Life Advice



Ask Amy: Friends get scratch for dog sitting

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: Friends ask us regularly to watch their dog, but never offer us any compensation. We are not asking for cash, but a gift card would be nice.

They ask us to do this every year for one week in the summer, and then other periods throughout the year, usually lasting for a few days, and sometimes for several days at Christmastime. We live very nearby.

As former dog owners, we understand the work and time involved in managing dogs for a week.

We also understand the related costs with dog boarding, house sitting, etc. For pet owners, we know these costs can add up.

Reciprocity has been minimal at best (a 12-pack beer, for example). (This neighbor is a minimalist who also borrows lots of things from us.)

While we don't mind dog-watching, it really bothers us that they don’t realize our time is valuable and that a cursory thank you is not enough.


We are friendly with four families on this adjacent street and attend a regular Friday gathering.

We have other neighbors in this same group who gave us a $100 restaurant gift certificate for doing this. We feel that they "get it.”

We’re looking for the best way to approach the conversation, as we are long-time friends and do not want to affect the relationship.

Any ideas?


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