Rockwall kids take the lead with pet sitting business

Caleb and Chloe Davis pose with Harley, a regular Paws and Claws client. Photo by Kristi Dickinson Photography.

(ROCKWALL-March 19, 2013) When Caleb and Chloe Davis were little, their parents bought them a puppet theater.

“We decided to homeschool our children,” said Michele Davis, “and we knew the theater would inspire creative and educational play.”

But rather than performing on stage with singing sock puppets, five-year-old Caleb had an idea of his own – to turn the theater into a soda and candy shop for neighborhood kids walking home from school. It was an entrepreneurial venture that Caleb and his younger sister would operate for the next two years.

The success of their first “business” led the Davis children to start Paws and Claws, a pet sitting service that combines their love of animals with their desire to help others. They’ve been at it for five years.

“We go to people’s homes to watch their animals while they’re away. We get their mail and water plants at no extra charge. We provide dog walking for people who can’t or don’t have time to exercise their pets. Occasionally, we board small dogs at our home, in Hickory Ridge. We always offer a free bath with one week of pet sitting booked. We also like to do an extra good deed for each client, like vacuuming or pooper scooping,” said Chloe, now 10.

Chloe walks Topper.

“Pet sitting allows us to be self-sufficient, so we don’t have to ask our parents for money every time we want something,” added Caleb, who just turned 12.

Mom and Dad provide transportation, and teach Caleb and Chloe about business management, customer service and marketing as part of their homeschooling education.

“We give part of the money we earn to God; we save some for a car, and we have some left over to spend,” said Chloe. “I’d like to be an interior designer. My goals are to go to Baylor University debt-free and continue to have my own business.”

Caleb says he wants to be a multi-million dollar entrepreneur. “I think Paws and Claws is a great way to start. I have several business ideas in the works. I am a Boy Scout and plan to become an Eagle Scout. I want to attend Baylor University as well,” he said.

Paws and Claws thrives on repeat customers and referrals.

“Last Christmas, we were responsible for about 20 animals at one time. Some were multi-cat or dog households,” said Caleb. “We even watched a 50-year-old Mohave Desert tortoise.”

Easter egg hunting is fun for pets when there are doggie treats inside.

This Easter, Caleb and Chloe will continue their tradition of hosting an Easter egg hunt for the dogs that stay with them over the holiday.

“We fill our backyard with eggs that have treats in them. When a dog sniffs an egg, it goes into his basket. Some eggs have numbers on them that correspond to doggie toys. They all enjoy that!” said Chloe.

It’s that level of attention that keeps four-legged clients (and those with fins and hooves, too) begging for Caleb and Chloe’s return.

“This experience has taught our children so much – but I think my favorite thing is the quality time it’s provided us,” said Michele. “We’ve had some truly profound conversations on our way to see clients. I think we’ll always treasure this time together.”

Paws and Claws charges $8 per home visit, no matter how many animals. To learn more, call 214-934-8721 or visit their Facebook page.

By Dawn Redig, Blue Ribbon News.