I started babysitting when I was 10 and pet sitting followed a few years later when I was a teen. I have been around animals all my life with a brief period when I was young that I was strangely phobic of dogs, but a mini doberman helped me get over that. After high school, there was 3 degrees in 7 years plus a few years of work, and no time for any kind of sitting. I do prefer sitting at the pets' home because I know how much stress the boarding put on our last cats (was horrid), and reasoning with them doesn't work; just love, understanding, and possibly training. I couldn't imagine my life without animals in it.