What to pay a friend to petsit? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 02-01-2010, 02:19 PM
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Hey all. I'm hoping to get some advice...



My brother, mother, and I are going to be in Mexico for a week at the end of this month.



Our dog, Madison, is an OLD lady. She'll be 17 years old on Valentine's Day.



A friend stepped up and has all but insisted we bring Maddie to stay with him for the week. We jumped on the offer because we refuse to board her and were uncomfortable with the idea of a stranger watching her. John (the friend) is a responsible 30 year old guy who absolutely LOVES animals. I know he'll be perfect to care for her while we're away.



So here's the breakdown:



Madison needs to go out quite often, and even then we can't avoid all accidents. (John might have better luck. He has a smaller home than ours and his roommate moved out of the finished basement. It's all carpet, which is good for Maddie, and there isn't a lot of furniture so she can't get stuck behind anything.) She doesn't need or want long walks at her age, so they aren't time-consuming trips outside, but they are fairly frequent.



However, it won't disrupt John's life too much. He's at home all day right now because he is on disability due to some medical issues. So it's not really cramping his style.



Also, as Maddie is so old, she won't be hyper or running around or jumping on people or furniture. She doesn't bark at anything and she won't chase John's cat. She's not really a bother at all, it's just kind of a pain in the rear to have to take her outside so often.



John REALLY wants to do this for us because he's just a fundamentally good guy, so I know he doesn't feel put out. But the question is - how much do we PAY him?



He has attempted to refuse payment, but we're insisting.



I see online that local overnight petsitting services appear to charge a flat rate of about $75 a night. I KNOW John will shoot down an offer of over $500 for this, no question. It seems a little excessive anyway (and don't you pay those people to come to YOU and stay in your house anyway?)



What would you pay a friend to watch your old-lady dog for a week?

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#2 Old 02-01-2010, 02:27 PM
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I would probably find out what kind of charge the local overnight/ borders charge, and divide by half. Don't ask how I came up with this, it's just what I do. If he still says it's too much, maybe pay him in non-monitory ways*? Maybe make several home cooked heat-and-serve type meals for him?









*Get your head out of the gutter, you! I don't mean it like that.

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#3 Old 02-01-2010, 02:49 PM
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i'd let my friend do it for nothing itf thats what they wanted. they'd get a wicked thankyou present though.



if he doesn't want paying, i'd respect that, and provide something else instead that he'd love, by way of a gift. if he's inclined to refusing, make it something he can't give back- a magazine/dvd rental subscription, a weekly cookie delivery service that comes through the mail, etc.
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#4 Old 02-01-2010, 03:00 PM
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That's really nice of him to want to do it for nothing. You could quote to him the going rate for paid petsitting services in your area and try to bargain him up from nothing (rather than down)- but you've already done that. If I gave him a gift like Hoodedclawjen suggests, I'd make absolutely sure it was something he would like and use first. I've had people give me gifts I really didn't want and it annoyed me- they meant well but I was burdened with a bit of useless clutter. Maybe you could agree to do him a favor in the future? Since you mention he's home on disability for the time being, going to his place to help him out with something, or just visiting him, might mean more to him than money.



One other thing... even though you're certain your dog won't bother his cat, it might be a good idea to introduce the two of them in advance, just in case. (Murphy's Law, y'know...)

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#5 Old 02-01-2010, 03:07 PM
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Yes, if he doen't want to get paid, pay him in labor. Help him paint his house, help with spring cleanup, whatever is applicable, and make it a substantial investment of time/effort. It's the best way for friends to show appreciation for each other, IMO.



ETA: I spent New Year's weekend (four days) helping my sister paint the inside of her house. She says it's the best present she ever received. I told her it was just a very small return on everything she's done for me.
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#6 Old 02-02-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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I agree a nice gift or home-cooked meal would probably be more readily accepted. Or maybe if he has any hobbies he enjoys, you could give him something in line with his interests. It's a great way to express appreciation without making anyone feel awkward.
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#7 Old 02-02-2010, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbleforlola View Post

I would probably find out what kind of charge the local overnight/ borders charge, and divide by half. Don't ask how I came up with this, it's just what I do. If he still says it's too much, maybe pay him in non-monitory ways*? Maybe make several home cooked heat-and-serve type meals for him?









*Get your head out of the gutter, you! I don't mean it like that.



I literally LOL'd at your post.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerFoxx View Post

I agree a nice gift or home-cooked meal would probably be more readily accepted. Or maybe if he has any hobbies he enjoys, you could give him something in line with his interests. It's a great way to express appreciation without making anyone feel awkward.



This is a good idea. I pet sit/house sit for other people fairly often. I say if they want to pay me go ahead, if they don't want to/can't afford to, it's okay. Usually the people that can't afford to pay me just give me a gift from where they're going, and I'm happy.



If he really doesn't want to take the money, don't force him. Maybe get him something from Mexico as a token of your appreciation?



Also, slightly off topic, but where in Mexico are you going?

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#8 Old 02-02-2010, 02:42 PM
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Thank you thank you guys! These are such awesome ideas and suggestions. I knew I could count on you all.



I'm going to try a second time to get him to take some money (I'm going with kibbleforlola's Master Formula and saying $250) because I know he needs it - disability pay while he's injured (which is sadly likely permanent) is just not that much money. But if he really doesn't want it, I won't force it on him. I'll ask that he keep it during the week we're away in case of unforeseen expenses like he needs to pay for some emergency with the dog, or needs to rent a steam cleaner if she pees on his carpet, etc. And then, if he still doesn't feel right keeping it, I'll ask him if it's all right for me to donate it to the Humane Society or the MSPCA in his name. It's money already budgeted to care for an animal. If it can't Madison, it should be another animal in need, I think.



And I'm TOTALLY going to make him some yummy food. What a great idea. A bachelor living on his own needs food anyway! Definitely some easily reheated dinners and some vegan cookies too, I'm thinking. And a gift from Mexico... Or even a gift from my stovetop... He was practically salivating over some scented soy candles I had on the counter (and I'd made 'em myself! I was so proud!), and asked me all about them and was sniffing them like they were made of drugs. So I would love to make him some homemade vegan candles that smell divine.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight Angel View Post

Also, slightly off topic, but where in Mexico are you going?



I'm going to San Miguel de Allende. My mother has actually been in Mexico since January 22nd, and right now she is staying in Oaxaca. Then she's going to a house she rented in San Miguel from February 7th through the 28th. I'll probably start a thread before I go about travel advice and asking what awesome things from Mexico I simply HAVE to bring home with me! I have so many questions... She's got a maid/cook at the house, so I envision myself harassing this poor woman endlessly to show me how to cook some awesome Mexican food and figuring out how to veganize it. My pathetic Spanish is going to get such a workout. But other than having the cook teach me some cool authentic Mexican cooking, I need to know what things to bring home with me! Someone has already said I need to get Mexican vanilla. But I need a whole list - I'm gonna leave about half my suitcase empty.
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