Lessons from sitting an old dog (or any animal, I think)

You are a great sitter. I had to pay a $200 vet bill once but was immediately Venmo’d the money, which I was grateful for. As a HO, I’ve setup my sitters on my vet’s account, so they can make decisions if necessary but hadn’t considered giving them a credit card to hold. I’m gonna check to see if they will do that after reading your story especially as my cat is getting old & I know from history that sometimes things change quickly as they age.


OP here - Closing the loop on this. Riley’s family returned today, thanked me for making him as comfortable as possible and wrote a check for the vet bill and a bit more for my travel. And that was appreciated.
Aside from the medical issues it was a good sit - the other dogs and the cat were delights and Bojangles, the macaw was a fun experience. She even posed for a selfie with me today - finally perched somewhere that I could get us both in a picture - she is waving.


I think trusting someone you don’t know for thousands in vet bills is kind of tricky. What if you do not have enough credit for something serious? What do you do with the pet then? Do you give the sitter a bad rating because they don’t have enough credit on their card to cover a serious vet visit?

Not vet bill, but other expense. Second sit I did was an RV. Storm comes, power out. They had left a credit card. And RV repair people cards. I called one. It was $150, found nothing wrong and the power came on by itself. Then another day, some wind and power goes out. I went to the RV management, they changed something. Works. Then out. The neighbor looked at it and showed me the cord that goes to the power. It was frayed. When pushed together, it worked, when wind moved it, lost power. The guy who checked everything out, didn’t check the cord. So they were kind of annoyed with me and didn’t think I was self sufficient. So even when you follow instructions and use the card and services they leave you. You can get in trouble if it is money not well spent. If the services guy, after checking every fuse and connection, except that, didn’t catch it, my fault??? So even when the credit card is left and you have some emergency, follow the instructions, it can go against you.

RV hosts should leave detailed instructions, because most people aren’t familiar with them. Not only can they end up not being able to solve problems, they can mess up an RV’s electrical, water, gray and black tanks or such, depending on whether or how they’re hooked up to shore power and/or have a generator or solar panels.

Even experienced RV folks can have trouble, because there are countless models spanning decades.

If you sit an RV in the future, you might want to join say some RV groups on Facebook or such. They have many experienced members who can help troubleshoot.

Personally, if I were sitting an RV and power went out, the first things I’d check are the plugs and cords. Why: It’s typical to start with the easiest stuff that can become loose. And it’s common with troubleshooting to check the obvious first, whether for technical, electrical or whatever.

1 Like

Here you are @toml

Leading the way.

Photo credit: Philothoughts


You are a wonderful man!! I personally couldn’t leave my pup if I knew it wasn’t doing well, but if I had too…I would want you to be there :slight_smile: I am glad everything turned out well and the HO’s were appreciative of you. Side note: great selfie!


I’m sorry if a petsitter has to deal with a health issue that requires a vet visit. I inform my cats’ vets and have a credit card on file for any medical needs they may have when I am away. I certainly do not think thay is unreasonable to ask of a pet owner. Thanks for your kindness and care for all animals.


Not planning any RV sits anymore, it was just when I was new and trying for a review. But if the guy who came, checked every connection and fuse – except the main power connection to the RV park, charging $150, I am thinking how should I have known, because when you just looked at it, it looked fine. It was only when the neighbor, closely looked at it and moved it, and saw the extent of the fray at the top of the cord, did I become aware. Just elaborating for any sitters out there that have a sit with a similar situation. I just adjusted it with a brick to keep it in place.


OP - one last message on this topic, probably. I heard from Riley’s humans that he died in his sleep on Monday evening - after their return on Monday early afternoon. I guess he was holding on to see them, so glad I kept him as comfortable as possible. And they left me a very kind review.


Riley and the HOs were lucky that you were his sitter


@toml Aaaw that is bittersweet news. :sleepy: So glad you were able to be there for Riley in his last days and that his owners got to spend the last few hours with him too. Bless him :pray:
This outcome really shows you did everything right and in the most compassionate way. The HOs must be so grateful they got you as their sitter.
Well done you :clap::heart:


Be proud of your role in his last days. A fitting tribute to great pet care @toml :hugs:


@toml You gave Riley the comfort and love he needed and his owners would have very much appreciated that. He definitely waited until they came home. :hugs:


@toml I am so sorry. The owners clearly appreciated all the love and attention you gave him at the end. I am so pleased they also saw him for his final hours.