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Early Risers: Up with the dogs

READ MORE: Early Risers: Up with the dogs
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Since we began our Early Risers series, we have met some unique people who have to be at work a little earlier than most. News Channel 3 recently received an email from a viewer, telling us about her unusual job that would leave many doggone tired. From the dog days of summer, to the dead of winter, Jennifer Wilkins drives daily from New Hanover to Brunswick counties to get to her clients. She is entrusted with a very important job; taking care of a family's best friend, of the four legged variety. “I actually have always had pets my whole life, and love pets. I knew this was something that I wanted to do,” said Jennifer Wilkins owner of Best Buddies Pet Sitting Service. Jennifer is a pet sitter. She can have between 25 and 30 appointments a day; a job that sometimes requires her to be at someone's home when many people are just waking up. “Generally I wake up 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning and sometimes I'm at my clients, my first job, by 6 in the morning. It just depends on how many jobs I have that morning and how many clients I have,” said Jennifer. Her duties vary, but she will walk them, feed them and play with them. Jennifer Wilkins used to work at the Wilmington Police Dept. A few years after leaving, she opened Best Buddies Pet Sitting Service, a job that took her from hardened criminals to man’s best friend. Jennifer said, “I wanted to be a canine handler, then when I decided to leave the department I thought, what better way to involve my life with pets than to open a pet sitting business.” And there is a need for someone like her, especially during the holidays. At times, she worked 14 to 16 hour days, seven days a week. “I'm a morning person and a night owl so its okay, I can go on 4 or 5 hours of sleep a night and I'm fine.” Some pets she sits for daily, others she'll only see when their owners go out of town. And talk about bringing your work home with you, she said, “I have to go home and walk my own.”

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