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The following is what to expect when we doggy au pair for your pup:


Cooper and I will stay with your dog(s) the entire time you are away. I mainly work from home online, so I am nearly always with them. If I have to be out of the house for some reason, it's rarely more than a 2-3 hour stretch.

  • Walks: We will take walks at least 4 times a day (morning, lunchtime, dinner time, before bed).

    • Usually about a 1/2 hour each walk; sometimes longer or shorter depending on the weather and our fur client's needs.

    • We adjust our walking schedule for the benefit and safety of each client (i.e. if it is hot/humid, we will take shorter necessary potty breaks, but the longer walks will be early in the morning and after the sun goes down).

    • I treat all pets as if they were my own, and guard them as such too.

      • I make sure that their leashes are secured to my wrist/hand.

      • While I love all dogs, I do not encourage my charges to walk up to unknown dogs when we are on our walk. 

      • On walks, I will let them have a little lead ahead of me, but when we are crossing alleyways and streets they are behind me until I see that it is clear.  

      • Please note that while I know there are a lot of pups who walk off leash very well, I will always have your pup leashed on walks. I just never want to take a chance, as safety is a priority.

  • Playtime: I always have playtime for our fur-clients throughout the day. While a lot of dogs may just sleep the day away, I think it is good to stimulate them with some fun. It makes for a happy pup!

    • Depending on the level they like, we will play games like chase and tug, we will fetch the ball and play with toys. 

    • Of course, the level we do is all subject to the age/health of the dog.

    • In the summertime if our fur-client has a baby pool, I’m happy to fill it and have pool time with them.

  • Feeding: I will serve your dog their meals/treats according to the feeding schedule to which they are accustom.

  • Medication: If your pet requires pill medication,  I'll administer as instructed (see Rate section for more details).

  • Sleeping: Your dog is in the comfort of its own home and can sleep where ever they are familiar, or they are free to cuddle up with Cooper & I in bed.

  • Photographs: I am a photographer and I specialize in pet photography. When I doggie au pair, I will be taking photos of your pet with Cooper and there will likely be an ongoing story line about their adventures during the staycation. If we are connected on social media, I will happily tag you in the posts so you can feel like you are a part of your fur-love's adventure while you are away. If we are not connected, I will happily text or email the photos to you regularly. I know that seeing your pup having fun will bring you peace of mind while away from them

  • Videos: Cooper has a series that he does about his adventures with friends. With each client he introduces them and I do little videos of them doing adventures together. If we are connected on social media, I will happily tag you in the posts so you can feel like you are a part of your fur-love's adventure while you are away. If we are not connected, I will happily text or email the photos to you regularly. I know that seeing your pup having fun will bring you peace of mind while away from them!

  • Plants/Packages: I am happy to water plants/lawns/gardens (although I admittedly do not have a green thumb). If there is a heavy snow I will do my best to shovel/salt so there is a pathway where needed/if needed. I am happy to bring in the mail and sign for packages.

What we need from you prior to an au pairing gig:


  • Meeting: Before we au pair for a new fur client, ideally we like to meet with the pup and Mom/Dad. This way the first time they are meeting us, Mom/Dad aren’t leaving them with a complete stranger. Plus, it gives them a chance to smell out Cooper and I!


  • Potty schedule: While we will go out at specific times of the day for potty/walking, I like to know what to expect with their potty schedule. For instance Cooper will likely poop on every walk, but some dogs only do it twice a day. So it's good to know what I should be looking for.


  • Activities: As I mentioned, I always make sure I have playtime with them. I’d like to know if there are specific activities they like/dislike. It's good to keep them active and happy (if that is their personality) - bored dogs tend to get more stressed. Let me know if there are any favorite toys or activities.


  • Daily/Nightly Routines: I like to know if there are any certain routines so I can continue them in your absence. I do not want to cause them extra stress by changing anything. 


  • Food: Feeding is according to your specifications of course. I need to know how much and any specifics (where the food is, what the food is, what times of day they are fed, etc.), if treats are ok (how much in a day), if there are any allergies, and any food/activities to avoid.


  • Sleeping: I'm happy to have dogs sleep in bed with me, that's what Cooper does. So if a dog is used to that with its humans I do not break that routine. Dogs like to have the pack, so I just become a part of it. But, if you prefer your pup to sleep in a crate or somewhere else, we will make sure that happens.


  • Vet: While I never anticipate something happening, I do ask that the name and location of your vet is provided. It is also good practice to have a note giving me permission to take your pet to the vet. Obviously if a vet visit is needed, I would contact you. For those with senior dogs that are not in great health, I give these babies even more attention. With a lot of senior dogs  I've come to realize that I need to know the parent's wishes should something happen. Obviously I will always get the pet to the vet right away. But should the pet pass in its sleep, I need to know if you want to be contacted right away and what procedure you would want. I know it is an unpleasant thought, but I feel it is best to know your wishes. I have only even had one situation in my years of au pairing and the client knew her cat was not going to make it until she got back. I took the kitty to the vet and we tried everything. I was able to get the mom on the phone so she could talk to the kitty and say her goodbyes. It was difficult beyond words, but I was glad I could be there for him if it couldn't be his mom. I have also gone with other clients when they had to make the decision to cross their baby. My clients become family, and even though this is a difficult thing, I will always want to give comfort to their humans, and be there for them.


  • Buzz words: If there are any buzz words that work best, it's good for me to know. Like Cooper has words for treats and eating, etc. I don't like to confuse a dog by using words they are not used to.


  • Fears: Let me know of any dislikes, such as if certain things scare them (storms, etc.) or if certain things stress them that make them bark or do something else. Every dog is different, so it is good for me to know ahead of time so I can try to prevent or comfort.

A few other things needed:


  • Transportation: Cooper and I require transportation to and from a doggie au pairing gig.  Typically clients will send an Uber/Lyft for us when we are in the city (Chicago). Suburb clients often pick us up or drop us off.  We are fine with either way. We are typically moving from one gig to the next in the city. I can not however require them to drive or pick up from the burbs as that is so much further out.


  • Wifi access: Since I do the majority of my work online (I do creative freelancing and paint pet portraits through my online business as well as do photography shoots) I need your wifi info to connect to the network. 


  • Grocery store: I need to know if there is a grocery store in close walking/uber proximity. If not, I will shop beforehand and bring food with me.

Follow the link below to complete a New Client Form

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