot forget the most important chapter of our story - in the fall of 2019, a new member of the team signed on, AKA I adopted my rescue pup Gemma from One Tail at a Time in Massachusetts. It took her some time, but now she is a pro at staying in new places and meeting new pets, making her the perfect partner in my business. When she isn't able to join me, I am very lucky that my parents happily have their granddog-ter come stay with them. 

I continued pet sitting as a side gig until the pandemic hit. The restaurant I was working at closed, and suddenly no one was traveling anymore. On top of that, I had an ankle surgery in the summer of 2021 that kept me off my feet for three months. I utilized that time, however, by getting my businesses organized and prepared to come back full force when it was safe again. I decided to completely part ways with Rover and take the knowledge and business skills that I had learned throughout the years to begin working independently. 

Now, I am a legal business entity with pet sitting insurance, a first aid certificate, Fear Free certification, and a growing client list I can barely keep up with. And I love it. I still pursue acting opportunities when they arise (I was nominated at the 2023 New Hampshire Theater Awards, a childhood dream of mine!) and relish in the flexible schedule that pet sitting provides.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't acknowledge how lucky I am to have a job that I truly love - one where giving and receiving affection is literally in the job description.

Updated Jan 2024

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