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Posts Tagged ‘dog’

In 2005 I started a pet sitting business called Furry Friends Pet Sitting.  I thought “What a fun way to make a living. Play with dogs and cats all day. ” and it was fun; most days.  Other days it was a lot of hard work, dangerous driving, or extreme weather conditions.   Not so much fun.

Most sitters travel to their clients homes to provide pet care. This allows pets to remain in familiar surroundings while the family is away.  A great advantage for the dog or cat that would be overly stressed in a kennel environment.

When looking for a sitter be sure to do your homework.  Remember you are giving this person complete access to your home and pets while you are away.   Here are a few tips:

  1. Always meet your sitter in advance.
  2. Watch how your pet interacts with the sitter. Animals are usually good judges of character, usually.
  3. Ask about liability insurance.
  4. Ask for references and check them out.
  5. Ask what their backup plan is in case of emergency.
  6. Be honest with your sitter.  If your dog protects their property when you are away the sitter needs to know this.  If your pet is an escape artist the sitter needs to know this also.  If they are nervous or afraid the sitter needs to know.   Experienced sitters will be prepared if they know these things in advance.
  7. Leave updated contact information including veterinarian’s name and phone number, though sitters will ask anyway.
  8. Make sure you have enough supplies; dog food, cat food, litter etc…
  9. Ask your sitters rates, know their policies.
  10. Relax and know your pets will be playing, having fun, and getting spoiled.  Sort of like when auntie or grandma comes over.

Last year, I officially closed my pet sitting business.   The economy came to such a grinding halt the year before that I just couldn’t afford to keep it open.  Living in a rural area it was sometimes 10 or more miles one way between clients. Factor in having to make the trips two or three times a day and the gas alone was too much.

I have many happy memories and three of my pets because of Furry Friends.  It was “a fun way to make a living”.

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How can anyone resist those big brown eyes?  I’m talking big sad beagle eyes.

Those eyes look right at me, her brow gets all wrinkled, and she looks like her heart is going to break if she doesn’t get a bite.  It is so hard to look at, I must turn away.

It’s hard enough having to cut her amount of kibble back.  It’s going to take a resolve of steel to keep from giving her a crumb here and there.  An overweight dog is an unhealthy dog.  That will become my new mantra.

She depends on me to take care of her. Joint problems, heart problems, diabetes…I certainly don’t wish that on my baby girl.   The less weight her frame has to carry the better she will feel.  The better she feels the more we can get out and do.  Then more we do the brighter and healthier those big brown eyes will shine.

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It’s a bright, sunny and cold Monday morning.  Casey and I went for our first walk since before fall.  Well, it wasn’t  a real walk unless you count stroll, stop, sniff, track …repeat, a walk.   But it was a beginning.

This year we have had the “winter that will not end” and all Casey and I have managed to do is gain weight.  Not good for either of us, but especially bad for her.  Being a beagle, she has a little frame and a true love of food. Combine that with those big sad puppy dog eyes and wrinkled brow and she is an easy target for obesity.

We did so well last summer.  Walking or hiking on local trails almost daily.  Measuring every bit of food and counting all the good girl treats.  We both managed to get our weight under control.  This year we are once again starting at square one.  Casey back on weight control kibble and me trying to count Weight Watcher points.  I wonder if the franchise has ever thought about starting a Doggy Weight Watchers program.   I bet it would do great.

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