Newsletter: December 2019

Table of Contents

The Water Bowl is paws down the best monthly newsletter for pet professionals. We provide editorial on current events in the dog walking and pet sitting world, review gear and gather interesting information from around the web.


  • The Power of Saying “No”
  • A Cautionary Tale
  • YouTube Tutorials
  • Unicorn Puppy
  • Florida Dog Can Drive
  • Cat Jailbreak

Just Say No. The Power of Saying “No”

Simpsons Dog

We got such a great response to last month’s article on self-care for small business owners, that we thought we’d continue to explore the subject. This month, we chose to focus on how powerful it can be to say “no,” both in your personal and professional lives. So many people have trouble saying no because they don’t want to let others down, but in doing so they end up letting themselves down. Here are a few things to conside

  • Ask yourself: “Do I really want to do this?” It’s a good rule of thumb not to reflexively say yes to things without taking the time to think through the decision, even if it’s as seemingly inconsequential as to whether or not to grab coffee with a friend during work hours. Would taking the time to grab that cup of coffee force you to stay up late to work? Even more so, is this a friend that helps to build you up, or who energetically tears you down? Maintain the integrity of your time and energy but being more thoughtful about what you choose to commit to.
  • Don’t confuse saying no with being negative. It’s quite common for people to confuse saying no with overall negativity, but according to an article in Psychology Today, there’s a big distinction between being negative and giving someone a negative response to a question. The article purports that “Negativity is a chronic attitude, a pair of emotional glasses through which some people get a cloudy view of the world...Where negativity is an ongoing attitude, No is a moment of clear choice. It announces, however indirectly, something affirmative about you.” When you start to think of it this way, you can actually start to see saying no as a positive statement for your life.
  • Get ready to take the wheel of your own life. In that same vein, saying no can be incredibly empowering. The New York Times interviewed an associate professor of marketing at the C. T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston on the benefits of saying no more often who said that “The ability to communicate ‘no’ really reflects that you are in the driver’s seat of your own life. It gives you a sense of empowerment.” Saying no is assertive, and recognizes that your own needs or goals are more important than whatever you are saying no to.

If you really struggle with how to say no to things in your life, consider writing down 3-5 main goals that you have, either professionally or personally. When you’re not sure whether or not to say no to something, revisit those goals and see if the request you’re mulling over is in alignment with them. If not, you’ll know exactly what to say.

A Cautionary Tail. The Importance of Trust in Dog Walking


When a Wag dog walker was caught on camera stealing from a client’s home, it made national news. And while it’s sort of fun to watch Wag get some very bad press, it’s a great reminder of why we need to take extra steps to have incredibly trustworthy dog walkers in our employment. Here are a few things you should absolutely never overlook when hiring new dog walkers:

If you need some additional help with the hiring process, read our article for 5 easy steps for hiring dog walking staff.

  • Interview Every Candidate In Person. It’s amazing how easy it is to hide behind a computer or phone these days, but getting to look into someone’s eyes when you are talking to them is still important. If you start the interview process with a phone call, be sure to schedule an in-person interview before being able to move forward with hiring a new employee.
  • Call References. Ask for at least 3 professional references and actually call them. Although most candidates will list references that they know will give them glowing recommendations, there may be inconsistencies that you pick up on during phone calls, so it’s important to take your time with reference checks.
  • Run Background Checks. Simply calling references is not enough due diligence when it comes to hiring a new employee. Run a professional background check to see if the potential employee has a criminal record, is a sexual offender, or if they do not have a valid Social Security number.

Troubleshooting. YouTube Tutorials Available

If you haven’t discovered the glory that is the Scout YouTube page, well you’re welcome 😉. We have tutorials available to help you master the Scout app.

Blurbs. Curated Content from the Interwebs

  • Meet Narwhal. Narwhal is an adorable puppy unlike any you’ve seen before. Narwhal is a Unicorn puppy, because he was born with an extra tail in the middle of his forehead.
  • Florida Dog Goes for a Drive. Before you question the authenticity of this story, know two things: it happened in Florida, and it’s all on video. So, yeah, this is something you’re going to want to click on.
  • No one puts baby in a cage. Although we mainly focus on dogs, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to feature this story about Quilty, the cat who keeps breaking out of the confines of his animal shelter despite not having opposable thumbs.

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