By Shantelle-Ann Marquis
Pepe is a one-year-old Cavoodle, a Poodle and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross.
“Pepe is actually my neighbour Andrew’s dog. Andrew has gone to South East Asia for a few weeks and I have been taking care of Pepe,” Sharon Wong said.
Ms Wong is an art conservator from West Melbourne and is a huge dog lover.
“In the past I had two golden retrievers, but I haven’t had a dog in a long time. It’s been interesting dog-sitting Pepe and getting back into the pattern of taking care of a dog. Like all the walking, feeding and just having them depend on you,” she said.
Ms Wong believes that dog owners can be hesitant to keep their dogs in kennels because, even though they are treated very well, it’s always better when the dog has a familiar face caring for them.
“It’s been so nice dog sitting Pepe because he’s a great companion and he’s been giving me a lot of exercise because I always have to take him out for walks, like three to four times a day,” she said with a laugh.
Dog sitting can be a lot of fun, but it isn’t always a walk in the park.
“Pepe is really good-natured and really friendly but loves jumping and has a tendency to eat anything he finds so I really have to watch him closely,” Ms Wong said.
“He can also be very excited and enthusiastic when meeting people, like he will just go out and run, and he’s not afraid to approach big dogs either.”
Ms Wong acknowledged that not having a strict nine-to-five job had made it easy to take care of Pepe, however, she said there wasn’t very much she had to adjust to her daily routine to dog sit anyway.
“I would recommend people who don’t own a dog to take up an opportunity to dog-sit,” she said.
“I understand that people don’t want the responsibility or don’t have the hours to spend with the dog. But it is really nice because dogs make great friends and they are always grateful,” she said.