Sitting for friends?

Is it only me that feels bad/awkward constantly having to say no to friends & acquaintances that ask us to sit for them?
We get asked so many times by friends that know we are sitters but we very rarely are able to say yes as the time/location/duration seems never to fit.

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Thank you for putting the question forward @Colin looking forward to hearing other members thoughts especially as a high percentage of new members come through referrals it would also be interesting to know what you suggest and what solution they usually find.
RAF opportunities?

I’ve been caring for a friend’s cat in Paris for quite a few years now. It’s one of the things that prompted me to become a member of THS.

Last October, my friend sent me all of her travel dates for the first half of 2022 so that I could select which dates I would be available. That way I can say “yes” and stay with a cat I know and love.

After hearing about my good experiences with THS, my friend is now a member. I think she joined as a sitter.

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They usually understand. It’s very hard to sit for friends and family in the UK if we are in the US. We are so rarely there they prefer to see us when we visit, not disappear.
If they give us enough notice we try to accommodate them but I never feel pressured.

It is flattering to be asked by a friend and we have done a couple. However, it is when they ask you to sit for a member of their family who you have never met. You therefore have no idea what their pet/house/location is like and I find that awkward.
I now just state that I only do sittings via THS and RAF has been used.
That backfired though, I have a batty aunt in Vancouver who used RAF. She then blamed me as the cat got knocked down in the street and died, nothing that the sitter had done wrong.
Sometimes you can’t win!!

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Totally!!! We usually prefer longer sits
and friends & family are usually looking for a few weeks max. + we are often already booked too. They all seem to understand, but it always feels a bit awkward to say no…

If we can do the sits we are asked to help with we will do them but most times we have other commitments and say so. No need to feel guilty and our friends understand.

I joined THS to explore new areas. So it would be a simple (and acceptable) no. During my very first THS sit, the owners asked if I would sit for them again the following year. I politely declined stating that I am exploring new areas with each sit. (Though, I may change my mind since they had such a sweet dog. It’s all about the pets for me.)

Most of the time I am already booked so have to decline but I do encourage them to join and give them a link to THS.

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I sometimes take care of neighbor’s pets if I am in town, but that normally just involves dropping by twice a day to feed/water kitties and clean litter boxes or care for their pups in our house- I have never stayed in their houses. If my schedule does not allow me to care for them, I have referred them to join THS. One of my neighbors did join and had a wonderful sitter who he has invited for future sits. I don’t feel bad turning anyone down, especially since THS could be a great alternative for them to find a sitter.

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Usually friends I sit for stock the kitchen, take me out to dinner, and leave a bottle of wine. Ive started asking them instead of going that, join THS so I can get credit for an “official” sit and they can have a vetted pool of sitters to turn to when I can’t make it. Win-win.

I just tell them that I can do the sit, as long as they can find a way to give me a 5 star review. :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

They can always give you an external review which IMO is as good, if not better as they are not restricted by the THS review system

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