It's Worth Watching Week here at KATU. It's our effort to put extra money in your pocket! The Problem Solvers show you how to run a doggie bed and breakfast inn and earn enough "bones" to pay your mortgage.
"I prefer a dog guest over a human guest," says Sandy Nigro, who runs her own dog boarding service.
Today, her guest is Choco, whose family is on vacation in Japan for three weeks.
"The dogs get used to their circumstances very quickly," explained Nigro. "Their parents are the ones who miss them. They're the ones who have the problems."
To ease owners' anxiety, Nigro sends daily doggie updates, complete with photos.
"I'm busy every single day," says Nigro.
Over the past two years, more than 500 guests have scampered through her doors. Their owners find her on either Rover or Dog Vacay, websites that operate like Airbnb but for canines.
Dog Vacay has more than 160 pet sitters in the Portland area who charge anywhere from $20 to $40 per night. Dog Vacay takes 15 percent and handles reservations and payment.
Now semi-retired, Nigro says Dog Vacay is her primary source of income. In fact, the money she earns covers her monthly mortgage payment.
"I actually make more money doing this than I do at my travel agency," said Nigro. "I couldn't believe it."
And the job perks are priceless.
"I get to play with them," she said. "I get to love them, hug them. I get to interact with them, and then they go home."
Other pet sitters only take guests occasionally; the schedule is up to them.
Regardless of the frequency, Nigro says doggie B&B owners need to be flexible, patient and have a love of animals.