Rebecca Kirkland pet sitter photo

Day 12 of our 15-part series on the life of professional pet sitters.

As we make our way through more and more of these extraordinary tales, it becomes increasingly obvious that the professional pet sitter is so much more than a “one trick pony” (pun intended?).

Truth be told, a true pet care professional must consider the welfare and well being of the animals in her care from a variety of angles.

She must consider the health and the safety from elements inside the home. She must consider the safety from outsiders, including other people, other dogs and other animals.

And she must consider the unknown factors. Like the weather.

Each job we take as a professional care taker could potentially present an entirely unique set of circumstances that we must act upon in a matter of seconds.

The pet parent relies on our good judgement to keep her furry family member protected.

This is why hiring an experienced professional should be your top priority.

In today’s spotlight, Rebecca Kirkland of Whiskers ‘N’ Wags Pet Sitting in Colorado City, TX was put to the test and passed with flying colors!

The Calm Before The (Tornado) Storm

Rebecca Kirkland photoWe as pet sitters have to make quick, precise decisions constantly for the health and well being of our clients.

Sometimes they can be scary decisions but when in our care, it should be our first priority. Here is my story.

It was last spring, during the crazy, unpredictable weather that we tend to have in west Texas. On this particular day it was overcast with a bit of much needed rain.

I had an adorable French bulldog client that is one of my favorites to sit to take care of this day. It had been raining off and on so we stayed inside for most of the stay.

I was able to get her out long enough to potty but she jetted back inside when the rain started! We were on the floor playing our usual tug of war game with her favorite toy when the wind picked up.

This was nothing unusual. We lived in west Texas for crying out loud! The wind always blew! As it got increasingly louder the pup was getting worried and became less interested in her toy. I went to the sliding back door to look out and see what was happening.

It was raining very hard and the wind was horrendous. We stood there and right before our eyes, the trampoline in the back yard started to bend as if somebody was flipping an omelet.

The satellite dish went out so I had no way to check the weather other than the app on my phone which was sending out all kinds of weather alerts… including tornado warnings in my area.

The house began to shake a little and the pup was getting increasingly disturbed. I picked her up and as watched out the window, I started getting concerned about our safety. There was no cellar or basement in the area so the only thing I knew to do was get into the middle section of the house.

Before we did that, I called the owner to let them know about the trampoline and at that time, I looked across the yard and watched as a barn in the neighbors lot next door being lifted off of the ground! This was a metal barn!

All I could do was tell the owner what was happening and I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest. It was scary to say the least. All I could think of was what if the wind/tornado threw that barn over here on top of this house.

I told the owner I was going to take the pup and get to the middle bathroom, so that’s what I did. Both the pup and myself was shivering from fear. I got in the bathtub and put the pup underneath me to protect her, just like I would a child.

The house shook and terrible noises surrounded us. After about 5 minutes it quieted down. I came out of the bathroom to see what damages had been done.

So much relief that we had made it through the storm.

Miraculously the only damage that the house sustained was the bent up trampoline and a flag pole bent all the way over to a 90 degree angle, which was actually only 2 feet from my car! But the important thing was that the pup and myself were safe!

It’s odd when we are faced with disasters like that, we gear up with that ultra protective emotion and I just wanted to make sure that that sweet pup was safe! Very scary for both of us, but the client was so relieved that we were both ok and they couldn’t thank me enough for what I did.

They are one of my best clients and have 100% trust in me.

That is a GREAT feeling! Never predict the unpredictable, such as in the west Texas weather!!

Lesson learned? Check weather status when I know that I’m going to be out for awhile!

Over to You

Read More: See all other stories of courageous professional pet sitters in our 15 Pet Sitters Series.

When have you been called upon to act in a moment’s notice?


  • How frightening, thank goodness you went into protective mode and not panic mode. When I was reading your story the lyrics to “Munchkinland” from The Wizard of Oz kept running through my head

    “The wind began to switch – the house to pitch and suddenly
    the hinges started to unhitch.
    Just then the Witch – to satisfy an itch went flying
    on her broomstick, thumbing for a hitch.
    And oh, what happened then was rich.
    *The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch.
    It landed on the Wicked Witch
    in the middle of a ditch”

  • Michelle Romano

    Great motto for a pet sitter – NEVER PREDICT THE UNPREDICTABLE! Great story! Glad you were all ok. I’m sure the client was super grateful you were there with their dog!

  • Kelly Hall

    Good thinking in how to react in that situation to keep yourself and the pup safe. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • kristinsk9

    Wow! As a pet sitter that lives in “Tornado Alley” I appreciate your story and how you protected that Frenchie and yourself from harm! Great job Rebecca!

  • I got chills reading that story, Rebecca!!

  • Yikes!!! Glad you and the Frenchie made it, Rebecca!!! Sometimes the best thing we can do in a pressing situation is to simply be there for our charges.

    Good thing I always check the weather before going on a trip or an assignment, although I’m in SoCal! Even things change around here.

  • WOW!! What a story that was. Thank God you were both ok…The things we as pet sitters go through. I never thought of something like that happening because that never happens here in Indian Trial NC. That must have been very scary. You did however know what to do…Bravo to you!!! Be safe !!

FEATURED TRAINING SESSION

Here's a sample of the kind of training offered by PetSittingOlogy.

Discover a Better Way to Network:

SIGN INTO YOUR ACCOUNT

×
FORGOT YOUR DETAILS?
×

Go up