Adventures in Pet Sitting: Part Three. This part hurts me.

by Danielle

This is part three in our 3 part Christmas 2009 series. Part1 & 2 can be found here:


This is the part that hurts me. I have learned that after seven years of owning and now mostly managing Bella’s House & Pet Sitting that we simply can not be everything to everyone. As you can imagine holidays are often our busy time. I am always careful to not overbook my staff (or myself) for the following reasons:

1 – Emergencies like in Part One. Bella’s is a unique company because our staff truly is like family. We only service N Scottsdale. We all live in N Scottsdale. We truly are like a family. If my staff is working that day we are in constant communication. I feel very blessed to know that I can rely on them with the business that I have built from the ground up. They are all very cautious and observant of every and all things that go on during pet sits. When things occur like mentioned in Part One, we are easily able to help solve them because no staff member is so heavily scheduled that it doesn’t allow for emergencies. Our clients love this because they know we are a team, that we have backup, and their pet and home are our first priority. We are not running off to the next house because we are over booked. We are not booking 20 pet sits a day for one person like some of the sole proprietor pet sitting companies do. You and your pets best interest is in our best interest. Not the quantity of pet sits we can fit into a day.

2 – We don’t charge by time. This means that I am not rushing the Bella’s staff to get through the routine at one home and onto the next. Whether it is 20 minutes or 1 hour, we are there to do a quality job, not a quantifiable job. We have a window of time that we arrive at homes and I know roughly how many visits each staff member can do in that window. This unique practice has proven time and time again to be a great way to do business as the pets interest is really taken into account individually. Additionally, our clients do not get up charged for extra minutes spent with their pets in instances like blood in the urine, throw up, “redecoration of the house” (as we like to call it), etc. Our clients never come home to an unexpected bill.

3 – Our loyal current clients come firs. If you are an established client with Bella’s and decide to go on a last minute trip for the holidays chances are very good that someone on our team will be able to provide service for you. Again, we are never working at capacity so that we can not take care of our current clients, our extended family.

Now that part that hurts me… as I write this, it is 9pm on Saturday December 27th. I have had three calls tonight from people who are requesting pet sitting services for tomorrow.
One of the callers actually called us 6 mths ago and decided to go with a pet sitter recommended by her vet. They never showed up. Another caller had a consultation with a pet sitter today, who never showed up and she is leaving tomorrow. I had to decline services to all three callers for the reasons listed above. I did however suggest that they sign up online with us and do a consultation so that in the future they will never be in this predicament again.

Why does this all matter to you?
These business practices may seem unorthodox to some, but this is why I Bella’s IS the best. I have made it a point to create business practices that don’t just copy what is out there, but to run a way in which relationships and integrity are most important. It is a major way our business practices are very different that most other companies.

I care about the quality that we are able to provide our current clients this week, not the quantity of clients we have. It hurts me, because I get calls like the above few times a month. I feel bad for the pets and for the pat parents who may not be able to take their trip. We can not be everything to everyone, but we can be everything to our clients.

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