When we have pets, we take on a serious responsibility, says Paulita Image Credit: Supplied

I have one of the best jobs in the world. A happy combination of pets, profession and peace. I gave up a successful corporate career to look after my senior Pekingese, Doodles. I was unable to find affordable reliable pet assistance for him while I was away at work and had to travel at short notice. Although I live with my family, everyone had their busy schedules. For people attached to their pets it is imperative to find the right sitter that provides you the freedom from worry and guilt.

Doodles and I grew up together in Dubai. I raised him from cradle to grave. He passed away at the age of 18 years and 5 months. Living opposite Safa Park presented us with daily adventures. Doodles and I went almost every evening to Jumeirah beach when there was nothing but beach and the sea. Community friendships were forged. I celebrated Doodles birthday every year and we invited most of the friends we made in the community to his party. We dug sandcastles, had BBQ’s on the beach, watched as many sunsets as we could and took hundreds of pictures together. We sat in the parks and ate shawarmas from Al Ijaza Cafeteria. We made memories, loving Jumeirah one grain of sand at a time.

When we have pets, we take on a serious responsibility and one of the reasons I became a pet sitter was to help people with quality pet assistance. People often go through stressful times, such as a job loss or a sudden relocation. This often leads to pets being left behind and one of my intentions have been to address the problem of abandoning pets. I have rescued and rehomed animals all my life and I am incredibly lucky to have the support of my family. My mother enjoys feeding and looking after my menagerie of rescued pets. I have in my home, various birds, a 50 Kg Sulcata tortoise, rats and rabbits. I adopted another Pekingese, Magik Bok Bok in 2018, but I lost him recently.

After Doodle died, I started pet sitting to look after animals in the comfort of their own homes. I realised pets liked the comfort of their own homes. Many rescues, and seniors love the peace, quiet, calm routine and their own space. Being at home, a pet does not have to adjust to a new environment. Also, they are less exposed to catching a disease from the different environment or community illnesses. I started doing weekly dog walks, sleepovers, and even Christmas lunches with pets, all in the comfort of their homes and realised I absolutely loved my time with people’s pets.

Once I went for a preliminary meeting with a potential client who has two nervous dogs. In the short time I was there I got bitten more than once. A year and a half later, I am still pet sitting these two gorgeous animals.

It’s often a joy to pet sit for clients over Christmas. I always request pet parents to leave little presents, outfits and special food for their pets for a nice Christmas lunch and a memorable day. Christmas is all about photo sessions and videos of happy pets opening their gifts and dressed up as Santa or Elves and eating lovely food and treats.

Being a pet sitter also means keeping in mind special diets, medical issues, and special care for animals of determination and different species. But it also means picking up plenty of life lessons from my customers.

Yoshi, the bearded dragon has taught me to soak up the sun and snap at opportunities. Voldemort, the corn snake has taught me that not having limbs does not mean I cannot fly. I could probably write a little book by now. Sausage, Pickle and Onion the three rats I pet sit have taught me life’s a little bit messy, and we all make mistakes. Animals come into our life to teach us love and patience. My greatest joy has been to have rescued and rehomed these birds, rodents, snakes, spiders, sugar gliders, rabbits, kittens and dogs, who have been given me so much love and friendship in life.