By Grace Park
Published: 10/12/2021, edited: 10/12/2021
We're back with another Pet Caregiver Spotlight story, to spotlight top, pawsome Pet Caregivers around the nation who provide pet care on the Wag! app!
This time, we're featuring Sierra- a college student and a dog walker from Austin, Texas. Sierra first heard about Wag! from another walker in the Tampa area, where she goes to school in the University of South Florida. In Austin where her home is, she has walked dogs in her free time as a way to relieve stress and to make extra money as a side-gig.
Sierra's impressive record as a dog walker consists of completion of 116 dog walks with Wag!, excellent report cards, and—of course, her capacity to go the extra mile to make her doggie clients feel comfortable and loved.
We've asked her a series of fun questions to get to know her better. Here's what we asked her!
Sierra: I am originally from Wisconsin, but moved to Tampa to go to college. I always loved visiting this area when I was younger, plus, I was never a fan of the cold. Once I moved to Tampa, my parents moved to Austin, Tx, So, when my college apartment flooded last school year, I moved to Austin for the rest of that school year, where I continued Wag!.
Sierra: When I am not doing schoolwork or walking dogs, I like to hang out with my friends, watch documentaries, and workout. If I have enough time, I love to go hang out at the beach with my friends.
Sierra: When I was a little girl, we had a basset hound named Koda. Then when I was seven, we got Buster, a Shih Tzu-Maltese. He is such a gentle soul, professional leaf collector, sunbather, and the best cuddler. He is 14 years old now and loves to sleep in the sun all day long. Then when I was 12, we rescued my Yorkie, Bella, as my Christmas present. She has a huge sassy personality, loves to watch TV, and is a deer and squirrel stalker.
Sierra: To prepare for my services, I always make sure to read the bio of the dogs, check the notes left by the Pet Parents, as well as notes left by other walkers. Reading all of these notes ensures I know what triggers to avoid, what treats to give, and plenty of other useful information. Lastly, if I am confused by anything I read, or have additional questions, I make sure to reach out to the pet parents.
Sierra: I am lucky when it comes to my class times; I only have classes two days of the week. So, this makes it easy to have availability for dog walks. Besides that, I try to do my coursework a little ahead of time in case a walk comes up. With my usual pets, I make sure to keep open lines of communication with the owners so we can find times that work for both of us.
Sierra: I don’t have a favorite neighborhood, but I love neighborhoods that have walking trails and off-leash dog parks. One neighborhood I walked in had a nice walking trail by a popular swimming hole. It was a gorgeous walk and the dogs loved it! Several neighborhoods I’ve walked in included off-leash dog parks. We of course would only go if the Pet Parents told me it was okay to take them there. It is so fun because the dog gets to run around and get lots of exercise from playing fetch!
Sierra: The first piece of advice I would give new pet caregivers is to have fun with it! Yes, you are getting paid and need to follow the Pet Parents' instructions, but don’t forget to enjoy the time with the pet. When you are having fun, so is the dog!
My second piece of advice is to have your own pet waste bags. Most people provide bags or have a complex with stations, but it is always a good idea to have extra bags in case.
Sierra: My favorite thing about Wag! is having usual dogs to walk. I love building a connection with the dogs and their owners. Having that trust between you and a dog is so nice, you both understand each other and work together to ensure you both are getting the most out of your time. It also makes the experience better for the pets, when they can trust the person who is walking them.
Sierra: I am a college student at the University of South Florida studying psychology with a focus on neuroscience who loves spending time with dogs.
Sierra: All my life, I have played volleyball and loved it. I stopped playing in clubs and school during high school and now play leisurely or through legions. My interests include spending time with dogs and studying psychology.
Sierra: My happy place is going to a quiet place with a nice view to watch the sunset. I find sunsets so beautiful and relaxing.
Sierra: One thing about me that surprises people, is the fact that I am allergic to cats and dogs. This is the reason I have hypoallergenic dogs at home. Despite being allergic, I can’t help but spend time with dogs; I just love them too much!
Thank you, Sierra! That's a wrap. We're blessed to have dependable Pet Caregivers like Sierra in Austin who provide 5-star awesome care to furbabies on our Wag! app. If you're in the area, book a walk with Sierra!
Not a resident of Austin? Find a top dog walker near you!
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