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Would you accept money?

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  • Would you accept money?

    A couple my family has known for many many years has asked me to walk their dogs for the next month or so, because the wife is having some health problems and will be unable to, and the husband will be busy with her. She should be totally fine, but will be out of commission for a month or so. I'll be walking the dogs twice a day, for about 30 minutes each time, rain or shine. It's close to my barn, but pretty far from home, so I'll have to be away from home pretty much all day (dogs have to be walked in the morning and later in the afternoon), 7 days a week... I'm on break from school and would like to spend quality time at home. Not that I mind walking the dogs--they're good people and I'm happy to help out. I'm the only person who really *could* do it for them.

    Here's the thing: My dad is telling me I shouldn't accept money from them. That occurred to me, too... taking money from someone's health problems bothers me a bit. But I am a poor college student (currently have about $200 to my name, and about $500 of credit card debt, plus ~$50k school loans), and these people are VERY well off. My plan was to politely decline their offer to pay me, and then "well, okay, if you insist" when they insist on paying me.

    Do you think it's totally out of line for me to accept money? (FWIW, I have no idea how much they'll pay me.. but given my past experiences with them, it will be rather generous. Their dogs are their children, and they pay accordingly.)

    HR because I need the money to pay for my horses!

  • #2
    If you don't do it, they'd have to pay someone to do it. Might as well pay you as someone else. Your time is just as valuable as anyone elses. Take the money.


    • #3
      I understand where your dad is coming from, but that's a big commitment on your part and I am certain that the other family would WANT to pay you. Peace of mind is invaluable.
      If it makes you feel better, when they let you know how much they are going to pay, you can say "oh no, that's too much - how about $XX"?
      Founding Member of "I Kept 'Off Topic Day!' Open"


      • #4
        Accept the money if they offer it....I am not well-versed enough to tell you how to ask for it.

        Walking them for a couple days/a week is one thing....for an entire month is a whole 'nother story. I completely understand being a poor college kid...it sucks! And yes, even $20 here and there is SUCH a help. At this point in my life, I can only be so nice to people without getting something in return, ya know? Not that I don't WANT to just gift my time and energy to people....but I just CAN'T. Not at this point.

        So yes. Accept the money. It's not rude.


        • #5
          It's touchy, but you sound like you need the money. Also, it's only for the month, it's not like you're sucking money out of them. Now, if they offer an exorbitant amount you can turn a portion of that down (oh, i couldn't possibly accept that much, here's $XX back.)
          "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

          Phoenix Animal Rescue


          • #6
            Honestly, if I was those people, I would be embarrassed NOT to pay you and would never want to ask you again if you didn't accept.


            • #7
              Nothing wrong with it. You are making an effort to walk them and they are offering it-so nothing wrong. If I had pets and needed someone to take care of, I would pay extra if I had to to get someone I know and trust, instead of a stranger..


              • #8
                Accept the money.

                Call a couple of professional dog walking services and see what they'd charge so you know what's reasonable. For two dogs together in the Boston area you'd expect to pay $15 or so *per walk*. So $30 a day.

                If it were a really close friend or family and money were tight and/or they were really close by I could see maybe absolutely refusing money from them, but your time is worth something, and it sounds like this would be stopping you from getting a paying job over break because of the time suck.

                While you might not want to really play hardball when negotiating with them, I can't imagine they'd feel very good about not paying you *something*.

                Good luck.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kate66 View Post
                  Honestly, if I was those people, I would be embarrassed NOT to pay you and would never want to ask you again if you didn't accept.
                  Me too. It's kind to help out for a few days. A month is a job. And if they are financially not hurting in anyway, accepting money for work shouldn't be an issue.
                  Chronicles of the $700 Pony
                  The Further Adventures of the $700 Pony
                  www.blithetraveler.com <-- My Blog


                  • #10
                    You might suggest that they can contribute to your college fund for support
                    of you studies. Explain that the funds are for buying your books, paying
                    your tuition or providing some general financial support while you are at
                    school. This has the advantage of making them feel very good about where
                    the money is going, and might also make them feel even more generous
                    (and has the added virtue of being true, you will likely spend the money on
                    your college expenses).
                    Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                    Elmwood, Wisconsin


                    • #11
                      This is not "doing a favor" for a few days. It's a month-long JOB. It's only right that you should be paid. Accept whatever they offer, unless you feel you need more.

                      If you think their offer is generous, tell them so and thank them, but take the money. Walking two dogs twice a day, every day is work and you should be paid whatever the market will bear.
                      "It’s a well-documented fact that of all the animals in the realm of agriculture, Bulls have the highest job satisfaction rate."~~Ree Drummond, AKA the Pioneer Woman


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kate66 View Post
                        Honestly, if I was those people, I would be embarrassed NOT to pay you and would never want to ask you again if you didn't accept.
                        I have to agree with this as well! One of my pet peeves with horse people is they can be really funny about money. If I need you to provide me a service reliability is key. I would feel if you turned down money that you might not take the "job" as seriously.

                        It really peeves me when someone doesn't charge me what they think something is worth and then wiggle out of doing it. I'd much rather someone tell me what a job is worth doing for them and let me decide if I'm willing to pay it or not... I've run into this a lot with grooming/ lunging/ riding when I'm out of town. If I have to go away for business and I have an event coming up, tell me how much you want to ride and I will decide how many days. Don't tell me 75% of what it's worth to you and then not show up... Sorry about the vent


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kate66 View Post
                          Honestly, if I was those people, I would be embarrassed NOT to pay you and would never want to ask you again if you didn't accept.
                          Me too. I think it's fine to accept whatever payment they offer, just be gracious about it. Saying "Oh no that's not necessary" but accepting it if they insist should work out well too... That's probably what I would do. That should also help appease your dad... I think it would be rude to argue with the family of the sick person if they insist on paying you. Just tell him "they insisted" and leave it at that.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MikeP View Post
                            This is not "doing a favor" for a few days. It's a month-long JOB. It's only right that you should be paid. Accept whatever they offer, unless you feel you need more.

                            If you think their offer is generous, tell them so and thank them, but take the money. Walking two dogs twice a day, every day is work and you should be paid whatever the market will bear.
                            Exactly. I make most of my money through pet and house/barn sitting jobs. If I didn't accept money for walking dogs I would be an even poorer college student! As long as you're professional and gracious I don't see what the problem would be.


                            • #15
                              From someone who paid for her horse and every HT in 2002-2005 through pet sitting, yes. Charge.
                              Back then it would have been 15 bucks a visit for me.
                              Nothing is free these days especially your time. And it is your time. You'll resent having to stop by after the 5th day. Money is a motivator for sure.

                              Don't feel bad about it. When you invest in pets, you invest in pets. Pet owners usually understand this.
                              Shoot, I even pay my best friend when she stops at our place for drive by feedings!
                              20 $ a visit.
                              And that doesn't count a 30 minute walk around the block.

                              It would be much more expensive for them to kennel the pets. Just remember that.
                              Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                              • #16
                                I also had a dad who wouldn't let us kids accept money for "doing good deeds"; apparently the accepting of money canceled out the "doing a good deed"? (Although in retrospect, I think maybe it was just part of him being a control freak and if we had our own money it diminished his importance and control of our lives) -- so I'm also in the "take the money" camp ...

                                ...UNLESS these are people you are really close to and they have done some huge, huge thing for you in the past out of the goodness of their heart and expected (and received) no payment. If they did that, then you owe them a favor and shouldn't take the money.

                                It gets a little iffy if they did some big huge thing for your dad or your family that didn't really affect you directly (such as helping out when one of your parents were stranded on the highway, taking somebody to the ER, etc). How far out on the family tree should obligations go?


                                • #17
                                  Accept the money, and think of it as a job, that you will do with the utmost professionalism. It would be too easy to think "It's raining, maybe I can skip this afternoon" if you were doing it for free.

                                  But I would also see if you can do something extra for them due to your family's history. Maybe call and ask if you can pick something up at a fast food place on your way by, or something from the grocery store. Or bring by some magazines you have laying around or some paperbacks, if she is pretty much housebound. Offer something as a nice gesture weekly if possible.