Monday, November 16, 2020

Book Review and Author Interview: Trials and Tribulations of a Pet Sitter

By Cindy Roesel

After losing her job at 50, Laura Marchant decided to follow her dream and become a petsitter. She tells her story in the book, TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A PET SITTER. She had fond memories of growing up and loving her dog, Frisco.

Her story begins when she and partner, Mike decide to buy a golden retriever and name him Brece (pron: Bray-eece). Laura's excited to bring her angelic puppy home. After going on vacation and leaving Brece at a kennel, Laura and Mike come home to find Brece traumatized. They make up their minds never to leave a dog in a kennel again. Before you know it, Brece comes between Laura and Mike and they split up. Soon Laura is walking dogs and housing pets when their owners go away.

Science proves that owning and spending time with a four-legged pet, reduces stress, anxiety and depression. We follow Laura for five years while she takes care of Miss Tilly, Rocky, Wasabi, Stodge, Mckenzie, Nelson, Doug the pug and others. Breece is the Alpha female and helps Laura check out other dog's temperaments to decide whether they make it into their pack. Sometimes there's bad dog behavior like pulling on leashes, being extremely boisterous, getting out of control and ignoring commands.

Laura points out a dogs disposition is similar to a Buddhist. Dogs act in the here and now, don't hold grudges, don't lie awake worrying and they don't want material possessions. They provide compassion and companionship without expecting anything in return. We could learn a lot from our furry friends.

Laura believes her job is a privilege, she gets paid to do what she loves and everyday the guest list changes. Maybe you'd like to become a pet sitter? Laura Marchant's book, TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF A PET SITTER is a good place to start.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon UK * Amazon US

Laura Marchant was born in 1959 in the seaside resort of Lytham St Annes, Lancashire, England. Both her parents were born in the same town, so not exactly a family of intrepid travellers! As a child Laura and her siblings were fortunate enough to own shares in the families pets. Unbeknown to Laura at the time, her love for the animals formed the blueprint for a large part of her life. In 2011 she finally found her vocation, and in the comfort of her own home, set up a pet boarding business. For the next 7 years she shared her abode with a pack of dogs. A lot of this time was spent watching over the animals and observing their behaviour, which in turn inspired her to write her first novel Trials and Tribulations of a Pet Sitter.

Visit Laura on Facebook and Twitter.

Cindy's interview with Laura Marchant:

Why did you decide to write this book?
Because I wanted to share my passion with others and also to tell of the many highs and lows that the humble pet sitter faces on a daily basis. I think people would be surprised at the many hurdles that are encountered. I also wanted my observations of the pack mentality to be heard. I have spent a great deal of time watching and learning from our friend the dog, and I think this qualifies me to make some unique points about their behaviour. But I think most of all I want my book to reach young people who may be thinking about a career working with animals, dogs in particular. Perhaps it would be good for these children to learn just how rewarding such a career could be, but also at the same time, how challenging. I feel sorry for people who are not fond of dogs, in my opinion they are missing out on such I lot. If I can reach young children and share may passion, then perhaps the child wont reach adulthood feeling dismissive of dogs!   

You didn't have any background working with pets when you decided to start this business. Tell us what was hard and easy about creating a start-up.
The actual setting up of the business was relatively easy. I received great financial support from the government and also help in setting up my self assessment tax. I started to work with an established pet sitting company so I had support from the other members and I inherited a few dogs from them, which was a great help in those early days. I suppose the hardest part was building up my client base, this came in time. But it did mean that in the beginning I took just about all dogs on that came may way, some of these dogs were quite challenging which made my job that bit harder. It was also a stark realisation that I didn’t know my own dog as well as I thought I did. She was a different beast in the company of other dogs!
What are the highs and lows of owning your own business?
The highs are:
Freedom and flexibility
Personal choice, I don't have to take on a dog if I don’t think it will fit in with the pack, by the same token I don't have to work for people that I don’t warm to.
The lows are:
If you don’t work, you don’t get paid
Asking people for payment can sometimes feel uncomfortable
Arranging holidays is very difficult as you can’t just let people down
I shoulder the responsibility alone – if anything detrimental happens its solely down to me, and me alone
There are so many stories in the book. Tell us a story about an incident with one of your pets.
I think my favourite story about my own dog Brece when she discovered the missing Schnauzer, this was after I had been frantically searching for the illusive dogs for five hours. Brece picked up the scent and alerted me to the dog who had been shut in the cloakroom. If she had not pointed me in the right direction its hard to know how things would have turned out.
We love our pets. Why is there such a strong connection?
In my opinion we love our dogs unconditionally because:
They totally accept and love us for who we are, warts and all. 
They never judge us, where as a person may do so.
They are incredibly loyal, and enthusiastic to be with us, this makes us feel appreciated and loved.
They can emphasise with us. When we are down they generate extra love and affection in our direction, thus lifting our spirits.
They are asthetically pleasing.
There are many more reasons that we have such a strong bond with our dogs but I think another very important reason is eye contact. The dog has amazing eye contact with us. He has learned to bore into our eyes (not many animals have this ability) He looks at us with pure adoration and we return the adoration. This process releases oxytocin in both dog and person, thus making us feel warm and happy. This feeling can be compared to the same feeling that a mother experiences when looking at her new born, a feeling of pure love.

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