National Association of Professional Pet Sitters

National Association of Professional Pet Sitters

National Association of Professional Pet Sitters

After researching three different professional sitting organizations, Paul and I finally decided to join NAPPS. I will admit, I wasn’t 100% convinced we needed to shell out the dough to become members.  Now, I think of all of the information we would have benefited from had we joined before taking off on our house and pet sitting adventures.

If you house and pet sit at all, I strongly suggest you join a professional organization. Membership will open up more doors for you.  You will have access to relevant forms, networking, advertising, insurance, continued education and certification, trade shows…all stuff you will want to know about if you are serious about house and pet sitting.  It may not be rocket science…but taking care of properties and pets is a HUGE responsibility.

Are you a member of NAPPS or a similar organization?  What have the benefits been for you?  Do you feel that you have gotten your money’s worth? If you aren’t a member and have any questions, we would love to hear from you as well.

What News?

What News?

The numbers are down on our blog as of late.  That is what happens when a blogger gets all sporadic with her posts.  I love blogging, but there have been so many things going on and I have inadvertently lowered it on the priorities list.

So, what have we been doing with ourselves, then?  Here goes:

Tabor at Alberta Park

1. Paul and I have been figuring out a way to keep Caretaking Couple going now that we are stationary, and it has evolved into us offering a more exclusive kind of pet sitting service.  95% of our clients here in Portland prefer that their pet(s) not go to a kennel for a variety of reasons (elderly dogs that don’t want/need as much play time, dogs with high anxiety levels, etc.). They are looking for individualized care, and that is where our focus lies. Word of mouth is providing enough business for us at present, although I do plan on stepping it up a notch, which leads me to…

Thank you, Oregon SBDC (Small Business Development Center)!

2. I applied for and was offered a scholarship via the SBDC last month and am now taking business classes for the next ten months.  Yes, this is very exciting for me in so many ways…I am learning new things every day and am meeting more and more local small business owners, which is fantastic. This class would have cost me $1,600.00 had I not received the scholarship, and I am grateful.

Wellness Section at Alberta Cooperative Grocery

3. A couple of months ago, I decided to become a “working owner” at Alberta Co-op. I work one shift a week in the Wellness Section in exchange for a discount on all purchases along with other perks.  I love that I get to be around essential oils, bath and body products, beeswax candles, etc. again (reminds me of my Mountain Girl Organics days).  They have so many healthy & yummy foods, too!  And speaking of healthy…

Beachbody Coach Summit 2012

4. I continue to grow my Beachbody business and am doing my best to help “end the trend” of obesity here in the States. Most of you know how much I love my food and drink, and how easy it can be for me to park my butt on the couch versus get it moving (especially in the rainy Pacific Northwest) so this is such a great company for me to be involved with. Beachbody is growing by leaps and bounds and I am proud to be a part of it. My goal is to get to the Coach Summit in Las Vegas this June so I can meet more like-minded people and continue to be inspired.

5. Exhale (my favorite local yoga studio) posted a request on their facebook page a couple months back. They needed a couple of people to clean the studio in exchange for unlimited classes and workshops (!). Soo happy I decided to do this. I am learning a lot more about Yoga and a little more about Ayurveda as well, which is something I have been interested in for some time. Yoga keeps me sane.

Collage in NE Portland

6. Just down the street from us is Collage, a mixed media arts supplies shop that offers all kinds of cool classes. So far, I have taken embroidery, bookmaking, and collage. Tomorrow, I am taking an image transfer techniques class ~ can’t wait! A seamstress friend has just rented a space and is looking for artisans to fill it with their creations and I am having fun deciding what it is I want to contribute. I may do a post on my creative endeavors here soon.

7. I meet with a group of blogger friends on Thursdays at Tabor Space (Portland has the coolest coffee shops, by the way) and know I will be getting back into blogging regularly as I plan on attending Seattle WordCamp (if I can hustle a ticket since I forgot to buy one and they sold out quick!). I loved the WordCamp here in Portland…fingers crossed I pull it off.

Spring in Portland ~ Can't Wait to Plant!

8. We are working on creating a backyard oasis here.  Not much to show yet, as it has been constant rain. This weekend is supposed to be gorgeous, so hopefully I will have a “Before and After” post for you next week.

9. My Mom shared her Ancestry account with me in hopes that we could do some genealogy detective work together.  I haven’t gotten very far with it, but I do have some leads. I want to make this more of a priority. Mom lives in California and we don’t catch up in person much, so this is a great way for us to keep in touch and share exciting discoveries.

10. I met Helen while volunteering at a Community Cycling Center event a few months ago. We have accountability meetings at local coffee shops every Tuesday morning for 90 minutes, in which we go over our accomplishments of the past week and post goals for the next week. If you don’t have an accountability friend (or group of friends), I recommend you go out and get yourself one…it has been invaluable for me.

Paul at the New Bollywood Theatre on Alberta Street

What is Paul up to?  Working, spoiling our four legged clients sweetly, hanging out at his favorite local(s), waiting patiently to get started on the backyard raised garden beds, cooking delicious meals (they get healthier all of the time), and keeping me entertained on a daily basis.  We typically go somewhere fun for our birthdays (next month) but we are having so much fun here, we may just hang out.  Not sure yet…

What are you up to?  I would love an update from all of you, near and far, wherever you are…








What News?

Caretaker / House and Pet Sitter Generalizations

The Shining (Photo Courtesy of

Last night, I felt like reading a fiction book. I picked up The Three Weissmans of Westport and read it in almost one sitting. I wanted something breezy and am a sucker for anything inspired by Jane Austen (except for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: The Graphic Novel.  Not my cup of tea).

My interest was piqued when two sisters who called themselves “home sitters” were introduced to the story. No real spoilers here ~ let’s just say that they didn’t exactly make us caretakers / house and pet sitters proud. As I contemplated this, other books and films featuring “our kind” came to mind, and I pondered the generalizations.

So, out of curiosity, what is the first thought that comes to mind when you think of people who do what we do? Does a certain character from a book or film come to mind, or someone you know personally? If so, please leave a comment. If not, please leave a comment. Thanks!



What News?

Caretaking Couple Has a New Phone Number (503) 208-3587

Breakfast Courtesy of Rosie and Toops

Hi All! Paul is back from his cross country road trip to retrieve what is left of our belongings in the Cape Cod storage unit. Quite the drive, and of course I wanted to go, but the chickens needed me more than I needed to be traipsing across country again.

We are almost moved in to our new digs. I will post pics asap as this is all very exciting (our first real place of our own, even if it is a rental) and I do believe it is looking more and more adorable each day. We still have our CO cell phone numbers, but I am hoping to phase mine out soon. Our new Caretaking Couple phone number is (503) 208-3587.

Gotta go ~ it is Last Thursday here on Alberta Street and Rachel and I are ready to wander!

What News?

Caretaking Couple Now Offers Midday Dog Walks

I (Valynne) will be handing out these sweet flyers and displaying them at local businesses here in Northeast Portland over the weekend and can’t wait to see what the response is like.  BIG THANKS to Maxwell at No Limits PDX for a less than one day turn-around (!) and I really appreciate that this locally owned business charges LESS than the box stores, as well.

Also, I am going to do my best to track the response to this old-school flyer in comparison to the response I am getting via social media. Because we are newcomers to Portland, I think actually getting the word out in the community will be more effective than my various social media campaigns at this point.  What do you think?  Got tips?  If so, we would love to hear them…

PS Time for another prize drawing.  Leave a comment on ANY blog post here at Caretaking Couple and automatically enter to win a week’s worth of Shakeology, starting NOW and ending this Friday (10/14/11).  I will send the prize out on Saturday.

What News?

Portlanders Love Their Back Yard Chickens

Rosie Gives Paul a Tour of the Back Yard

All of our Caretaking Couple facebook friends know that we have added chickens to our sitting repertoire, but I don’t think it has been mentioned here on the blog.  Many a Portlander has a chicken coop out back.  Not only are chickens entertaining (no, really ~ these chickens crack us up), but they lay eggs.  I know!  Bonus. And look how pretty the eggs are…

Breakfast, Compliments of Toops and Rosie

We can pick up whatever we need for the chickens at the nearby Urban Farm Store, and the owners have even written a book on chicken keeping.  I love visiting the chicks whenever we go to pick up feed, etc. for the girls – they are seriously adorable.

Coop, Sweet Coop for Rosie and Toops

We are going to miss these girls when we move in to our new digs.  Luckily, they will only be a few blocks away.  Thank you, Toops and Rosie, for months of laughs and yummy breakfasts.

P.S. If you decide you want to raise chickens, be sure to find out what the regulations are in your neighborhood (some hoods don’t allow roosters, some have a limit on how many chickens you can keep, etc. etc.).

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