Thursday, November 5, 2009

Casey Gets His First Double Q Toward His Master Champion

Here is Casey with four paws off the Dog Walk in Columbia, SC fall of 2009
Casey through the tunnel toward the dog walk.
Casey over the hurtle heading toward the final jump. Yeah, Casey!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Canine Influenza or H3N8

Canine Influenza is a highly contagious disease caused by a flu virus in dogs, which spreads by direct contact with infected dogs to other dogs and by coughing or sneezing. It has been reported here in the US since 2003 and is currently in 30 states including all the east coast states except Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island. Outbreaks have been reported in kennels, shelters, vet clinics and dog events. All dogs are susceptible to it and those that show no signs of the flu can easily be carriers.

Humans can also spread the disease to dogs by handling infected dogs, not only by their hands, but on their clothes. This is why all those who deal with dogs in any manner; groomers, vets, assistants, pet sitters, trainers, handlers, rescue groups, shelters, breeders, etc. should be aware of handling dogs and dogs with symptoms of the flu. Humans will not contract Canine Influenza.

There is a series of two vaccinations taken two to four weeks apart that will help in protecting your dog. Of course, there is nothing like keeping your dog healthy by providing good food, water, plenty of rest and exercise. A trip to your vet for more information is strongly suggested. If you must board your pet, make sure the facility is clean and well maintained. Also ask if they have an influenza outbreak management plan.

To learn even more:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pet Sitting Story continues

Can we play some games on your computer? Danny and Eric almost asked at one time.

Put your clothes and things up in your room. I need to save and quit my finished


Rushing, noisy footsteps hit the wooden floors as the boys went upstairs to throw their

knapsacks on the beds to get to use the computer. Aunt Sharon got supper ready while

the boys played a war game. It took a bit of persuasion, but the boys finally got off the

computer to eat and then get ready for a day of pet sitting.

Tomorrow will be very busy, started Aunt Sharon. We not only have the pet sits to do,

but also these notices to hand out that I’ve written about Hurricane preparedness; what to

do and where to take your pets. I don’t want any pet to be left behind. So that you boys

can help me out, I have spoken with my clients for this weekend. Everyone has given me

permission for you to be on their property and care for their pets.

Aunt Sharon then laid out the schedule for the morning. General needs to be fed, watered

and exercised first.

A Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix, General didn’t really like the water, but he loved the

boys. A big brown dog , General would run around the house and whine when he couldn’t

go with Eric or Danny to play basketball or hang out with them and their friends.

Sometimes, when mom insisted that General be walked, the boys would put on their inline

skates and with General on a long leash, would allow him to run and pull them down the

street. Being a young retriever, General needed to do some “work” to keep him happy

and healthy. Also it tired him out.

Continuing, Aunt Sharon finished the list. Jake needs his walk and some treats.

Mountaineer and Geee need to be brushed, given a hay bail and a few Llama treats.

Phoenix needs her breakfast and litter pan cleaned, and Spencer also needs his breakfast

and stall cleaned. We need to give everyone water.

This all needs to be done again in the evening, except for Mountaineer and Geee, They

will be OK until tomorrow, as long as we make sure they have enough water.

After breakfast the next day, Aunt Sharon placed all the client folders for the day in her file

carrier and checked to make sure she had all the keys that were needed. She then placed a

pile of Hurricane Preparedness brochures with a rubber band around them on top of her file

carrier as a reminder to give them to clients stores and shops around the area.

Let’s go boys, Aunt Sharon called as she slowly came up the stairs from the den to the

hallway. General is waiting.

General was ready to go for his morning run when Eric and Danny got to their house. The

sky was clear and the day promised to be sunny. After the boys put on their inline skates,

General was fitted with a leather harness and a six foot long rope was attached to its ring on

the top.

I’ll go first, said Eric. Away went General and like a water skier, Eric held onto the end of the

rope. Speeding around the circle, Danny skated as fast as he could behind them. Then it

was Danny’s turn.

Usually about the second time around, it happened. From behind the house with a private

fence with a locked gate, came a flash of tan and a playful bark. It was Harley and his owner

was sure to follow............

Monday, September 14, 2009

A Pet Sitter's Story

"Hurry up! I’m winning!" yelled Eric.

"Wait, I can’t get my arm through the strap," replied Danny.

"I’ll take tiny inch steps. You better catch up quick."

"You better take bigger steps than that or I’ll be waiting for you all night to get there."

Eric and Danny raced each other down the road to a house three blocks from their home. Both had their knapsacks full of clothes and things for the weekend. They were going to stay at Aunt Sharon’s and help her with the job they both loved.

It was cool and so they both wore jeans with T-shirts, light jackets and sneakers. They nearly looked like twins.

"Hello, anybody home," they called jumping on the porch of a neat pretty cape cod house. A closer looked revealed that these boys weren’t twins at all. Eric who was the oldest had red hair and freckles and Danny had light brown hair and looked more like his mother, but both were the same height and liked the same kind of clothes.

"I’m in the office, come on in."

Danny and Eric walked through the short hallway and down the stairs into the den that looked like a library with cozy chairs inviting them to sit down, put their stocking feet up and relax. Aunt Sharon was sitting on a big soft brown corduroy sofa near the fireplace with her lap top, She had her left foot in a blue wrapping bandage propped up on a green stool. Two days ago, she had twisted her ankle walking her Shetland Sheepdog, Cissy, and so the boys were there to help her.

How are you feeling today, Sharon. asked the boys. Aunt Sharon couldn’t get use to the boys calling her “aunt” and so she gave them permission to call her by her first name.

I’m much better, thank you. This sturdy wooden cane of your great grandfather’s helps me to get around the house. I’m catching up on my business work.

Both boys knew all about Aunt Sharon’s business. She was the pet sitter of their neighborhood and some of the surrounding areas in Newport News. Most families had at least one dog, cat, bird, fish, or even Iguanas or ferrets. Aunt Sharon did them all, including two Llamas that lived near by. Also, there was a pony named Spencer, not too far away that had his own small stable painted red with white trim and a split door so that the top could be open. It was built behind the owners garage.

Neighbors would call Aunt Sharon several days before they went away on vacations, holidays or business trips. If they were new, she had a “meet and greet” session with them to get important information about the pet along with emergency numbers and permission to be on their property. Aunt Sharon had all the information stored securely on a business pet sitter’s web site and she had limited hard copies in her office, which at this moment were in piles on the floor , on the sofa and on her desk. The most important thing of course, was to meet the pets...........

(This story will continue. Any helpful comments would be appreciated. Thank You.)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Pictures are coming

Pictures will be available soon to view Casey in his sport, that is, dog agility. Casey is my Shetland Sheepdog who has been doing agility for about 4 years now. These are 2006 photos, but later ones will be posted as I get them.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Pet Sitter's Musings - Who are you?

You can learn a lot about people and their likes from just walking into their home.

In the past 15 years, I have had the privilege to go into homes of my clients and pet sit for them. As I have done this, I become more acquainted with each owner by just looking around the rooms the pets occupy.

For example, I was pet sitting for a few days for a client in Greenville. An erie feeling that someone was watching came over me. I felt it whenever I came in the front door and felt it in the sunroom. (I just thought it was the fish in the large tank looking at me wondering how I could breathe “out there”) But I also felt it in the living room, and the hallway,the bathroom and the kitchen. No one was there except the two Golden Retreivers and the cat. I brushed the feeling aside and continued to visit and care for the dogs and cat.

Then one day, I was sitting on the steps petting the Goldens and throwing a small ball down the hallway. Looking up, I suddenly saw the monkeys on the wall paper, the monkeys in the bathroom, the monkeys in the pictures, monkey lamps, a monkey holding up the coffee table and they were all looking at me! No matter where I turned and moved, all the monkey eyes followed me. Yikes! I believe this client liked monkeys. Shortly after that, I got use to it and so every time I’d come to visit, I’d say, “Hi everybody” and then do my pet sitting.

Another client’s home gave me a feeling of going to the shore and seeing light houses. What seemed like a hundred different light houses from different parts of the country, were placed in strategic locations on display for those who visited the home. The love of light houses and the joy of collecting them was very evident.

No pet sitter could be complete in this area of the country without a client who loves golf. It is so evident that one only needs a glance. Many of the homes are first located on or very near a golf course. Another obvious clue is when you first enter the home; bronzed golf clubs, golf caps, and pictures may be around. Then there are the several bags of golf clubs as in a family of golfers or maybe two or three golf bags that belong to one person. I have seen a garage that had almost as many golf clubs, golf shoes, bags, golf balls and caps, as tools for the home. (I was getting my canine friends their dinner at the time). I know a few people in my extended family who would love to play golf with these clients ;-)

Finally, I know you will never guess what I am really “into”. Dog pictures in the kitchen, in the living area, the bedroom and dog and cat pictures in the office. A sofa pillow shaped like a bone, dog dishes, dog toys all are scattered about in the living area. I mustn’t forget the dog and cat figurines and figures in my display cases and ceramic dog and cat canisters and mugs in the kitchen. Oh, and the matching handmade tied dog quilt and pillow, the throw blanket and…..

Words of Wisdom
"Many people have sighed for the 'good old days' and regretted the 'passing of the horse,' but today, when only those who like horses own them, it is a far better time for horses."
- C.W. Anderson

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy birthday Canines N' Cats Pet Sitting Service

Hello - I've been pet sitting for 15 years. It's my "birthday" this year! A lot has happened over these 15 years. When I first got started as a Pet Sitter, there were maybe three pet sitters who advertised very little here in Greenville, SC. So little in fact that they weren't noticed. Not until I and another pet sitter started to advertise more did we get reactions from the general public. People laughed at us! Well now people believe that they have another choice with their pets. They don't laugh and some really love to see their pets on Saturday afternoon or Sunday when they come home from vacation.

Some pets may be old or too young or home-bodies or afraid of different places, who would be just as happy to stay home if their owners would let them. (Of course, nothing beats going on trips or rides with your people). The pet sitter is always good for a dog cookie, a scratch behind the ear or throwing a ball. That's what pet sitters are good for, as relayed to me in different ways from my doggie breath, fuzzy face clients. Woof.