Stressful sit

Today is the last day of my most stressful sit here and I am counting the minutes to be in my own bed. I’ve been thinking all week what we could have done differently so we can avoid this kind of experience again.
The owner wanted someone who prioritized her dogs. Sure! I’ve always done that in all my sits. We have been talking for months but I guess I didn’t know what she meant by that.
Only 2 days before our trip, she decided to write the welcome guide. We already had our plane tickets and car rented.
First the guide said we could only leave the house for 2 or 3 hours max. When we arrived, it went from 2 hours max to you’re not allowed to leave them alone. We can’t take the dogs on any excursion.
She demanded that the dogs must sleep in our bed without mentioning that one snores super loudly.
One dog has been acting super aggressive towards the other 2 and we had to separate them multiple times and this has been the most stressful part. I am pretty good with dogs, and I am not sure if he’s acting worse with us.
She treated us as her servants (or free cost employees) from the moment we arrived as if we should be grateful to be in a nice house. Also, she mentioned that she has spent so much money in the past with dogsitters. Thank God she found this website.
We just feel overall disrespected, and she wasn’t upfront about a lot of details. It feels like a full time job with no remuneration instead of an exchange service.

Conclusion: I haven’t slept in 10 days and it’s taken a toll on my health. This was one of the first sits we booked here and I’ll be extremely careful next time before I’ll accept anything. I feel like we are constantly walking on eggshells, afraid to get a bad review and therefore, we’re having to “swallow” all these things. Who knows? We might get a bad review anyway after being locked in this house for days and dedicating 24/7 attention to them.

There are a lot of other little details with micro aggressions I’ll leave out but I don’t know what I could have done differently here. I honestly wanted to cancel when I read all her demands 2 days before the trip, but it wouldn’t be nice to cancel last minute. Now I wish I did in order to avoid so much stress.
I absolutely love animals with all my heart but why would I spend hundreds of dollars to go take care of animals somewhere else if I am not allowed to leave the house? I mean, I don’t need a place to sleep even if it has a nice view.
Just some back history, our last 2 sits were great and we loved it (and they loved us).

Hello and we’re so sorry you’ve joined us because of such a bad experience. I’m tagging @Therese-MembershipService and @Katie-MembershipServices who will contact you directly once they’re at work tomorrow. They’ll want more details but will email you, as they’ll need to manage it privately, away from the forum.

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I suggest you also take a copy (print or photo) of the Welcome Guide the way it currently reads. You don’t want to leave yourself open to someone changing it after the sit. I don’t know whether THS has a system that allows them to trace edits to a Welcome Guide. Try to gather whatever evidence you can to support your position, while you’re still there.

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We’re so sorry to hear that you’ve had such a rough sit!

First, what we say below isn’t to be critical or criticize what has already happened. We genuinely want to help however we can to help you learn from this experience. No one should have to go through this. Second, we don’t know the whole story, the timeline and exactly what the conversations were. So forgive us if we misunderstood or over generalize :slight_smile: With that being said, here are our comments, thoughts, suggestions…

It seems like you had many red flags to begin with. If we had a homeowner say “prioritize my dogs/cats”, we’d immediately need to know more. A very normal question we ask on a video chat is “tell us about the pet’s personality” and “tell us about their feeding/walking/daily routine”. This gives incredible amounts of information!

We ask many questions in advance, make sure we have pictures of the home and pets, and make sure we’re a fit not only for the pets but also the owner. One of the reasons we sit is the connections and friendships we make. So if communication isn’t good, gratitude for us and interest in us isn’t there, it’s a no-go for us.

If we received a manual 2 days in advance, that would also be a red flag. Only leaving the home for 2-3 hours is a no-go for our us. We’re homebodies, but we want the option of being out-and-about. Then, arriving to find out it was zero hours out of the house would be a showstopper. If we hadn’t already been in contact with THS, we’d be on the phone upon arrival with them.

While reviews are important, they aren’t everything. We think it’s important to be critical about what you apply for and what you accept. It’s a two way street and there are plenty of sits out there. We know we’re not the best fit for every sit, but there’s probably someone out there who is. If you do end up in a situation that just isn’t equitable, we highly recommend reaching out to THS for help right away. Ultimately, your emotional and physical health is not worth putting at risk no matter what.

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@elcapitan Thank you for joining the forum and no member should experience a situation which gives cause for concern and distress and we have processes in place to help support anyone is a difficult situation.

Membership Services are trained and experienced in dealing with situations of concern and this is done directly and away from the forum as these are often complex matters requiring in depth support. @Snowbird thank you for supporting and guiding @elcapitan regarding protocols for sit related issues.

@Therese-MembershipService from Membership Services has been tagged and will contact you directly via email once she is back online, you can also Direct Message me at anytime if you need extra support.

I am going to close this topic and anyone wishing to discuss this further can Direct Message me.

Thanks all who messaged for your care and support.

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