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           Rick

 

 Video of Rick's Place 

The Day That Changed My Life...

On Easter Sunday, 1994 I experienced a VERY severe brain injury that left my entire right side permanently impaired. On a scale of 1-10 I was told that, I was an eleven, nearly died, was lucky to be alive, would never be the same and was told during my recovery in ICU that my best friend probably saved my life! (Quiet Angels)

Upon losing the use of my best hand, my ability to walk and to fluently communicate, I became reclusive. My so called friends avoided me like the plague. (It seemed that no-one I knew wanted to be associated with me since my injury) It wasn't pretty!  I missed being around others, took it very hard!  One day while visiting my doctor after months of rigorous therapy, I asked my doctor if I would ever get better.

He said, "I could lie to you and tell you what you want to hear, but odds are no you won't improve.  Most improvement  happens during the first year and it's been two."  He may as well used a ball bat!!!  I sank into deep denial and depression.  I began taking antidepressants and drinking heavily, then sit in a stupor wallowing in pride, self pity and despair for hours trying to build up the nerve to end it all.

If it weren't for my wife, Capone, Jake and Dr. Vincent, I honestly don't believe that I would be here today! I have came a LONG way since then!  Now, it's just a bad dream that I'd like to forget!!!  (The Rest of the Story)  

Big Mistake!

July 27, 2016 - After years of rehab and recovery I got a job as a p/t Greeter at Walmart with help from the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation and SPARC to earn income while making new friends and rekindle friendships that I never could by sitting at home. (Sooner or later, just about everyone in our vicinity walks through those doors.) 

February 2, 2017 Due to age, pain from sitting / standing for extended periods, and medications I resigned from Walmart.  I did my best to hang on one day at a time but it wasn't working out. (I still can't believe that I endured that long.)  The more I worked, the worse I hurt. (It's difficult to continually appear cheerful when you hurt.)  I was devastated!  I felt that if I couldn't even succeed as a Greeter at Walmart, what could I do?

I was giving up when I found Rover's work from home program

After filling out the application, passing the background check and meeting the requirements, I got my first booking within the hour of notification of acceptance from a lady in Chicago that was planning a trip to Springfield.  I remember it well because I thought that it would take weeks, months or never like everything else that I tried.  (My only qualifications are love for dogs, common sense, a cell phone and time.)

I knew virtually nothing about Rover and was totally unprepared.  My cell phone was low on battery and was charging in an outlet close to the floor.  I laid down on the floor to talk while trying to text.  It was a very nice lady from Chicago 4 - 5 hours away from here.  She was coming here for the weekend and needed a dog sitter.

At the time I was petrified!!!   That was a long time ago.  I have supplemented my retirement income watching dogs through Rover without risking any of my own money ever since. It has graduated into the easiest and only successful money making venture that I've ever attempted.   

Rover offers an app to download on cell phones; then dog owners can simply click on the app to search the desired zip code or city to find sitters in the area.  Then Rover refers them to you. (It's that easy!!!)

BY the end of 2017, I watched dogs from Indiana, Missouri, Virginia, Washington D.C., W. Virginia and most notably S. Korea along with a countless number from nearby communities here in Illinois all booked through Rover.  (I only began doing this for Rover five months earlier in mid July.)

We've experienced medical emergencies when dog lovers came for a routine visit to a hospital only to be kept weeks for emergency surgeries & / or extended rehab... Or needed to travel to Atlanta at the spur of a moment to be with their daughter at the birth of their first grandchild.  A daughter traveling to Chicago to visit her dying mother.  People traveling to other states for medical treatment.  A Military Member returning home from overseas to see his family for Christmas.  Another coming here for a wedding.  And many others...  All needing to leave their furbabies with a stranger with little notice.  Having been in similar situations, HOW COULD WE TURN THEM AWAY???  Our lives have literally gone to the dogs and WE'RE "LUVIN" it!!!.  WE love what we do!!! (It feels good to be needed!)

Not bad for a man that was told by his doctor, "Odds are that you will NEVER improve!!!"

Personally, I don't feel that You could ask for a better sitter!!!

I Count my Blessings everyday!  I was given something most people never  get, a second chance and I owe it to a dog that my daughter came dragging home only a short time before that I never wanted. He saved my life.  However, I wasn't able to return the favor!!  I've felt guilty ever since!!!  I'm trying to return the favor!!!

With him gone, along with me knowing that I can never replace him, I appreciate others allowing me to watch theirs.   

Most dogs enjoy being with me knowing how much I enjoy being with them!  I NEVER leave them unattended unless it's absolutely necessary.  I bake them healthy treats.  I pull a dog trailer with my tricycle around the neighborhood or simply spend time relaxing in our back yard listening to music while watching dogs, birds and butterflies. (weather permitting)  On hot, cold and rainy days I watch television while reminiscing about family, friends, previous co-workers and pets that have came and gone through the years; especially Capone & Jake.  

(What started out as a form of rehab to meet people, gain confidence, self worth/respect, and earn a little "Fun Money" quickly evolved into a viable retirement income doing something that I love!!!)

I TAKE THIS VERY SERIOUSLY!  I GIVE YOU MY WORD!!! (I am proud to add that I have watched well over 100 dogs referred to me by Rover without a negative experience or complaint.)

YOUR TRUST MEANS THE WORLD TO ME!!!  I know that you must love dog(s) as much as I  do or you wouldn't have read this far. 

FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME with questions or concerns.

Thank you for your interest,

Rick

Portable Tricycle       -       Pet Trailer

I love being a dog sitter with Rover

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