Monday, August 30, 2010

All Dressed Up And Somewhere To Go

Another reason why I love pet sitting is because I am constantly learning about new gadgets and gizmos related to pet care. For example, when I arrived at my "Meet and Greet" consultation at Teague's house he met me at the door wearing a cummerbund.


While I admired his fashionable outfit his  little brother, Rory, sat beside me wearing yet another cummerbund that was equally as cute.

According to Teague and Rory's owner, the pups have not been able to break the habit of marking their territory and at the last resort she outfitted her dogs in cummerbunds and the results have been reMARKable!   

Should you decide to order a cummerbund/belly band just remember that your pooch can be just as fashionable as the next guy (or girl) with these wonderful fabric choices found at

Give your dog a chance to get all dressed up so they have somewhere to go today!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Dog Food For Humans!

On Saturday mornings I am especially thankful to be a professional pet sitter. Normally, I am not what you would call a "morning person" but since I am responsible for our 4-legged client's comfort I have to consider their needs instead of my own. Of course, I don't mind spending the wee hours of the morning with a dog or two but it is always a bonus if we hit a really good yard sale while walking through the neighborhood. This morning, in particular, was an incredible day for yard sales because the sun was shining, the humidity was low, and there was not a cloud in the sky!
After grabbing a few t-shirts, novels, and a pair of sweatpants (all of which I do not need, of course) I picked up this Dog Food book by Saxton Freymann and Joost Elffers for 50 cents. Now that's what I call a bargain!

I cannot believe I never noticed this delightfully silly book until now but then again I have not been a kindergarten teacher for over 10 years so I should forgive myself for being out of the loop. But if I ever find myself teaching 5 year olds again I would certainly have fun talking about...

strawberry puppy love

and broccoli poodles

                                                     and pearfectly rainy days

                                                and potato and strawberry romance!

And to think Saxton Freymann got his fruit and vegetable carving experience with a paring knife and a pumpkin at the mere age of 8! We can credit him for giving us permission to play with food in other favorites such as Food Play, Dr. Pompo's Nose, Gus and Button, Baby Food, Fast Food, and Food for Thought.

Friday, August 27, 2010

7 Signs of a Reputable Rescue

While I’m sure the directors and the volunteers of rescue organizations have their hearts in the right place many organizations do not comply with the standards of what it means to be a reputable rescue.

I obtained the reputable rescue checklist from Ohio Great Dane Rescue and I have highlighted a few of the standards below: 

1) A reputable rescue makes sure animals are up to date on all vaccines, and microchips where appropriate to ensure all pets are healthy, up to date on all shots, heartworm tested/on prevention, and received necessary vet care before placement.

Most rescues obtain an Intrastate Health Certificate which means it is only good for transporting reasons. If you adopt from a rescue be sure to take your new pet to your own vet for a check up.

2) A reputable rescue takes responsibility for the animals adopted through them for the span of each animal’s life, not "just” for the span of foster care or transport.

Many of our clients who have adopted dogs from rescues STILL receive yearly or twice-yearly check-ups from their rescue agency. Now, that's impressive!

3) A reputable rescue has a contract, screens every potential adopter with a MANDATORY home visit before a pet is placed there, incl. foster/temporary basis and requires references.

In my opinion, none of these dogs should have been adopted out without a home interview, references checked, etc, but since this was a "Fast Eddie Salesman" operation, home interviews and reference checks weren't possible

4) A reputable rescue will help adopters make decisions about which animal is a good fit for their home, and will offer advice and assistance on meeting the correct animal for the adopter.

Of course, owners of rescue organizations want to find homes for their dogs as quickly as possible but a reputable organization should still take the time to ask potential adopters plenty of questions such as: 

  • What is your family’s lifestyle? Would you prefer a active dog or a lapdog? 
  • Will your schedule allow you to exercise your dog regularly?
  • Have you ever owned a dog before and if not who is going to offer assistance and training? 
  • Do you have written permission from landlord to own a dog?
  • Do you have a fenced in yard?

5) A reputable rescue works carefully to match up the right forever home with the right pet, based on the pet's needs/personality/etc.

Every dog and every family/individual had their own unique personality and it is important to match them up accordingly. For example, an overweight, inactive person should not adopt a Jack Russell Terrier because Jack Russell’s are high energy and need a lot of walks. He would be better with a lapdog or a dog who does not require a lot of exercise.

6) A reputable rescue keeps animals in foster care, or in situations where the animal was at a shelter, works with shelter staff for a short period of time before placing them, to screen for health or behavior problems.

Rescue workers should have foster homes in place and they should keep in touch with them regularly. Every effort should be made to place dogs in a permanent home as soon as he/she is ready.

7) A reputable rescue is not for profit, and works on adoptions, not sales.

Before adopting from a rescue organization be sure it is licensed to operate as a shelter and not as a pet store store. A reputable rescue should be licensed as a shelter which means they will be running the rescue for the sake of the pets and not for their own profit.

I am not against adopting dogs from the south but putting pressure on the public to adopt by a certain date in fear that they be euthanized puts unfair pressure on vulnerable potential adopters.

If you are considering adopting a pet from a rescue organization, please take a look at the following checklist before doing so!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Welcome To The Thankful Fur 3 Thursday BLOG HOP!

Welcome to Thankful FUR 3 Thursday Blog Hop! Why did I create this Thursday blog hop, you ask? Simply put, my three kiddos (Henry, Buster, and Daisy) want to meet three or more friends on their favorite day of the week and I thought their idea was pawsome!

This blog hop is FUR our loyal followers but it is also for NEW Google Friend Connect followers as well! If you are a NEW Google Friend Connect follower and if you want to be one of the 3 blogs to be in next Thursday’s SPOTLIGHT you need to leave a request in the comment box and please hurry if you are interested because only the FURst 3 requests count!

I like to keep things simple so here are the 3 guidelines FUR the blog hop:

1. To join in the Thankful Fur 3 Thursday, include your link in our list below, follow the hostesses (TheTeacher’s Pets and my lovely friend, Maggie Mae, and Holly Wags) in the first 3 spots and then start blog hopping! I pawlogize! Oops! I made the mistake of putting Maggie Mae and Holly Wags at #7 and #8 in the linky below. They were supposed to be at #2 and #3 instead...but...We, the hostesses, promise to follow you back! Visit other blogs on the list and comment to give them some blog love. Then take a minute to follow them through Google Friend Connect – this is a good way to keep up with other blogs, but also lets us show support to each other! Please DO NOT list your giveaways here, links must be to either your homepage or your Thursday posting with your blog title. All others will be deleted.

2. When people comment on your blog and let you know they’re a part of Thankful FUR 3 Thursday, return the favor and follow them back. This way everyone gets traffic and followers out of participating, and it’s a win-win situation. We would think it was pawsome if you grabbed our Thankful FUR 3 Thursday button and post it on your blog and/or in a post but please don't feel obligated to do so! The more bloggers that find out about Thankful FUR 3 Thursday and pawticipate, the better!

3. Remember, YOU can host the link list on your blog too! Just click “Get the code here…” at the bottom of the list.

Last Thursday we were thankful to meet 3 new friends and we hope you had a chance to read all about them but in case you didn't we've put them in the SPOTLIGHT below:

1.Peggy Frezon, from The Writer’s Dog, often writes heartfelt, dog-centered articles for Guidepost Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and her blog, Peggy’s Pet Place. Peggy lives in New York with her adorable cocker spaniel mix, Kelly.

2. Another new set of friends that we were pleased to meet were Scout and Jack from Two Greyhound Town. This brother and sister team always have something interesting to bark about so please introduce yourselves to them today!

3. Meet Kari, a recently married 2 dog owner from Kentucky who now resides in the Lone Star State, who blogs about her two adorable dogs Stella and Sophie, fashion, interior decorating, and cooking.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Paralyzed Dog, Lucy, Reaches Summit Of Mount Washington

A wheelchair did not stop Lucy, a 4-year old mixed breed whose back legs were paralyzed in a car accident when she was still a pup from reaching the highest peak in the northeastern United States, Mount Washington, on the morning of August 18, 2010.

Lucy's owner, Courtney Dunning, a 28-year-old nurse from Peterborough, N.H., her boyfriend, and her other dog, a chihuahua-dachshund mix named Topper, accompanied Lucy on the 4,500-foot ascent. A representative from Nashua, New Hampshire's and a filmmaker also climbed with them. Lucy made the climb with the help of a wheelchair that was donated to her from two years ago.

The rocky terrain or steep slope didn’t deter Lucy on the six-hour climb. Lucy's owner, a marathon runner, said she had prepared her dog for the climb all summer by training her on nearby mountains a little at a time until she thought her pup was ready for the challenge.

Courtney adopted Lucy more than two years ago after seeing her photo on an animal rescue website. Lucy, who was living in shelter in Puerto Rico using a hand-me-down wheelchair until a donated wheelchair arrived from Handicapped Pets shortly after.

Wednesday’s six-hour journey to the summit of Mt. Washington was no easy feat for Lucy, including several breaks for food and water (as well as one diaper change).

When they reached the 4000 feet marker, Lucy was tired but was determined to reach her destination and was ready to pose for the camera

at the 5000 foot marker until she finally  

reached the summit! Of course, Courtney was proud of Lucy, and thanked the Mt. Washington Auto Road and its employees for their support.

And since Lucy is a favorite of the Mt. Washington Auto Road employees, she enjoyed an extremely comfortable ride back to the base of the mountain with her owner and her supporters.

Ever since Lucy made the courageous climb to the summit she has been receiving a lot of fan mail and if you would like to send her a message you can join her on Facebook! Become her fan here and congratulate her for a job well done!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ten Tips To Help You Find Your Perfect Pet Sitter

As mentioned in my previous post, hiring a pet sitter to care for your companions in their own environment is a wonderful alternative to kenneling but I forgot to tell you HOW to find a pet sitter....until now.  

The following 10 tips will help you find your perfect pet sitter:

1) Make a list of everything you need in a sitter and a list of the needs of your pet.   

For example: Does your pet require medication? Would your pet be happier with a male or a female pet sitter? Do you want a pet sitter who will water your plants, take out the trash, etc, at no extra cost?

2) Ask pet owners in your neighborhood for recommendations.

3) Seek recommendations from your veterinarian and vet techs

Some vet techs provide pet sitting services for clients at a low cost. Many veterinarians, like those at Northside Animal Hospital, have a community bulletin board where pet services are advertised. 

4) Contact PSI (Pet Sitters International) for referrals

Pet Sitters International offers a certification program for qualified pet sitters.

Pawsitive Pet Nutrition, your one-stop-shop for pet nutrition, dog training, and pet care advice!

5) Speak with employees at your local pet store for recommendations.

6) Your local animal welfare or rescue organization may know of capable, caring, professional people who pet sit.

Patty had no problem introducing herself to her new pet sitter during her new client meeting!

7) Make sure your potential pet sitter insists on meeting you and your pet in your home before hiring him/her

We always meet new clients in their home because we want the pets to become familiar with us and we want to know where everything related to the pet's care is located.

8)Every pet sitter should arrive at your home with paperwork for for you to review and complete.  

If he does not have these available be sure to leave detailed notes pertaining to the care of your pets so that he can refer to them whenever necessary. Also provide him with contact information, phone numbers and addresses of your vet, and friends and neighbors who can help out if necessary.

9) Make sure he is licensed and bonded and has excellent references and experience.

10) Make certain your pet sitter is able to handle an emergency and is aware of the phone number and location of the nearest veterinary emergency hospital as well as your vet’s office.

If this information has been helpful, please leave feedback! I hope you find your perfect pet sitter just in time for your next vacation!

Friday, August 20, 2010

What Are The Advantages To Hiring a Pet Sitter?

Our 2006 pet sitting brochure featured our furry clients, Lucy, Buster, and Betty. Sadly, these pups moved away in 2007 and we miss them terribly! 
Caring pet owners know that most pets adjust better to their owner’s absence and experience less anxiety and stress when they can remain in their home environments. Pet sitters make this possible with visits to your home when you cannot be there.

What services will my pet sitter provide for my animals?

Our client, Garbo, munching on her favorite wet food, Fancy Feast!

In addition to meals,

Amos, my pet sitting partner, walking our Miss Daisy with our clients, Molly (to your left) and Cooper

       exercise is available for one visit per day or for multiple vacation visits with dog and cat clients

Amos rubbing Norton's belly while Norton's brother, Gus, looks for squirrels!

and playtime 

and cleaning litter boxes,  

 Amos is experienced in administering insulin injections for Chloe and other pets who are in need.

and professional pet sitters may also administer medications,

Our old kitty client, Fred, needed transport to the vet for hydration treatments.

and perform other pet-care duties such as transport to and from the groomer, the vet, or to doggie daycare.

Our King Charles Spaniel client, Gracie, gets one-on-one attention from her pet sitter.

That’s why in-home pet care is the choice of pet owners and the “pet-preferred” method of vacation and travel care.

What home care tasks will my pet sitter perform at no extra cost?

Pet sitters may also provide vital home-care services while you are away, including mail or newspaper pick up,

These plants are very imPAWtent to our pug client, Fenway!

                 plant care and watering,

Our Corgi-mix client, Dewey, loves helping us put the trash on the curb!

          placing trash outside for pickup

or rotating the lights and opening or closing the blinds to make your house look lived in. A professional pet sitter provides peace of mind for everyone.

What are the advantages for my pets?

Playful little Cali is very relaxed in her own home while her owners are away!

Reduced Stress: Your pet stays in its own familiar secure environment where all the sights, smells and sounds say “Home!”

Nugget, a cat who thinks he belongs to one of our clients, gets fed outside by "his" pet sitters at each visit.
Diet and Exercise: Customary diet and exercise routines are followed, with no interruption to upset your pet.

Health Concerns: With a pet sitter, there is minimal exposure to illness from other animals which was important for our former King Charles Spaniel client, Nellie, while she battled syringomyelia and other ailments caused from the disease.

Amos poses with former clients Amadeus and Morgan during a home visit.

T L C: Most importantly, your pet receives love and personal attention while you are away!
So tell me, friends, have you enjoyed the services of your pet sitter? If so, please share your stories! I'd love to hear all about it!