Best Concierge Service for Slackers (and Their Spoiled Dogs)

I don’t know what my pet sitter does when I’m gone. Does she light incense and chant to cast a spell? Does she get out her pendulum and practice hypnosis? Or is it something she wears on her skin, some dewy fragrance that works on four-leggeds the way the piper’s flute did on the rats of Hamelin? It’s not just that my dogs and cats greet me quizzically when I walk in the door after a long vacation, wondering why I’ve bothered to come back when that other woman was doing just fine. Nor is it the flowers that sprout here and there, as if seeded in advance by some supernatural gardener. It’s the whole house that’s changed — the windows seem brighter, the doors straighter, the ceilings higher, the floor shinier, the air cleaner. And all I asked her to do was look after the animals, who are now sulking in the corner and lingering by the door, wondering where she is, and why life couldn’t always be like it was last week. (“And how was it last week?” I want to ask them. But of course, they only speak in English to her, I’m sure.)

You can’t have my pet sitter’s name, because I don’t want you to steal her. But I’ll give you this: I found her among Jody Rudy and Karina Garcia’s vast arsenal of contacts, people who can get your groceries, procure your tickets, drive you home, fix your back, clean your clothes, hire your limo, fly your jet, firm your butt, file your bills, decorate your house, prepare your meals, throw your party and, of course, walk your pets; just about any errand, task or duty that someone can do instead of — and often better than — you. Rudy and Garcia, co-owners of Complete Concierge, learned in their days of four-star hotel work how to arrange things for people; they long ago established a list of professionals from notaries to pet-massage therapists to skywriters who can get you what you need, sometimes at a moment’s notice. It costs, but not as much as you think.

“We have some clients who are incredibly rich,” Rudy says, “and they use us for every little thing.”

But they also contract with co-ops, residential and homeowners’ associations, and production companies for monthly service at a fixed, flat rate, and perform some limited personal concierge services at $25 a hour. (Pet sitting is negotiated by client and pet sitter, and it’s a bargain. But it helps if you’re a fellow yogini.) Rudy added the pet-sitting service to her concierge business, she says, “because clients were increasingly unhappy with the pet-sitting services we were dealing with, and I’m a crazy animal lover.”

In these waning hours of civilization, a concierge service seems less like a luxury and more like an essential: If these really are the very last days, you’ll want to maximize free time for the important stuff — like skydiving and having sex in strange places — and let someone else take care of your more quotidian needs.

“I got a call from a woman this morning who wanted a few gallons of VOSS water delivered,” the affable Rudy told me. “She washes her hair with it.” (310) 466-1062.

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