Pet Care as a 24/7 Job at Home,
with Willow Aldridge
Willow Aldridge runs a small business doing in-home boarding of dogs, doggie daycare, drop-ins, and training and has high hopes of expanding this business on a larger scale to offer more things. She grew up around dog rescue and veterinary medicine and was raised on a small homestead. Now, Willow is a young mom, full-time business student, homemaker; and she chose to leave the "work away" life in the vet clinic setting to be able to spend more time home doing the things she loves--all things dog.
In this episode, Willow talks about how she originally spent time traveling around Arizona as an in-home dog and house sitter but started focusing on working out of her own home boarding 2-7 dogs at a time in more recent years since the birth of her daughter a couple of years ago. Her work is largely seasonal as the demand for dog boarding depends on people going out of town; so she's busiest during the summer and holiday season. She speaks about how caring for dogs 24/7 really does keep her at home or close to home all of the time and how different dogs of a variety of ages demand a certain amount of energy and care, even in the overnight hours. She trains and boards dogs in her home and talks a bit about the limitations she has with the heat of the summer limiting her to walking dogs just in the early morning hours but also some of the freedoms she's found with traveling with some of her longer-term canine guests such as taking them along on hiking trips and visits to go see the snow. She's working on bettering her work-life balance by starting to schedule some time off here and there in order to stave off burnout as she started to experience some of that when she went many months with a lot of very early mornings and late nights. In the same sense, she loves being able to care for dogs as she's studying and caring for her own child but recognizes that it can be isolating work as it's more difficult to host gatherings and game nights when she has a house full of dogs. Willow's future dream and plan is to eventually have more land where she could have a bigger facility with lots of options, a place where she can combine her work and hobbies.
If you'd like to reach Willow, you can currently search for her in the Gilbert, Arizona, region on the Rover website, through Facebook messenger, or by sending her an email. A website is forthcoming.
willow.blessing @ gmail.com