A dog walker WWYD

Possum

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I've got a bit of a peculiar dog walker situation, and would like some advice.

After a couple of false starter, we found a lovely dog walker to take our 2 dogs out while my OH is working temporarily longer hours.

She walked them for about 4 weeks and it seemed to be going well, I think we were quite good clients, we paid her weekly in advance, fitted in with the time of day she wanted to walk them and if she had any concerns we took immediate steps to fix it.

One morning I had a text saying her car had been hit and she couldn't come that day. I obviously said not to worry about it, that I hoped everything was ok. She then said that because of insurance repairs etc it might be a while until she was mobile again to walk them. Obviously I said that was fine as well and just to keep us updated. This was now almost 4 weeks ago...

I sent a friendly text about 10 days ago to see if she had a timeframe for car repairs and didn't get a reply. She has a Facebook page but I can't see that she's updated it for a few weeks when she usually posts regular pics etc.

I don't know what to do - OH tried to call her today and no answer, I don't know whether something's happened, she's on holiday, given up dog walking or just doesn't want to walk our dogs any more and is waiting for us to get the hint. I'm mostly worried, OH is mostly cross at being let down and at the lack of communication (not least because we had paid for a week's walking in advance, she offered to return it on the day of the accident but because we only thought it was going to be a few days we told her not to worry to avoid transferring it straight back again. I don't genuinely believe that she's going to do a runner with the money but it is a by odd...).

We have managed in the meantime using another lady to come and let them into the garden, but this isn't sustainable long term they really like their midday walks, and having got all the paperwork sorted with the first walker I'm reluctant to go through the rigmarole and learn to trust a second. Plus I'd rather not switch permanently - I like this girl and trust her with my precious woofs.

WWYD?
 

Overread

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Calling people is always hit and miss; sometimes you get them in sometimes not and not everyone is a 9-5 critter and home at 6.

I would say send a formal email to follow up your text and failed call and then leave the ball in her camp. You've texted, phoned and then emailed and got a record of two of them being done. Then the ball is in her court to respond.

Might be she's hit hard times; might be she just wants to duck you without saying so; might be she's really swamped with things etc.. could be anything.

Unless you are concerned for her well being as a friend I wouldn't press the matter. Make a final formal email and leave it at that and if you hear nothing just move on. That way you've not left any bad feelings on your end; but you've drawn a line and moved on in your own life

I wouldn't bother leaving a "if you don't respond by XYZ I'll go with someone else" that's an attack. If she's dodging you then you've just made a warzone of it; if she's having really tough times you've not really helped.
 

Goldenstar

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I would email her and say your sorry you have not heard from her and could she please let you ASAP when she will resume work or would she return your outstanding money ASAP and you will make alternative arrangments .
Very bad customner service not good enough at all .
 

Possum

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Thanks all. Unfortunately I don't have her email address, only name/phone number, we found her through a recommendation and her Facebook page. I've tried calling again, left a message saying I need her to let us know ASAP what's going on, that it's fine either way but we need to know whether we need alternative arrangements.

Amymay, we're in Oxford.

She said she wasn't injured, and in the first week I had a few texts discussing car repairs and insurance etc, no indication it was anything more than a car issue.

Fingers crossed I hear something back today, thanks for all your advice.
 

shadowboy

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I had a similar situation 18months ago when our dog walker went AWOL with our house key.... We had to change our locks and genuinely never heard from her again. She shut her FB page down too. All very odd.
 

gunnergundog

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Lesson: if you employ ANYONE and give them your front door key - yet alone entrust them with your dog! - you need to ascertain that they have been security checked (and get proof thereof), get testimonials - one (at least) of which you follow up, see their insurance cover policy (each and every year you use them), and if dog related employment check them out with local vets/kennels/trainers etc.
 
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