Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pet Sitters

I have a neighbor and a friend who regularly take care of Toby when my boyfriend and I are out of town. Both have declined money in the past so for one I make pie or cookies (I make a killer blueberry pie) and for Christmas we're giving him a gift certificate to the restaurant where we know he often eats lunch. We didn't stalk him, it's the restaurant where my boyfriend works. We decided it would be too creepy to make it for exactly the cost of his usual lunch.

For the other, we load up the fridge with specialty beer and he drinks a bottle each time he visits Toby while playing with him and providing company for the cat. For Christmas he's getting an awesome specialty beer mug for his personal bar.

I used to pet sit for a friend of my sisters and she paid me in gift cards to my favorite pet shop and complete set of LSAT books when my boyfriend was getting ready to take the test.

Now that it's the holidays and many people are getting ready to travel, I'm wondering if non-money is actually common or if I just hang out with a group of people more inclined to barter/trade than to pay. Any thoughts?


Anonymous said...

I think bartering/trading's a wonderful idea. Works out better for everyone involved. And when I can actually trade something I am good at for something someone else is good at - it makes me feel better about myself.

For instance: this year, a coworker stayed late (without pay) and helped me finish a big project. She probably saved me a good 6-8 hours of work. So...I made her a box of Christmas cards that she could send out.

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lora96 said...

idk about bartering but I would give practically ANYTHING for a petsitter so my dh and I could go to a friggin movie or something. Nearest theater is 45 min away. Dogs cannot be left for about 4 hours plus w/o going out to potty or getting attention/play. Sigh.

I think bartering or offering courtesies such as the beer for your is more affectionate and respectful than a mere monetary exchange.

Bethany said...

@Stormy That's awesome that you made cards for your coworker. Very cool.

@Lora Have you asked any of your coworkers? I would totally go play with a friend's dog for an evening in exchange for Chinese delivery while they went out for several hours. I'm not opposed to money exchanges (honestly grateful when a friend knew I was short on cash and insisted on paying me for babysitting her kid even though I'd have done it for free). When I've been more flush, I much prefer her cooking!

LuckyRaven said...

I always offer money, but more frequently I end up paying (or being paid) in baked goods or foodstuffs.

Sierra said...

The boyfriend and I went to Illinois for a week, and needed petsitters for my bird and his cats. Both people were happy to do it, not mentioning compensation at all, but we picked up gifts for them while we were out.

Birdsitter got a lovely carved butterfly box (and will be getting dinner because she also folded my huge pile of laundry while her hands were idle), and the catsitter got some wine from a winery he loved that we passed on our way home.

I think the barter system is awesome. :D