Unexpected responsibilities

I’m one week into a three week sit and I feel taken advantage of. It feels more like a full on care taking position than a pet sit.

At the initial interview we discussed that the dog, who is very old, needs to be carried up and down the steps several times a day to go to the bathroom. It was not mentioned that it was every two hours starting at 6AM. I NEVER would have committed to this. Even with working from home, it’s disruptive to my work.

I have cleaned up several accidents daily. They left me lots of towels and are “sorry” I have to deal with this. But again NO mention of this in the initial interview. The accidents happen regardless of taking the dog out every two hours and pee pads don’t work. Most likely because she’s very old, but it should have been disclosed.

The HO also asked me, a few days into the sit, if I could let the exterminator in. I said no and explained the schedule was challenging enough and I was trying to manage that. A few days later they told me a handyman would be coming to replace a floorboard. I was straightforward and clear about this not being okay/stressfull for my work and reminded them of third party policy. They apologized and said theyd ask him to keep the noise down. I asked if there was anything else planned I should know about. They never answered, but had no problem getting in touch the next day about their daughter coming to pick up some mail.

Their daughter lives in the neighborhood. The sit is two more weeks. I realize I should have pressed harder for the welcome guide. I wish I could leave. I’m curious how others would handle this situation. I keep reminding myself they are nice people, but being polite is different from being respectful and I’ve felt quite respected in the majority of my sits, so this feels bad.

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This should have been in the listing, but of course then they would not get applicants.

I would not have taken the sit if they had come with this information in the chat. But so, even there they were not honest with you. And still you say that they are nice people… real nice people don’t do this! They do not arrange for fumigations and noisy home repairs during their own absence either.

Get out of there.

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Leave a factual review. Don’t mention how it made you feel or your opinion about it, just facts. Please warn future sitters about this behavior. Please!!

And, in regards to the third party policy, I’d also ask THS to talk to the HOs to reinforce that it is not acceptable having others come to the house while a sitter is there.

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I think you can get out now, this is well in breach of the Ts&Cs. Contact membership services with all documentation so they’re aware; and give the owners a time frame you’ll be out by, so they can make alternative arrangements. Be firm and don’t be swayed by any emotional pressure to stay “a bit longer” or anything like that.

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You can -
give notice that you will be leaving by xx and they need to arrange for alternative care for the dog ( daughter perhaps ? Their emergency contact ? Kennels ? -return home themselves? ) it’s up to them to sort that part out. Do this via the platform as well as by text or WhatsApp or however you are communicating with them.

At the same time contact member services explaining that the medical condition of the dog was not disclosed prior to the sit and that you have tried to work this out with the owners but the frequency of the care ( every 2 hours ) is unreasonable and you therefore have given the owners sufficient notice that you are leaving .

Screenshot the listing ( now before they can change it ) and submit this as proof that the frequency of this was not previously disclosed . This basically means you cannot leave the premises at all .

The urgent support line can be contacted by phone as shown on your dashboard.
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THS initial response will be about not abandoning pets ( and quite rightly this must be a priority) However that is not a get out clause to permit owners to ignore sitters or treat them unfairly.

Given that this was a medical condition that they were fully aware of prior to confirming the sit and nothing new- the owners need to be held accountable for not disclosing it to you.

Reiterate that you are not abandoning the pets because you have given the owners sufficient time either to return themselves or get alternative care for the dog and this was something that they knew about before the sit was confirmed but didn’t disclose.

Once it’s resolved please report back to the forum how you got on and what advice and help you received from the Urgent Support Line .

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First, I am sorry you are dealing with such unexpected issues, especially frequent accidents in the home. Honestly I can’t say for sure what I would do. In 10 years of sitting, while I have certainly encountered some unexpected issues, none were so bothersome to me that I ever thought about cutting the sit short.

I would most likely stay and tough it out, chalking it up to a good learning experience.

Regardless of what you decide, this situation will provide you with a bunch of really great questions to ask in future chats. Perhaps sitting for really elderly animals will become one of your ‘deal breakers’ and you won’t even consider applying. I have a few of my own based on past experiences.

Good luck!

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So sorry. We have minded a few elderly dogs on medication that makes them wee less. Is it an option to take the dog to a vet? How do you cope at night, or is that when the accidents happen?
Good luck, it’s such a tough situation.

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You have a lot of good advice here. One thing for perspective: Perhaps the dog being carried outside was a few times a day when you chatted and developed into every 2 hours. You should have been told in advance, regardless, but this may be a case of a worsening situation and the pet parent is in denial. It changes nothing except maybe no one was dishonest.

You can leave with notice. Or stay and give an honest review. The intrusion of workers and the daughter are way over the line given the situation with the dog. So sorry.

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I’ so much appreciate how thoughtful everyone’s suggestions are. And also the support. Each approach makes sense to me, different as they are. It is such a learning experience, all of this. I do think they are fully in denial of the challenging nature of this sit. They refer to it as “easy” several times throughout the listing. The dog’s nature is sweet and easy. They seem to confuse this with the sitters experience. I also kind of pride myself on having good intuition, so this is a humbling reminder of the occasional curveball. Im going to give it all some thought. Huge thanks here. Hard to explain this to my non TH friends :slightly_smiling_face:

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Night is no problem. She sleeps in my room and can go from 10-6 without accidents. The accidents are during the day. Sometimes even right after going outisde

Thank you for such a step by step. It’s better knowing I have an out and how to go about it. Will report back

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Hey there
Can you show a bigger screen shot of those #'s on the dashboard?

My dashboard is just “your sits” and “my sitters.”

Tx!

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One thing that you can do to curtail the number of times the dog needs to go out is to limit her water access. Once you know she has had a good drink, remove the bowl and present it again after a few hours.
Also, when she’s out, let her stay outside longer than just for the initial, possibly tiny, wee. Sometimes they don’t realize that there’s more in the bladder, or they get in “territory marking mode” and keep more for later.

I believe that if her bladder can hold it for 8 hours at night, it should be able to hold it longer than a couple of hours during the day.

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I’m pretty sure I was booked for this sit and the HO cancelled without discussion. THS received a complaint from me on how the HO cancelled and the fact the dog should be listed as “special needs”; I did request that THS investigate this HO. However, THS did nothing and allowed the HO to repost the dates, without even updating the listing for transparency. Sounds like the HO then hid facts from you, because they were desperate to book someone. I’ll DM you to see if it’s the same one.

Why did the HO cancel? The HO had reached out to me and asked me to sit. After a FaceTime call where we discussed the sit in detail, I requested a guide/notes asap. They sent weeks later (that they had clearly written some time ago) and it included requirements for the dog every 1-2 hours from 6a - 11p. Basically, you can’t leave the house for any more than two hours. I stated this wasn’t possible: I work (even if remote) and do have appts.

These demanding HO requirements were not discussed in our call or in their listing. We also discussed that I couldn’t arrive before noon on the day. However, I later received a “report to work” notification from the HO to be there that day at 10a; again, couldn’t do this due to work and it was in writing. The HO then cancelled without discussion and against THS polices.

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@lou28
Wow. If it turns out this is the same sit/situation, then this is really a situation of dishonesty and over-imposing on a sitter. Food for thought as I usually try not to assume the worst about folks.

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Yes. And an obvious failure of THS. One cannot trust them to do the right thing.

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Hi hayhay,
Do they have a garden? Where do you take her when you go outside? Can she not dtasy outside for a bit? If not secure could she be left on a long lead? I looked after a dog once, who always seemed to do a wee in the kitchen, the moment I came back in. And I could run downstairs at 6am and open the kitchen door before heading back upstairs to get dressed etc. I would then come down and find a poo and wee on the kitchen floor, in front of the open door. I had been left with mop and bucket on arrival due to the little accidents. These seemed to be more deliberates though and in the habit of the kitchen, the place to do business. I was there for three weeks, so yes I did stick it out… Good Luck

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I do the same where I am now. And when I come back to feed them and I let them in they get so excited that they poop on the kitchen floor!

It is not difficult to pick up, but from tomorrow I will feed them outside.

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@lou28 did you raise a member dispute ?
THS policy says they do investigate when a member dispute is raised . However it seems that if you use the word “complaint “ rather than “member dispute” they don’t take any further action .
This is Just my observation as an avid reader of the forum .So I am interested to know if in your case you went through the member dispute procedure ? Did you provide THS with evidence ( screenshots of welcome guide V original listing ? )

Either way sounds like you “dodged a bullet” by the HO cancelling you and well done for insisting on getting a welcome guide / guidance notes in advance of the sit … someone on the forum was recently questioning why this is necessary and your story proves why it is essential!

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Thank you. yes, this is the same sit. Thanks for saying something…

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