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January 3, 2017

Possums, Exploding Toilets and More: Critter Sitters’ Toughest Jobs


As you might imagine, from late November to early January is one of the busiest times of the year for Critter Sitters. In the midst of the holidays, instead of kicking back and relaxing, they’re apt to have to deal with vomit, wildlife, weather issues and worse! What with absent pet-parents, presents under the tree, holiday greenery and cold weather, you have a recipe for some serious war stories from the Christmastime pet-sitting trenches. Here are a few of our favorites.

Our Georgia Pet Sitters’ Best Stories

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The Possum Story

One sitter walked into a nice home with several cats and a dog to find it turned mildly upside down and spots of blood on the floor. The animals were fine but a little crazed. The sitter was standing in the foyer of the two-story entrance way, and when she looked up she saw a possum hanging on the banister. It had fallen down the chimney and been chased by the pets. First she put the pets in another room. Then she got a broom to hustle the wildlife outside, chasing it around several rooms, in and out of the couch, and generally getting frustrated. Then, to make things a little tougher, the lights went out. Showing true dedication, she grabbed her trusty flashlight and finally prevailed. The pets were unharmed if somewhat excited by the adventure, and the owners were gratified that they did not have to deal with the possum.

The Exploding Toilet

This story dates back a few years but involves a pet sitter who arrived at a client’s home in the morning to take care of a dog and found two inches of liquid poo on the carpet outside the closed bathroom door. When she opened the door, the bath itself was absolutely covered and the smell was atrocious. The laundry room, next to the bath, was also covered. The sitter’s next 24 hours went well beyond just calling her client to break the news. She learned that since the client’s home was the lowest in a string of condos that the combination of roots in the sewer line and strong rain could lead the contents of the entire line of condos’ toilets to wind up…. Well, you guessed it. The sitter took pictures. Then she called the insurance agent, the homeowners’ association and the county. Over the next day and a half, she made them all take care of her client. Naturally, no one wanted to take responsibility, and she heard arguments including “the problem really belongs to the county because once you flush it’s county property.” The client was extremely grateful and the dog was fine, but the sitter says, “If you ever notice a toilet backing up, stick some boots in your car, honey, ‘cause it ain’t pretty.”

The Acrobat

It takes a lot less time to tell this story than it did to experience it. One of our sitters, some distance from her limber youth, arrived at a client’s home one evening to find a stuck deadbolt. Did she give up? She did not! She crawled over an 8-foot fence and through two dog doors to get inside and take care of her charges.

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The Dog in the Vent

One Critter Sitter walked into a client’s house to hear the mournful barks of the 16-year-old toy poodle she was watching. The problem was that the barks sounded like they were coming from under the floor. It turned out the workmen putting in a new tile floor in the kitchen had left the grate off a heating duct. The dog fell down and made his way all the way to the top of the furnace, where his behind got a bit singed. After four hours on the phone and some special nursing care, everything was back to normal, but it was a good lesson for everyone!

The Chocolate Santas

Our most recent story comes from last year, when a sitter said she was watching two dogs and three cats in a historic home. She was nervous because every room was filled with expensive antiques and decorated to the hilt for a holiday tour the week before. The clients (first-timers) were out of the country for two weeks. Everything went fine until the very last night of the job, when she arrived to find that the dogs had knocked over their barrier. In the formal dining room, the Christmas tree had been decorated with foil-wrapped chocolate Santas; from about three feet off the ground down, every one of them was gone, and the floor was covered with foil and strings. Chocolate, of course, is highly toxic to both dogs and cats. The sitter quickly called the emergency vet and rushed her charges there. After about 15 minutes, the vet came out and told her that one of the dogs had just thrown up over 3 pounds of food but no chocolate, foil or strings. That pup had apparently skipped the chocolate fest and gorged on the auto feeder for the cats! Both dogs were fine, and their owners thanked our sitter for taking such good care of them.

Atlanta Professional Dog and Cat Sitters Care for Your Pets During the Holiday Season

Critter Sitters is the largest and oldest professional pet sitting company in Georgia.  In addition to being highly experienced, reliable, and dedicated, we pride ourselves on being extremely convenient, with virtually around-the-clock availability on short notice.  We’re there when you need us, even if it’s late at night or early in the morning.   

If you’re looking for an experienced, trustworthy, and caring professional cat sitter in Alpharetta, Roswell, Brunswick, Dunwoody, Suwanee, Fayetteville, Mableton, Newnan, or any of our other service areas, Critter Sitters is ready to help.  To book an appointment with our Roswell dog walkers today, give us a call at (404) 973-2541.