OLDSMAR – Sherry Rendon has been dragged by a pit bull, attacked by German shepherds, and her busiest days of the year are during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Plus, she works 365 days a year.
And you know something? She loves every minute of it. Not the bites she gets or the scratches that lead to scars, but she is a lover of dogs and cats and decided to start her pet- and home-sitting business: Sherry’s Smiling Whiskers.
Rendon started her business eight years ago. She had spent the previous 30 years in corporate America before losing her job. She wondered what to do and evaluated her situation. She was 52 years old and unemployed. She loved pets and didn’t like life in corporate America.
Time to start over, she thought. She decided she wasn’t going to put on her corporate America outfit again. She would wear what she wanted and do what she wanted. She loved pets and asked herself what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. She saw fliers at various places looking for pet sitters and thought that it sounded like a plan.
The Oldsmar resident found someone looking to sell a pet-sitting business and, while she didn’t purchase it, it gave her the idea to take matters into her own hands.
“I loved pets and I decided to take a chance and never look back,” she said. “From the first day, I knew I made the right move.”
Rendon has had pets since she was a teen. Today she has two dogs, Bijou, a bichon frisé, and Mia, a very excitable Chihuahua.
She has since become a part of a small fraternity of pet sitters throughout the Tampa Bay area. She is involved in Pet Sitters International and the Tampa Bay Professional Pet Sitters Network.
Since starting her own business, she has taken classes in massage, animal first aid, and knows how to inject insulin when needed.
It isn’t an easy job. She is basically on call 365 days of the year, and the holidays are the times when she is most needed. Through networking she has the ability to find backups when she is overwhelmed, but she understands that pet owners don’t really care how busy their pet sitters are, as long as their own pets are taken care of.
“Pet owners need to know that they can trust me and that I am responsible,” Rendon said. “I know what to do in case of an emergency and I am ready for anything.”
Rendon said she doesn’t just care for the animals. She checks the mail for owners who are away, can take care of the house and can also make sure that the home looks like it is lived in when the owners are out of town.
“I used to think I could handle anything,” Rendon said. “You have to remember, though, that sometimes an animal can’t be controlled. I’ve been slightly injured, but I still can handle almost any situation.”
Pet owners can also expect a special treat from Rendon. She is a photographer and always tries to make sure to get a photo of the pets to give as presents to their owners.
“I love doing this,” Rendon said. “It beats corporate America. I love animals and am just happy to have the chance.”
Sherry Rendon can be reached at (813) 814-1355 or at email@example.com.