Luna stares at me sadly as I lock the front door, then climbs up to see me through the front window as I get into my car. My last glimpse of her as I turn off our street shows her with her nose poking through the blinds, wistfully watching me drive away, not to return for another eight hours -- or in her mind, maybe ever.
The worst is when we both also have evening plans. The days that we come home, greet Luna, take her for a quick walk to do her business, feed her dinner, then head out to another event after work? Those are the days that she chews off the corners of the couch cushions. Or gnaws on the door frame. Or eats a book.
The evening plans are hard to avoid. I've got a full-time job on top of Work For Your Beer, so I've constantly got events that I'm dragging my fiancé along to. We do our best to get home from work early on those days so we have time to give Luna the attention she needs and to get out some of her boredom, but that doesn't always work out.
So, how am I supposed to balance my busy schedule with being a good dog mom and making Luna happy? Thankfully, that's where Skipper (formerly The Waggle Company) comes in.
I was also excited to learn that Skipper offered same-day scheduling for walks. With a full-time gig and a side hustle, my life can be pretty unpredictable, so knowing that I could schedule an afternoon walk for Luna before leaving for work in the morning was a huge plus for me.
It was also comforting to know that the Skipper walkers are all bonded and insured, background checked, and trained in pet handling and safety... as opposed to just any old strangers entering our home and walking our dog!
The consultation was quick and painless. A Skipper team member, Michele, stopped by to talk through some detailed information about Luna and about our home. She asked me a bit about Luna's personality, whether she was crated during the day or not, whether she liked to play or just walk when she went outside, etc. I showed her where Luna's food and treats were kept in the home, as well as her leash.
Next, we talked about home access. I gave her the code to our alarm system, and she assured me that information would kept totally secure in the privacy of my Skipper account. She had asked that I make a spare key for the Skipper team, and she arrived with a Skipper lock box in which to store it. We chose a combination for the lock, popped the key inside, then placed the lock box in a secured location on our property. The only people who would know where to find it (and what the combination was) would be the Skipper team, via encrypted access to our Skipper account.
After that (which all only took about 10-15 minutes) our consultation came to a close! Michele told me she'd follow up by giving me access to my online account so I could start scheduling appointments.
Now that we had access to the online account, it was time to schedule Luna's walks for the week! I logged into the account and clicked "Schedule a Visit."
I was given the option to schedule a series of visits (for example, every Monday at 2 PM) or an individual visit. I chose to schedule five individual visits, since we were just trying the services out for one week to see how we liked them.
I chose the date and the duration of the visit -- we chose 20-minute visits at $15 each. Next, I selected the visit arrival window, indicating that the Skipper walker could arrive as early as 1 PM or as late as 2:30 PM.
There are also additional services you're able to choose from, which I hadn't previously realized. I could ask the Skipper walker to provide a meal for Luna or to give her medication. Or I could request that they bring in the mail, turn on the lights, or water my plants. Definitely good to know for the next time we go out of town!
I scheduled all five visits, and they appeared on the schedule in my dashboard. Now, to see what the actual visits themselves were like.
Real-Time Walk Updates
After I scheduled our Monday walk, I got my first text message from Skipper saying, "Your Skipper visit for Jan 22nd has been approved!" A few hours later, I got my second message: "Your Skipper team member has arrived!" Then a little over 20 minutes later, the final message of the day came. "Your Skipper visit is complete! View your visit report here."
I dropped what I was doing and clicked the link, and immediately let out an audible squeal. The beautifully mobile-optimized visit report told me the exact start and stop time of Luna's walk (along with GPS-tracked details of the walk route), and indicated whether she went pee or poop or both.
It also included detailed visit notes from the walker about how Luna seemed and what they did during their time together, featuring plenty of fun emojis. And my favorite part: they included photos of Luna throughout the walk!
I am the crazy dog mom who has a custom calendar made up of photos of her dog at my desk at work. It's not like I don't already stare at photos of Luna's beautiful face throughout the day. But to get to see photos of my dog out on a walk while I was at work, having fun and getting her energy out -- that helped me get rid of all of my dog guilt. I felt such a rush of gratitude for the Skipper walker who snapped those pictures.
All of the other features of the visit report were definitely important to me as well (I love knowing where she walked, for how long, and whether she did her business) but those photos of Luna made my day, every day for the whole week that she had her Skipper walks.
In my opinion, these services are absolutely worth the investment. If you're a busy dog parent, then Skipper is for you. Whether you schedule walks on a regular basis, or you just utilize their services when you know you've got back-to-back meetings and won't have the time you need to dedicate to your pup, their service is a godsend. They can make sure your dog gets the attention they need and deserve, so that their tail is still wagging when you walk through the door at the end of the day.
Learn More About Skipper at Skip & Sip
Learn more by following @skipper on social media.
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