Young Achiever series Roseville Life Magazine
Roseville, CA- A Q & A with 17-year old Roseville High School senior and dog sitter, Maddie Grappo.
Can you tell me a little about your business?
I run my own dog sitting business. I started it in the summer of sixth grade when I had the chance to go to Europe. I had to pay the $4,000 to go, so I started dog sitting and raised the $4,000 that summer and just continued to do it.
Now, I have about over 50 clients. When the dogs are at my house they get to go on fun adventures and I take really nice pictures of them for my Instagram and their owners. I take them on bike rides, frisbee and ball throwing, swimming in my pool and long walks in the woods. I teach tricks and work on obedience with some of the dogs that I watch. I want to hopefully incorporate more training into my business as well as more photography!
How much time do you spend with the dogs on a typical week? Are there times of the year that are busier?
During school times, business is a little slower and that’s usually the time I spend working my own dogs. Holidays I get booked up pretty fast – like during Christmas break I had some dogs. Depending on what dogs I have they require different exercise, but typically they get out multiple times a day. Usually in the morning and evening they will get a long exercise time or play time.
What got you into doing photography with the dogs?
Shortly after I started my Instagram, I bought a camera. Then I took a photography class at my school and ever since I’ve been super into it. I live right in front of a park and there’s lots of trails that I go on and a few hidden spots where I’ll take the dogs to get shots.
I have a handful of dogs that I can take off-leash, so it’s more fun when I go out on a trail and let them run around. I can capture them in their true state.
What work do you do with your dogs?
I do a lot of training with them when I’m not dog sitting. My dog Vance is the first of his breed to earn a BCAT, which is the first title in a 100-yard dash called Fast CAT. The dog chases a lure and you get points based off their miles per hour. Vance being a high-prey drive dog didn’t require much training – he chased the lure the first time we went to practice! We’re slowly working towards DCAT, which is the next title.
I also do a lot of obedience training with Vance. We’re hoping to get some obedience titles and trick titles. I also hope to start Barn Hunt with him, where there are rats hidden in tubes in some hay and the dog has to search for them.
My new puppy Enyo is starting training for French Ring, which is a dog bite sport that includes obedience, jumping and bite work.
Through my Instagram account for them, I’ve actually made quite a few dog friends my age. We all hang out with the dogs.
Do you plan on working with dogs or animals in the future?
I plan to get my vet tech and do that full time until I eventually can get a large piece of land where I can have multiple dog sports. I want to have all the equipment necessary for dock diving, agility, lure coursing, barn hunt, bite sports, pretty much all dog sports and people can come train and rent my equipment. Then I’ll be able to board and train dogs on my property.
Maddie’s dog sitting Instagram account is @dogsittermaddie.
She also maintain an Instagram account for her personal dogs @vance.thairidgeback