Caring for Our Furry Family Member
We waited a really long time to be able to bring a dog into our family. My relationship with my husband began while he was still in school; he was attending classes full time while working odd jobs on the side and I was busy with a long commute to a full time job. We lived in an apartment before we moved to New York City for dental school, and as a family we filled out our little living space in Manhattan, too. Our lifestyle and living arrangements just didn’t accommodate what a dog needs or deserves until our seventh year of marriage, when we moved to a stand-alone home in the suburbs.
We adopted Theo just as we moved to Santa Cruz, when we knew we’d have the time and space to be able to give to our sweet furry family member. Now that we live in a precious suburban town, in a home with a backyard and close to our extended family members, our lifestyle is ideal for bringing in a dog. I am fortunate enough to work from home and Justin has a somewhat easier schedule that allows not only one of us in the house full time, but also our children. Theo is very rarely at home alone; he is with one or more of us almost always. Our home base is our sacred space, where we play, eat, and love all hunkered down with those we adore the most.
Theo is very much a part of our life and every day routines. There have been a few times that we’ve gone out of town for various different reasons, from family visits to work trips turned into vacations and we haven’t been able to bring him along. We are fortunate to be able to have family to call on that are more than happy to take him while we are gone, but there was one time in particular that our hands were tied and didn’t know who else to call. In that instant, I asked our children’s babysitter to watch him for the couple days we would be gone. This presented a new set of duties and expectations, some things that had to be verbalized instead of automatically assumed when it came to caring for our children. It wasn’t a perfect process, and with a family trip or two looming in our near future, I was excited to learn about rover.com, a personalized dog care program that pairs the user with responsible and educated pet lovers.
Having just gone through the rigorous and exhausting process of finding a caregiver for the kids for a few hours a week, I know that it’s a painstakingly tedious process, but one that I was intent on dedicating the time to because of its high level of importance. I wanted to find the perfect person (and we found two!) via an online service. I was relieved to hear that there is a similar online process when picking a pet sitter with rover.com, and even happier to see how thorough they are, offering free premium pet and sitter insurance for all booked services, access to 24/7 vet consultations, photo sharing, sitter background checks, and customized dog tags. The service also arranges for the Rover sitters meet prior to travel for a Rover Meet & Greet, sends photos and text updates during your time away to update you on your dog’s stay, and sends a video of the highlights of your dog’s stay, called a Rover Reel, upon your return.
Rover.com just launched a really cute service just in time for Valentine’s Day called a Rover-Gram. Users can upload a photo of their pet and put words/voices to them and send to friends and family! I know my kids will get a huge kick out of this and I can’t wait to try it.
Theo is with us 99.9% of the time as our furry family member, but logistically there are times that we aren’t able to bring him with us (particularly on flights and trips to say, Disneyland). Times that he would be much happier with someone whose time was fully dedicated to caring for him, playing with him and being with him. I am more than happy to pay for a service to bring someone into our home to do that for him while we are away briefly. Rover.com was borne out of a need: a person that cares just as much about their pets as they do their family members. As dog people, we get other dog people. I’m relieved to have someone to call in these circumstances, and Theo surely is as well.