I have always frowned on the idea of Airbnb until August of last year. I just did not want to stay in anyone’s home who didn’t share my last name — period. But then I had the idea to start dog/housesitting. By default, if you’re taking care of that dog, you’re taking care of that home. Garbage must go out. Dishes must be washed. Laundry must be done. Beds must be made. And after I spent 21 of 30 days in August in three different people’s homes, I pondered on why I was opposed to Airbnbs again. Every visit wasn’t a positive experience.

I still cringe at the house with molded cheese, poop bags on the windowsill, dirty boxer briefs on the floor and dirty sheets on the bed. That same house also had three doorknobs that fell off, including the lobby floor and the closet — with my shoes inside because the dog chews shoes. Then there was the lady with two entire pieces of furniture in her whole place (a bed and a couch — THAT’S IT) who wanted her surveillance camera on me the whole time as though there was anything possible to even consider stealing. Then there was the guy who only had two-prong outlets and his mattress (no clean covers/comforters) just laying on the floor. Those three homes made me almost give up on housesitting completely.

But I got to the home of a family who gave me a bouquet of flowers, had a maid and gardener, and a massive home. And the beautiful, clean apartment with a guest room. And then the huge house with multiple guest rooms and a fancy outdoor deck. You win some, you lose some. Although I’ve argued my condo association into allowing dog boarding, I no longer have these hangups about staying in someone’s home. I do, however, always bring paper towels, multipurpose cleaner, extra towels and a tea kettle. For whatever reason, that is always a problem to find.

Check out her 4 Medium pubs: BlackTechLogy, I Do See Color, Tickled and We Need to Talk. (Doggone World and Homegrown are now on Substack.) Visit Shamontiel.com