Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Most customers select a half hour time slot. I'll walk in your neighborhood or take dogs to local parks. I've worked with puppies, senior dogs and many cats.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
Use your head and your instincts. Check our the website and their business coverage so you can be assured that they are serious about the care and security that they have put in place to protect your pet and your home. These are some of my credentials.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A dog walker and pet sitter at your home needs to be totally trusted to do their job and respect every aspect of your household. With Covid 19 amongst us, I wear a mask to everyone's home and sanitize my hands before and after walks. I ask my customers to sanitize their door knobs, leashes and halters.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A background check and checking out my website to get an idea of who I am and what I think about. See twitter @AnnieWalkTalk
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. My first goal is to connect with your pet and get to know them in our initial Meet & Greet which is a free consult. My customers find that I am flexible and accommodating for their busy lives! Customers are busy and sometimes they miss hints from their animals. I have been instrumental in helping customers know if their dogs/cats have any health issues that I notice when I'm with them. That has helped them be proactive and seek out their vet when necessary.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. In reference to pets, I love to learn who they are and what makes their day. Their personalities, unique attitudes and behaviors are fascinating and fun to work with. I also enjoy reinforcing their owners unique gestures and commands and helping out with a little training. Pet's have individual intelligence and intuition that they share with me and I am honored to be their friend. Every day I drink in changes in the vegetation, gardens and birds as the seasons change and my dog friends enjoy the changes in the smells too!
Q. Do you like cats!
Yes, I have had cats for years in my own life and I love to give them special attention.
Q. Are you licensed and bonded with a background check? Yes, through Pet Sitters International and Axiom.
Q. Do you have a favorite story from your work?
A. One of my first clients went on a 10 day Hawaiian Vacation in January and I took care of their pet family. A 3 month old Golden Lab and her 7 year old non-related brother along with two cats. The puppy was fun and rambunctious. One day they were playing with my mini yellow football that was missing some air so it was softer than normal. I captured a photo of them and posted "Deflate Gate" a new game for dogs who love an easy catch!
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. Be careful of low rates as they can be an indicator of personal confidence and experience. Low rates are also not conducive for pet businesses as they do not ensure the business model can be maintained and profitable. You may lose a pet walker when you need them the most..
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. I have a special affinity to animals. And I have had experiences with a knowingness about horses that is exceptional. After a successful sales career I simplified and downsized my life so that I could be independent of the corporate world. Many of my friends encouraged me to start a Pet business and so I did! Launched December 2014.
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. A pair of darling Springer Spaniels one of which pulled you along on leash and one who wanted to play ball but didn't want to drop it. Situation solved with gentle repetitive clicker teaching and a few luscious healthy treats. Now they wag their tails and are very happy about learning how to please me and learn new tricks.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. In the fall of 2014 I took a course from a successful pet business owner and learned a lot about the pet business and a great review about dog behavior. Mid-January I took the SeattleCPR Pet first aid and CPR class and became Certified. The Certification is good for two years. I continue to take animal training & behavior classes. I was curious about Pet Tudor Remote Training System and took the 5 hour class February 8th, 2015 with my dog.
Q. What are the latest developments in your field? Are there any exciting things coming in the next few years or decade that will change your line of business?
A. The understanding of animal and pet intelligence and behavior is moving along with lightning speed and we are gaining a new respect for them.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Totally transparent on my web-site www.annieswalkandtalkdoggies.com
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Do your homework and know that Pet sitting is a serious business where you are responsible for pet lives and your clients long term satisfaction.
Q. What is your greatest strength?
A. I have an affinity for animals and they know it right away.
Q. What are you currently working on improving?
A. In business for almost 8 years, I continue to learn. I work with pet owners who believe in the importance of maintaining their pet's health and happiness.
Q. Write your own question and answer it.
A. What neighborhoods do you generally work in. Richmond Beach, Innis Arden, Woodway, Edmonds, Shoreline. My radius is 4 to 5 miles from Richmond Beach. This allows a 15 minutes interval between appointments and meets my green driving goals.