My good friend Tina and I created the Sleepover Rover®
services largely because we refuse to subject our own pets to
kennel care when we need to be away from home. Both of us have extensive
experience in the pet care industry - Tina, a former veterinary practice
manager, and I a former district sales manager for a large pet supply /
boarding retail franchise. Of course, both businesses employed animal care
professionals who worked hard to keep the animals fed, walked, and clean.
Nevertheless, I will never forget the haunted eyes of the dogs as they looked
out at me from behind the bars of their runs or metal cages. Why had they been
abandoned into such a strange and bewildering environment by the people they
loved and trusted? They were terrified by the smell of antiseptics, tick dip,
and blood from the adjoining veterinary hospital as well as by the constant
noise of barking dogs all around - some of them quite large and intimidating!
Tina and I found that alternatives to boarding kennels were very limited. We
were both single again, and our children were grown. We knew that we were
imposing on our family and friends by constantly asking them to care for our
dogs when we traveled. We felt insecure and uncomfortable allowing a hired
individual access to our homes to care for our pets while we were gone.
Furthermore, we realized that our dogs would be alone in the house for most of
the day anyway - an unacceptable condition. We tried doggie-day care facilities, but discovered that our dogs were traumatized by other animals in
joint play areas, and we knew that they were exposed to communicable diseases
After an extensive search for a better alternative, I found Allen, a wonderful retiree whose love for dogs matched my own, to watch my Golden Retriever "Nugget". I tested the waters by dropping off Nugget for one day with Allen, while I was at work. A week later, I dropped off Nugget at Allen's house for the weekend so I could attend an out of town wedding. Her tail began to wag as we pulled into his driveway, and she bounded up the front walk to the door. Never again would I leave my pet in any other environment!
Tina had similar luck finding Rose Marie to watch her terrier,
Daisy. Furthermore, we discovered that our host families' lives were truly
enriched by the companionship of our visiting pet. Rose Marie and Allen became
almost extended family members - trusted and appreciated animal lovers who
opened their arms and homes to our beloved canine companions. For the first
time we enjoyed guilt-free vacations and worry-free business trips!
We knew that there were other pet lovers in the same situations we were in.
Therefore we decided to create a network of people like Allen and Rose Marie to
refer to people who wanted a better solution for their dogs when they needed to
be away. The Sleepover Rover® services
were born! The response has been tremendous. As a result, we are constantly
expanding our network of pet hosts to answer the many requests in communities
throughout the Phoenix and Tucson area. In 2006, we will be expanding the
Sleepover Rover® services into
other major cities across the nation. Our goal is to make the Sleepover Rover®
services the pre-eminent pet care choice for discriminating pet lovers across