How it All Began: As someone who works with children with autism, I have seen firsthand the calming influence that animals can have on individuals with special needs. While at work one day, I received a postcard from BluePath outlining their mission to help children with autism. I called and found out that, though I had limited time I could offer them, I could still make a meaningful impact as a sitter. It was from that postcard and phone call that we got Pearl, a young adult dog in formal training.
Favorite Part of Volunteering for BluePath: Knowing that the dog I’m caring for can potentially become a service dog for a child with autism. These children have such special gifts to share with the world. If caring for a dog can help them unlock those gifts, or even just make them feel a little more comfortable in their daily lives, then I think that’s the best thing I can do.
Favorite Part of Being a Sitter: Pearl has been such a wonderful presence in our house. Just having her in here when I wake up in the morning and when I come home in the evening – opening the door and seeing her standing there, bursting with excitement – really speaks volumes to the joys of having this dog become a part of our lives. I love spending time both with my family and with Pearl; I’m very fortunate that I get to combine the two as a sitter.
Words of Wisdom for Prospective Sitters: Being a sitter is great for people who cannot make a longtime commitment but who want to have a lasting impact on the lives of others. Sure, your house will never be as clean as it might be without a dog in it, but that\’s a small price to pay for such an incredible experience. Dog sitting is a temporary commitment that results in a lifetime of reward both for you and for the dog’s future family.
- Where She Lives: Hopewell Junction, NY
- Dream Vacation Spot: Alaska (to see the Northern Lights)
- Favorite Way to Relax: Walking and reading (coincidentally, the last book she read was about a family that moves to Alaska!)
- Bedtime Routine: When Monica tells Pearl that she’s tired and ready for bed, Pearl goes upstairs and sits in her crate (the dog equivalent of “yup, I’m ready for bed too!”)
- Favorite Scratch Spot: Her belly (when you start petting her, she will literally fall down and roll onto her back so that you have full access to her stomach!)
- Three Words to Describe Her: Feisty (in the best way possible!), loving, and loyal