My good friend Tina and I created the Sleepover Rover® services largely because we refuse to subject our own pets to pet resort 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 the former Director of Store Services, and District Sales Manager for Petsmart, 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 daycare 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 and parasites.
After an extensive search for a better alternative, I found Gail, a wonderful retiree whose love for dogs matched my own, to watch my German Shepherd "Libby". I tested the waters by dropping off Libby for one day with Gail, while I was at work. A week later, I dropped off her at Gail'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 Gail 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 Gail 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 host families to answer the many requests in communities throughout California and the southwest. With our extensive host screening process, our goal is to make the Sleepover Rover® services the pre-eminent pet care choice for discriminating pet lovers across the nation!