September 11, 2012
Labor Day weekend marked the end of a busy summer here at Rover-Time. I flipped through our boarding calendar and counted over 50 guests that chose to spend their vacation with us in June, July, and August. These three months flew by for me (even though it was 21 dog months). Each day was busy with outdoor recreation planning and meal catering for every dog that visited. I’ve worked my tail off, and I’m proud to say, I’ve also personally sniffed each and every one of our guests’ rear ends. Call me old-fashioned, but that’s the kind of personal attention each guest receives here at Rover-Time.
One of the first things I implemented when I came on board as Rover-Time’s Concierge Manager was to establish a daily schedule for our houseguests. I figured a little routine never hurt a dog. I thought establishing a balance between playtime, naptime, and snuggletime would send happier dogs home to their families.
I also urged Julia to hire a weekend assistant; someone who would give her a little breathing time since I noticed her working seven days a week. In June, she brought a great guy named Marc on board (notice he’s Marc-with-a-C, not to be confused with my dad and Rover-Time’s VP of Belly Scratches: “Mark”). Marc has some great kennel facility experience; he’s trained in Pet First Aid/CPR, and has a fantastic understanding of canine body language. Every Saturday and Sunday he comes to Rover-Time and relives Julia for a few hours. He manages the walk schedule, sets up the swimming pool, and plays with all our visitors to ensure everyone stays content and safe. It’s great having him on the team.
And finally, we decided it was time Julia consider hiring her first part-time team member. This decision was super difficult for her. At the start of Rover-Time, she wanted things to be ran and operated just by her, with that perfect number of clients – not too many, not to few. But then Julia’s grandmother’s health began to decline and knowing she’ll pass soon, Julia was determined to spend 1-2 evenings at the Joliet Hospice home where Gram now lives. Trying to fit this in to her calendar has been nearly impossible. It made us all realize that Julia needs a backup, a person who can help when Julia needs to be with her family. Finding that great person will also allow her to take a personal day, or a sick day, or a vacation in the future. And between you and I, I’d like her to have a (human) kid someday which would be hard to do while walking dogs. I’m guessing.
Looking ahead at the fall and winter months, we are already beginning to prepare for holiday bookings. Our family’s plan is to remain in Chicago for Thanksgiving, and then Mark and I will travel to Michigan for an extended stay over Christmas. Julia will join us for Christmas Eve and Day (a hired house sitter will step in for Julia so she can spend a little of her holiday with extended family) and we’ll be together as a family for New Years, back in Chicago. For each of these holidays, existing clients will be prioritized over new client inquiries.
I look forward to welcoming new and returning guests in the months to come. On my off hours I’ve begun working with a trainer, so hopefully the way in which I greet will be a little better-mannered. We’ll see.
Warmest wishes and tail wags,
Chauncey B. Vanderhoff, Rover-Time Concierge Manager