indefinite pet sitting

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
User avatar
fuyu
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:02 pm

indefinite pet sitting

Post by fuyu » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:05 pm

Hope it's okay to ask this question here. I think it's sort of related to ERE? I can take one to two years off from working because of reading ERE website.

My best friend bought a very high maintenance puppy a few months ago and she doesn't want the puppy to be alone during the two weekdays that she can't work from home. When she initially asked me, her husband's manager had said he would be able to start working from home 2 weeks later, but now her husband said his manager has changed his mind. And, my best friend recently said she wants me to watch their puppy for the entire workweek on weeks when she can't work from home in the future. Watching her puppy means I have to be at their house from 7:30 AM until 5:30 PM and follow her schedule for the puppy. At first, I didn't mind because it was only 2 weeks (so just 4 days), but now it's indefinite.

I'm not sure how to say no, I don't want to watch your puppy even though I have the free time. That sounds so mean. And, I don't know what she would do if I said no.

chenda
Posts: 976
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by chenda » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:19 pm

Tell her you now have other commitments, make something up if you want to.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10499
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by jacob » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:21 pm

Well, since it's turning into more than just a favor, you can ask how much it pays? It's hardly reasonable to keep asking someone to spend 10 hours in "house arrest" w/o compensation. Otherwise, it's time to start thinking of excuses for being elsewhere/unavailable.

Campitor
Posts: 551
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:49 am

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by Campitor » Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:31 pm

If lying or making excuses isn't your thing, be honest. Tell them you took this time off in your life so you could live it as you wanted - indefinite puppy care paid or unpaid wasn't part of your plan. Tell them that you will not be able to take care of the puppy because you will be planning other activities and puppy care isn't your long term hobby or desire. Be polite but firm. A true friend wouldn't inconvenience you in this manner.

Just remember one thing: Givers need to set limits because Takers never will.

Jason
Posts: 1516
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by Jason » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:27 pm

I would submit pet sitting is never a favor as it’s an occupation/small business that requires Insurance and bonding. You are dealing with living creatures and access to someone’s dwelling. You are incuuring tremendous risk. Puppies are unpredictable and oftentimes downright douchebags. We hired a pet sitter whenever we went away when our bird was alive. We didn’t like leaving him at the vet because he would come back imitating Cats and I hate fucking cats even when It’s merely another animal imitating a cat. Pet sitters are usually veterinarian technicians or socially stunted men. Ours was the latter. You don’t appear to be either. A favor is helping someone out in emergency. This is using someone in order not to pay a professional.

User avatar
unemployable
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:36 am

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by unemployable » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:07 pm

In addition to the other suggestions here, you could simply offer a price that would make the endeavor worthwhile to you. The "price" doesn't have to be entirely monetary, of course, such as the ability to live there.

chenda
Posts: 976
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by chenda » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:26 pm

@jason I am curious as to how your bird imitated a cat ? 😂

User avatar
fuyu
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:02 pm

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by fuyu » Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:59 pm

I should have mentioned in the first post that I don't want my friends to pay me. I just want my free time back.

Thank you for the advice! I'm going to take the avoiding being honest route by signing up for afternoon yoga classes once the weather is warmer. Should I also say that I don't think I should be watching their puppy because I'm ruining her training? She wants the puppy to always be locked in his crate when he's napping or sleepy. But I usually end up letting the puppy out after a few minutes when he whines and letting him doze outside of his crate. There's also other things she wants me to do for the puppy and I'm not consistently doing it. She already knows this and just says to do better next time.

I feel kind of guilty for not wanting to watch their puppy. I don't know what they would do if I don't watch their puppy. The reviews for the doggy daycare places where they live aren't very good. I think they didn't plan this out very well before buying the puppy.

Jason
Posts: 1516
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by Jason » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:07 pm

@ Chenda.

It was a parrot that didn't quite speak but was proficient in imitating certain sounds i.e. my mother-in-laws laugh and blowing kisses like he was Liberace coming back for an encore. We left him at the vet for a week and when he came home he was "meowing" and I realized that they must have kept him in the same room with a cat. I told him to cut that shit out, as he was annoying enough just being a bird let alone being a bird making cat sounds. Due to the fact that I refused to reinforce the sound by responding in kind, he eventually forgot about it. That was the last time we left him at the vet and started the pet sitter guy who would just grab a book and read it to him. Something happened to the pet sitter. He was a weird guy to begin with, which you would expect of a pet sitter. Like I don't think I would have been comfortable leaving him alone with a child and when I came back I asked the bird did the pet sitter do anything weird to you. He disappeared. Literally. Like vanished. I'm not sure they ever found him. I guess the pet sitter needed a pet sitter sitter. I have to say though, when I heard about it, I wasn't that surprised. I just didn't see how a grown man pet sitting would end well. Any ways, I'm not an animal guy but it was sad when the parrot died. I knew him for 15 years, my wife for over 30. It's like having a two year old every day for years on end. Not cheap either. I used to fight with the vet over mandatory blood work, he would invoke the hippocratic oath bullshit and would refuse to cut his nails or clip his wings if I didn't agree to the work. Then he'd call me up and be all professional "Well, the test results are back from the lab and everything seems to be normal, but we are somewhat concerned about his high cholesterol readings." I'd say "He's a thirty year old fucking bird, who gives a shit about his cholesterol. I'm a middle aged guy and I barely give a shit about mine. I only agreed to the test because I don't want him flying out the window or tearing my hand to shreds when he sits on it."

Jason
Posts: 1516
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2017 8:37 am

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by Jason » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:21 pm

(@) Fuyu

That 's the thing. Pet "sitting" is a load of euphemistic bullshit. You are in actuality pet feeding, pet petting, pet negotiating, pet chasing, pet walking, pet yelling to stop the fucking barking/whining/yelping, pet cleaning up dog shit. It's not some passive thing commensurate to watering someone's plants. Plus, to you they call it a "puppy" but to themselves its a surrogate child who's care has to be carried out as though any deviancy will jeopardize it's future as a dog as though its going to make some big contribution to the world when in fact its just going to spend 15 years lying around on the floor, wanting its belly scratched, pumping out full grown dog size shits. And listen doggy day care is not some Montessori type of thing. It's not going to affect its acceptance to Harvard or its future in solving crimes like its fucking Scooby Doo. People never plan out buying pets but you shouldn't enable them either. They bought the damn puppy, make them take responsibility for that decision.

User avatar
fuyu
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:02 pm

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by fuyu » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:47 pm

@ Jason

Lol, thank you for putting it in perspective. I was mostly worried that their puppy would get bullied in doggy day care. Some of things are really ridiculous like I have to constantly watch their puppy and make sure he touches a bell before he pees or poops (so far only 40% success rate). And, sometimes when he poops, the poop gets stuck on his long, white fur and it's like trying to get gum out of hair.

chenda
Posts: 976
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by chenda » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:41 pm

@jason haha my friends brother has just bought a parrot, fucking huge thing which shreaks all the time. It's a nice creature but not great around children.

Funny how people just disappear. Back in the 80s my parents knew a couple who ran a bar out in Portugal. Really nice couple. I remember as toddler sitting on the bar playing with the beer matts.They were about to open up a restaurant but then one day they literally vanished without trace, and no one ever knew what happened to them. Gone. Like the didn't want to be found. They must be about 80 now.

User avatar
daylen
Posts: 670
Joined: Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:17 am

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by daylen » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:13 pm

You're too nice. :P

User avatar
fuyu
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:02 pm

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by fuyu » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:38 pm

Forgot to ask, what would be a reasonable time to give them to find a professional pet sitter to replace me? Two weeks? Not sure how long it would normally take to find someone

User avatar
Chris
Posts: 613
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by Chris » Fri Jan 19, 2018 9:42 pm

fuyu wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:38 pm
I think they didn't plan this out very well before buying the puppy.
Bingo. And you dog sitting for free forever obscures this fact. If they're going to be dog owners they need to.... own it.
fuyu wrote:
Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:38 pm
what would be a reasonable time to give them to find a professional pet sitter to replace me? Two weeks? Not sure how long it would normally take to find someone
Given that there are websites available (rover.com, Craigslist) and you live in a major metropolitan area, I think two weeks would be plenty.

halfmoon
Posts: 692
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by halfmoon » Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:36 am

@fuyu, I would suggest thinking hard about your definition of friendship. It sounds like your "best friend" is pretty adept at getting what she wants from you. Go back and read your posts; this is beyond unreasonable.

User avatar
unemployable
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:36 am

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by unemployable » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:06 am

halfmoon wrote:
Sat Jan 20, 2018 12:36 am
@fuyu, I would suggest thinking hard about your definition of friendship. It sounds like your "best friend" is pretty adept at getting what she wants from you. Go back and read your posts; this is beyond unreasonable.
All I hear are excuses from OP. Doesn't sound a whole lot different than people explaining why they "can't" escape consumerism and work towards RE instead.

The puppy is clutter right now, and it sounds like these "friends" are too.

User avatar
fuyu
Posts: 78
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 2:02 pm

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by fuyu » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:36 am

@halfmoon: For me, part of friendship is thinking that if this task doesn't inconvenience me much, but it would inconvenience my friend a lot if I say no, I should say yes. In general, not just with the puppy. This seems harmless? I really don't mind at all if its something I think is minor. Each time I agreed, I felt like they were only asking for a small favor until the last part.

The part where she wanted me to watch their puppy for entire workweeks? I tried to think where I went wrong.

First two weeks: They were taking alternating days off from work to stay at home with their new puppy, but her husband said he was scared of being alone with puppy, so I went over on the days he was watching.
Next three weeks: They alternated one day of the week between relatives and friends and I watched the other day. Her option was leaving the dog with her relative that was a stay-at-home mom and has a dog herself, but her dog isn't very well-behaved, so I was worried about the puppy and agreed.
Next three weeks: At the beginning of the three weeks, her husband said he would be able to work from home 2 days a week in mid-January. It was only four days at first, so I said sure. Then it became end of January, then mid-February, and finally his manager changed his mind about the work from home policy and he told me a few days ago at the same time she mentioned she would still want me to pet sit in summer.

A few days ago, she mentioned wanting me to watch puppy the entire workweek during certain weeks in spring and summer. At that point, I realized I should have said no earlier, but I didn't know what to say or what reason to give when this has been happening for so long already, so I wrote the original post to ask for advice.

I'm planning on telling them they have two weeks to look for a pet sitter tomorrow and creating a commitment to something else, so that I can't watch the puppy after February 2nd, and maybe being more honest about not wanting to puppy sit during my break.

@unemployable: I know its my fault for not saying no as soon as she mentioned the most recent part.

saving-10-years
Posts: 513
Joined: Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:37 am
Location: Warwickshire, UK

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by saving-10-years » Sat Jan 20, 2018 4:55 am

Agree with @halfmoon that you have to be _careful_ about this friendship. The comment from @Campitor is a good one - takers won't set limits.

Puppy caring in this case is not the same as dog sitting (doing your own thing and being able to do things your way - you and the puppy have a lot of complex orders to follow here).

Its an ERE 'penalty' that people around you can see that you have free time and think that this means that you have time to fill it with their stuff/activity as you don't have anything better to do. @1taskaday used to comment that women she knew often opted to stay in work because that protected them from having to care for others (and avoided having to say No). @sclass has had problems where he is expected to care for his mother in a way which avoids spending money to pay for carers (as he has free time he can do all of it!) so that other family members can continue to count on maximum amount of inheritance when she passes. Definitely a theme here.

So don't be too hard on yourself for not saying No. It happens to most of us in some form or other. Ideally other people would respect (understand) that you have made space for this time that you can spend on doing stuff for you. This space is precious and has high value. But they are more likely to understand your need for space if you have (invent) other commitments which are inconsistent with puppy caring. I suggest that you come up with some irregular/unpredictable commitments also. That way they cannot plan on you caring for the puppy before or after yoga. Be enthusiastic about these activities/opportunities so they know that you really have something to do in your free time. They _might_ think that this is a favour for you (they love and wish to be with the puppy full time so you are so lucky to have this).

If you so like the puppy (you don't say that you do) perhaps offer to take it for a walk when its older or buy it the occasional toy. But its _their_ puppy, you really don't have to be as into it as they are.

slsdly
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:04 am

Re: indefinite pet sitting

Post by slsdly » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:50 am

The book "Emotional Vampires" has been mentioned on the forum a few times and seems to fit the bill here. If you can borrow a copy at your local library, I'd recommend you give it a read and think about what sort of person you are, and your friend is. It is all too easy to be taken advantage of by unscrupulous people. But I'm not a dog person, and enraged by people who get one without accepting the responsibilities, so just a tiny bit biased :).

Post Reply