Sleeps with Dogs: Tales of a Pet Nanny at the End of Her Leash
by Lindsey Grant

Seal Press, 2014. ISBN 978-1-580-05547-5.
Reviewed by Martha Meacham
Posted on 09/17/2014

Nonfiction: Memoir; Nonfiction: Animal Companions

Sleeps with Dogs: Tales of a Pet Nanny at the End of Her Leash is a hilarious account of Lindsey Grant's launch into the pet care industry after she finished college. I found myself giggling out loud at the comical imagery of this young woman untangling herself from a variety of predicaments that emerged during her nascent dog-walking and pet-sitting career.

Drawing upon her natural inclinations as a child to play with both her pet dog and office supplies, the author leveraged those experiences to start her own business.

Yes, office supplies. Lindsey Grant admits to enjoying playing with memo pads when she was young, to which she attributes her affection for her first business endeavor. Turns out in the pet-care business there are lots of notes to be written, and figures and information to be tracked. Her background of taking writing classes apparently contributed to her success in this endeavor, as well.

The amusing descriptions of her job, meeting adorable mutts and taking them for walks or staying with them overnight, for a moment sounded like an enviable enterprise. Her clients were located in the San Francisco Bay area and, after all, some of the homes were quite lovely. Having a place to housesit when you are a young college graduate and don't have a place to live can be a good thing.

However, after laughing at all the things that could go wrong on the job and did, I realized, like the author, that the glamour of this position would likely be short-lived. Caring for dogs requires picking up messes and lots of cleaning up after them. Inevitably, they are going to get the upper hand and escape. No two dog-owners are alike. How does one manage any social life when you are on call to take care of other people's pet problems? Lindsey Grant tells about all these drawbacks to this line of work.

All good stories must come to an end. This one is a fun, easy read that held my interest through humor and an approachable writing style. If you have been around dogs, you will appreciate her depiction of the ones she encounters. Even if you are not a dog-lover, you may end up being one after you laugh out loud with this book.

Lindsey Grant is a former pet nanny, and former Program Director for National Novel Writing Month, who holds an MFA in creative nonfiction and English. She lives in Switzerland with her husband and two cats, and blogs about that experience here. Visit the book website.

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