Tag Archives: Dog Sitting

Camp Stacy – Part 2

photo 1

“Patience was the key thing I had to learn. I am only now realizing all of the blessings I’ve had.”

When Stacy bought her 2001 Alero, getting flood insurance on a car wasn’t the first thing on her mind. It’s not something most people would think about. But getting renter’s insurance to cover her personal possessions should have been something she thought about. Like so many other people, Stacy didn’t think she had anything of value that someone would be looking to steal, so the monthly cost of renter’s insurance didn’t make sense in her mind. Stacy’s mistake, however, was thinking that theft was the only thing that would threaten everything she owned.

On the morning of Saturday, May 1, 2010 it was another ordinary late spring day in Nashville, TN. The fact that the rain had not stopped falling from the night before wasn’t that alarming either until the morning turned into early afternoon, and the area creeks began to swell. By late afternoon, flood warnings and watches were abundant throughout the Middle Tennessee area, and major streets and interstates began to take on water. Except for those who were directly impacted by the closed streets, life in Nashville seemed to go on as normal, even as the irony that day — May Day — began to grow!

Stacy lived with a roommate who had a home that sat above a large pond. Three days after the rain began, and just 48 hours after the initial Nashville flooding, there was a second flood created in part by the release of water to help save neighborhoods from flooding. Only this release impacted the entire Cumberland River areas including the neighborhood where Stacy lived. Within hours, the streets surrounding and leading in to the neighborhood were under water, and the flooding was creeping closer and closer to the home where Stacy had decided to ride it out in. The next day, after having to be boated out, Stacy and her roommate returned to see neighbors’ homes damaged by the flooding, contents of their homes destroyed by the waters. But by the grace of God, the interior of their home was saved. Though the waters had come up, they did not come in to the home. Everything inside, where Stacy’s clothes, books, music, and personal possessions lay in wait, was safe. But her car was not as lucky. Enough water had risen and flooded it to the point of being totaled.

Stacy didn’t know what she was going to do. She had recently been hit with a huge financial pay cut at the company where she worked; a decision the owners implemented rather than laying people off in the middle of the recession. Before the pay cut, Stacy had been making plans to purchase her own home; and now this. “Not finding a home during my initial house hunt ended up being a blessing due to the unexpected financial change at work,” she thought back. “But I wasn’t expecting a flood to overtake my car!”

God was looking out for Stacy. The things in the house that didn’t have insurance, wasn’t touched by the flood waters. And unbeknownst to her, the insurance policy she’d taken out on the car actually had coverage for flooding. So with that, Stacy once again saw first hand how God had taken care of her through another potential financial crisis.

Two years later, Stacy had moved on to renting her own place. Though she was paying the exact amount she’d prayed over prior to the move, 2012 still proved to be a financially trying time for her. “Mostly it came down to me not being wise in how I was spending my money,” said Stacy. “It was that I was being frivolous with my spending, it’s that I wasn’t always being wise. And I also didn’t expect that after three years, our company had still not moved me back up to the salary I was making when they hired me.”

Fortunately for Stacy, her dog-sitting client list and frequency of services continued to grow. By 2013, Stacy began to reap the benefits of the previous years as she saw her “job on the side,” becoming a legitimate business, working several hours a week; and at times, even a week or more at a time. After several people over the course of a few days all encouraged her to start an official business – Camp Stacy was launched in the summer of 2013!


The services at Camp Stacy includes dog sitting while the owner is away, and dog walking services when they can’t get back home to let their dogs out during the day.  “I work with people who travel a lot with their companies; many of whom don’t want to board their dogs in a kennel while they’re away. I also work with those who are at jobs that don’t have the kind of flexibility they need to return home in the middle of the day to let their dogs out.” The company’s services range from simply letting pets out for fresh air and checking on their food and water supply, to playing with and entertaining client’s dogs, to walking them for up to 30 minutes one or two times a day. For established clients, Camp Stacy is also available for overnight doggie services.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

“I’m really excited that what started off as a service I offered for my friends, turned into a business that I enjoy doing for people who are hearing about me through word-of-mouth,” Stacy said as she reflected on the past few years, while looking towards the future at the bigger picture. “While I’m not sure where this new business will take me, one of the immediate rewards I get isn’t just about establishing more financial security for myself, but it’s also enabling me to get involved in other passion projects.”

Six years ago, in 2007, Stacy joined some of her friends in what was to just be another movie night. It was that night, while watching the movie, Taken, when she began hearing more about the growing issue of sex trafficking. “The Lord really started putting it on my heart to get involved, but the only thing that I saw was the ‘rescue’ side of it. I knew that was not for me, because I knew emotionally I would not be able to separate myself from all of that.”

Over the next four years, Stacy started being introduced to people who were involved in helping to educate others about sex trafficking, and as a result, she learned more about the different aspects involved. With her newfound secondary income in place, Stacy was now able to start volunteering her time to help trafficking organizations. Currently Stacy is working for Rescue1Mission, an awareness and action initiative designed to assist the Church and the global community to combat Human Trafficking through education and mobilization. “Ideally, what I would like to do is to train groups about the reality of human trafficking, and to help people understand how damaging pornography is, including it being one of the root causes of sex trafficking.”

Everything has started coming together for Stacy. With a background working as a nanny, and an unexplainable desire to move to Nashville for most of her teen and young adult years, Stacy now wonders if it was all for such a time as this. “I’ve always had a heart for women and children, and seeing the injustice of human and sex trafficking makes me mad. When I think about the stolen innocence of children, I can’t sit by and do nothing.”

Stacy loves her life and living in Nashville. She is single, is active in her church’s women’s ministry, and still enjoys listening to country music. “I have a great group of single gals in my life, a church where I’m learning more and more about God, a new business that’s growing, and now a new purpose in my life working with these organizations.”

For more information on sex trafficking, please visit http://www.rescue1mission.com

Camp Stacy – Part I

How does someone who’s allergic to dogs, and allergic to most of the allergens outdoors, end up in a dog sitting and dog walking business?

That’s a good question. But to uncover the answer, you’d have to first go back many years to learn more about the type of person who would do just that. You would need to know who is Stacy Hostetler?

photo 1

Born and raised in Shipshewana, IN, Stacy started dreaming about living in Nashville before she was in high school. “I got into country music as a teenager, and followed several artists and their music,” said Stacy. “I always wanted to go to Fan Fare and to see some of the artists I was listening to.” Unlike most people who dream of moving to Nashville for the country music scene, Stacy wasn’t interested in becoming a singer or a songwriter. She just wanted to be closer to the people who were.

After graduating from high school, Stacy went to a small college in Kansas, but then left before finishing to move to New Jersey where she became a nanny for a year. After making friends with another nanny in the area, Stacy followed her then roommate to Nebraska where she lived for another year before returning to Kansas for four months. “I was just unsettled. There were things I was trying to run away from but the Lord kept following me.”

Although Stacy still felt drawn to Nashville, she returned home to Wisconsin instead where she lived with her parents (who had moved there several years earlier) for over four years, before moving on to Madison for another five years.  It was during that time when Stacy’s restlessness forced her to stop running, and to start listening. “I started praying and seeking God for clear direction. I didn’t want to have any regrets; I didn’t want to look back years later and have regrets about never going to Nashville.”

So in May 2006, Stacy packed her bags and headed for Tennessee, without a job, without a real plan for what she was going to do, and with knowing only one person. It only took Stacy a month to find a job; start attending a new church; and meeting new friends.  And it was through these new friends that her business idea began to develop. But not before, and perhaps even because of, some financial struggles along the way.

Shortly after Stacy met her new friend Stephanie, she was introduced to Stephanie’s best friend, Judge, a black lab. Before long, Stacy found herself dog sitting Judge on a pretty regular basis. “It’s strange, because it’s not something I really set out to do; it just happened, and I found that despite my allergies, I loved doing it.”


Word spread quickly about Stacy’s service and availability to not just sit with people’s dogs in their absence, but to take care of them as she would her own. Before long, she had several regular clients and through word of mouth, was being introduced to new ones.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

Being paid to dog sit wasn’t just a hobby for Stacy. It was an answered prayer. “I’ve had a few rough years financially; just not making good choice with my expenses, and being really bad at budgeting,” said Stacy. “But last year (2012) I really struggled trying to get back on my feet back; get them steady.” Realizing she was barely making ends meet at her job, Stacy prayed about getting a second job. She asked God to provide her with something that she would enjoy doing.

“I’d spent plenty of time in my 20s working two jobs to pay bills, so I didn’t want to get another job just for the sake of having that second income,” Stacy shared. “Back then, I was always tired, and I grew to be mean, and maybe even mad at everyone and everything. I was always working, sleeping, or going between the two jobs. I didn’t want that again.”

While in the middle of praying to see where God would lead her, Stacy had not yet realized that God was answering her prayer faster than she could speak them. Right there in front of her was everything she’d asked for – a job that she loved, with great flexibility, and the extra money to help make her budget each month.

Without realizing it, Camp Stacy: A Dog Sitting, Dog Walking Business was born! But that was just the beginning of Stacy’s answered prayer, and just the start of her new journey. God had so much more in store for her.


Come back here next week for part 2 of Camp Stacy with Stacy Hostetler!