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What do you learn from your pets?

I read an article recently talking about this subject and it really made me think and to watch my dogs more closely.  I have learned so much from them.  I’ve learned patience from my pit bull Zoe.  More patience than I have ever put into any other human being or animal.  Haha!  This adopted girl, she has been my challenge “child”.  She has tried everything in the book to test me and my husband.  She has so many shenanigans I’m not sure which one to tell you about.  One of her all-time FAVS is to steal something of yours and run behind the couch that sits kitty corner in our living room – just enough room for her to squeeze in but for you to have to REALLY squeeze or move the couch to get in.  She has taken everything from socks to kitchen towels to kleenex to garbage to her brother’s toys to eat, tear up or whatever she can get away with before you can get to her to get it away.  That’s IF you get there in time!  If not, it will be down her throat either for you to reach in and grab or for some STINKY digestion later.  This girl named Zoe also has gained the nickname of “Houdini” in our house as well.  She broke out of her crate many of times and the one time when she was REALLY in the mood, AFTER we zip tied the crate together AND put a thumb lock on the crate door, she broke out and then proceeded to dig up the carpet under the door.  Yes, patience.  I’ve also learned TRUE LOVE from Zoe.  She does this well.  She attaches to you and all those shenanigans no longer are causing you pain because she is gazing at you with her lovey eyes and showing you how much she appreciates that patience you give her.  As a rescue dog, I truly believe that she knows how lucky she is that I didn’t leave her at that shelter that day, instead, I carried her out like a baby in my arms and took her home to nurse her back to health with my husband’s help.  We “fostered” her, our title is now “Foster Failures”.  Worth every minute of the patience we have given her in her 7 years of life. 

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Horses & The Farm Life

I really didn’t think in a million years that I would be taking care of horses for a living!  But, I have learned to NEVER say NEVER!  You see, when I was about 12, I was bit in the stomach by one.  Oh my, it was a HUGE bite, it didn’t break the skin but it was the biggest bruise I have ever had.  My sister was on the horse and had dropped the reins and asked me to get them for her.  I did everything she asked of me because she was my big sister and we were and still are very close.  So, I nonchalantly walk over and got the reins and reached up on my tippy toes to give them to her (standing directly in front of the horse) and BAM, it got me, wow did that HURT and SCARED me so bad!  Come to find out, getting bit is very common for ANYONE that spends much time around horses.  I had no idea.  I just knew for MANY years that I would NEVER get within arms-length of one EVER again.  WRONG! 

When we built our new home in the rolling hills of Kentucky 10 years ago, that all changed.  We had horses all around us.  We live on a small acreage and other “lots” around us are also small acreage with livestock.  Therefore, I now see horses every day out my window and once we were all settled in, I would walk out in our back pasture to “see” the horses in the field behind our house.  They were very friendly, they would run up and look at me, even leaning over the fence to smell me and my dogs.  But, no touching was in my near future at that point.  Then, one day when I was out there, I thought why not, I’ll try to touch the nose and see what happened, I was shaking!  Oh my, it was AMAZING!  It had an almost instant calming effect on me!  I feel that with dogs but THIS was different.  I was so happy that I had faced my fear but I was FAR from spending time on the other side of that fence with them. 

Then, 4 ½ years ago, I started Waggs 2 Whiskers to offer pet sitting of small animals like dogs and cats. Come to find out, there are many farmers out there looking for someone like ME to take care of their horses, sheep, goats and cows so that THEY can have a vacation. Who would have known.  I was raised in the city.  Country born, city raised.  So, it was in my blood and come to find out, that matters.  My first experience with horses behind the fence was with a friend, let’s call her Kim cause that’s her name. Ha!  She was amazingly confident in me.  She had more confidence in me than I had in myself.  She was patient, thorough, kind and truly awesome with me.  She showed me the ropes.  I took care of her horses and cows so she could go on vacation with her family.  And her amazing dog and kitty too of course.  It was truly the beginning of some of the most awesome animal experiences I have ever had.  I now have calm confidence, patience and understanding of what a horse can and will do.  Just watching them is calming to the spirit.  The personalities of horses are so cool.

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Pet Sitters are for YOU and your pet!

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Providing Pet Care for your pet so YOU can enjoy some ME time!

Do you work long hours?  Do you feel guilty leaving your pet home alone ALL day?  Pet sitting services would be perfect for you!  Pet sitters offer many options to help you care for your pet in your relaxing HOME environment.   It’s like having doggy daycare in your house without the stress of taking them out!  Pet sitters offer many options to help you have your pet waiting for you happy and with its belly full at the end of the day.  We can offer midday pet care so the day isn’t so long for your pet.  We can also offer dinner sits in case you are running late and your fur baby is hungry!  Stop worrying about your pet and focus on work so you can come home and RELAX!  And, in the meantime, let your pet have a great day too!

Are you constantly running home midday or after work to take care of your pets and turning down invites for some FUN in your life?  It’s TIME for you and your pet to enjoy life and have some FUN!  Pet sitting is for many types of animals but if your dog likes to be walked, our dog walkers can help!  Exercise will help your dog be in a more relaxed state when you get home and you can REST together!  Cat sitting is also so important.  Cats need socialization too.  They love having their box scooped and their water bowl filled with fresh cold water.  Pet sitters can do this for you.  So, after a long day at work and some fun out with friends, you can come home and sit on the couch and enjoy your relaxed pets for the evening! 

Do you just want to go to the gym after work and not worry about running home first to let the dogs out?  We know what it’s like, once you get home getting back out to go the gym seems like a 12 hour trip!  LOL!  So, go to the gym right after work and get your workout in!  Our pet sitters will go to your home, take your dog for their exercise walk and get them dinner and you can come home knowing you did good for YOU and your pet today!  And you will both be ready to relax and cuddle.    [Read more…]

Are you and your pet prepared in an emergency?

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Just thinking about an emergency like those we have seen on the news lately puts my stomach in a knot.  The flooding in Louisiana is the first that comes to mind.  So many pets were being rescued from their homes.  A lot of things were said about the owners who left them there but who’s to say those owners were home at the time the water rose?  Could they get to their home to save their pets?  Maybe not.  It makes me think about what I would do if my life depended on it, how would I get my pets out of the house safely?  What would I take with me?  Am I prepared?  A lot of big questions that come to mind, I could write an entire blog on just those.  I can’t say that I’m prepared now but I’m getting my list together and doing my research and I wanted to share my process with great pet owners like yourself.  I found a lot of great resources to share. 

First, do I have a plan? Thinking about where you live and the roads that you could take to get out if there were a natural disaster like a flood or a tornado where trees were down is a good place to start.  Talk about this with your family members so that everyone knows the plan.  Next is a Pet First Aid Kit.  You would want a Human First Aid Kit also but I’m going to focus on the pets in this blog article.  I would love to know that all my clients that I pet sit for have one of these and I know the location in case an emergency were to happen while they were away.  Actually, I have been through a few tornado warnings that were pretty scary.  Ever try to get 5 cats into a bathroom during a warning?    Again, a plan is so important.  So, I’m thinking practice what you preach.  Some items to include in your pet’s first aid kit are:

·        Mesh muzzle for dogs – I know…most owners think…why?  After a lot of reading, it’s called stress.  When dogs are under a lot of stress, it can cause them to act out.  Be on the safe side and have one of these on hand just in case.  Remember, the point of this is to keep them and YOU safe.

·        A slip lead or other leash.  Slip leads are my choice especially if your dog doesn’t normally wear a collar – what if you have to grab and go?  You won’t have time to find that collar.

·        Disposable gloves – non-latex – make sure you have them to fit you and your significant other or anyone else in the household.

·        Quick read thermometer

·        Wound care – Bandages, gauze, Neosporin, tape (adhesive & non-adhesive), cohesive wrap (doesn’t stick to the fur), lubricant jelly (packets are best), scissors (with blunt end)

·        Sterile Eye wash

·        Food supply for several days including containers (collapsible containers are best).  Canned food might be better since it doesn’t expire as fast. And don’t forget the bottled water.

·        Bedding (could just be some old towels) along with toys & treats

·        For cats, you might want a disposable kitty box, a Ziploc bag of kitty litter

·        Fold up some paper towels and put in a Ziploc with some hand sanitizer & a garbage bag

·        A small flashlight

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Can we help HOMELESS pets?

Something has been on my mind lately and I thought I would share my thoughts here with my blog readers!  Have you ever wanted to volunteer at an animal shelter or humane society but couldn’t get yourself to walk through the door?  Have you seen the homeless animal posts on Facebook or other social media and thought to yourself…I wish I could help them?  Maybe you don’t have time?  Or, you just can’t make yourself walk through those doors and see all of the unwanted pets inside.  If this is you, what COULD you do to help?  Could you offer financial assistance but maybe you’re afraid of where your money may go?  Will it really help the animals?  I’m asking you these questions because this is ME too!  And, I think there are MANY people out there that feel the same.  I used to volunteer at the shelter, I did it for 5 years before I started my business and time became my enemy.  I worked full time AND ran my business part time AND I have a family!  So, time was not something I had a lot of.  So, I walked out and never went back.  I made a difference there, I cared for pets, I walked dogs, I took pictures of these pets and posted them on Petfinder in hopes that someone out there would see them and come and adopt them.  I watched MANY animals get adopted.  I also watched MANY animals get passed by over and over, for months and months.  This is not for the faint at heart. 

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RIP Sadie girl

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There is NEVER a good time to announce that we lost one of our dogs recently so on National Dog Day is the day.   Saying just that puts a huge lump in my throat!  Mainly because “one of our dogs” doesn’t even come close to describing our boxer Sadie.  I’m sure if you are a pet owner and you are reading this…you may have felt exactly the same as I do at one time.  I’ve always said the ONLY negative of owning a pet is knowing they won’t live as long as we do.  Even though there are potty accidents, dog fights at times, shenanigans, middle of the night potty times….all pet owners know that without them, life would be pretty boring.  And, when we lose them, it’s not a lot different than losing a family member.  We spend every day of our life with them, we feed them, love on them, walk with them, communicate with them, they give us unconditional love and I’m not sure if that is what we give them but we DO love them so much.  My heart hurts every time I look for Sadie in the house, and that has been a LOT since July 30th. 

You see, she was THE most amazing dog I have ever known and I have known thousands by now.  My daughter found her roaming around in the country one night looking thin and sad.  She was only about 8 months old we found out later.  We are pretty sure she was chased off by a breeder that didn’t want her.  We only know this because of how smart this girl was.  First, she was a short stocky boxer, pretty sure she was the runt, the breeder must have not been able to sell her.  So, they shot a gun and off she ran. (She showed us later her fear of guns)  Our blessing is she ran to my daughter who was at a friend’s house that night.  My daughter is a huge animal lover too and they instantly took her in.  When she came to our house, we didn’t know what to do.  We were sure she was somebody’s dog.  After all, she was a full bred boxer!  She was so cute and sweet and her little nub tail just went crazy when she saw us and our sons who were 11 and 14 at the time.  We didn’t have a dog in the house then and we weren’t sure if we could handle one with the kids’ schedules and us working a lot.  So, we put an ad in the paper under the FOUND section.  Nobody called.  In the meantime, we easily got attached to this amazingly smart girl.  In 2 days, she learned how to ring a bell when she had to go potty.  That first time she did it, I can still see her sweet little face when she rang it and peeked her head into the living room looking at us as if to say ‘did you hear me ring the bell all by myself?’.  It was soooo….sweet!  So, after a few weeks, we decided to take Sadie to the vet for a checkup since nobody claimed her, and there was no doubt we were going to keep her.  She had every kind of worm you could think of, she went through a lot of treatments but finally they were gone and she had a clean bill of health…my husband called her the million dollar dog…ha!  Worth every penny! 

We learned many things about Sadie in her life, one was that she LOVED to cook.  She was always in the kitchen when cooking was going on.  She would give you looks as if to tell you to watch a pot so it didn’t boil over or would go to the oven and look in as if to watch the cake rise.  Very intuitive she was, in so many ways.  She never begged for food, she always sat for anything we would give her.  She loved to eat but ate for survival.  She was the leader of our pack, she tried to teach Zoe & Henry & Abby as puppies to ring the bell to go out to potty but not one of them would listen.  When they pottied on the floor, she would look at us as if to say….’I tried everything I could to get them to listen to me and they just won’t’.  We couldn’t help but laugh.  She gave us a LOT of laughs in her lifetime.  As the leader, when we would take her and Zoe & Henry places like one time to Metzgers Country Store for Santa pictures, she was on guard to protect them from any “dog” predators.  A huge lab about twice her size walked by her and didn’t even look at her and before we knew it she was on his back like a monkey!  Ha!  It was hilarious mainly because she wasn’t biting him but telling him to STAY AWAY from her puppies (who were also larger than her by then).   She also stood on guard when the grandbabies came later.  She would sit right in front of whoever was holding the baby and if Zoe or Henry (who were much more rambunctious than her) came near she would growl and push them back.  She was the protector of all. 

Later in her life, she slowed down but still wanted to run and play like a puppy.  She did that up until about a week before she died at age 12 of cancer, she had a large tumor in her belly.  She never complained much about it but we saw signs when her eating changed.  Then, the night she passed on to heaven, she came to me and looked directly in my eyes as if to say ‘Mommy…it’s time’.  I told her many times in her last month of her life to please tell me when it was time.  She followed through on her promise.  These memories are just a small part of why I loved Sadie so much.  Sadie had such a presence about her.  I always said she was a human in a dog’s body and I still feel that way.  And, I miss my girl so much.  Zoe & Henry miss their “mommy” also.  We all miss Sadie’s presence and unconditional love.  Life will never be the same in our house.  The mourning continues for everyone.  There is no doubt that we will always have dogs in our lives but our Sadie girl will always be number one.  Thanks for listening.  Feel free to share your stories of pets you have lost.  It really helps to either talk about it by writing about it or speaking the words.

Take care, Kelly

 

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Pet Stories

I don’t think there is anything I love more than to listen to a pet parent tell me the story of how or why they got their pet.  Recently, I had the joy of speaking with a banker friend of mine, someone I don’t pet sit for but she knows my business and as it normally happens…we end up talking about our fur babies.  This story in particular brought tears to both of our eyes.  She started at somewhat of the beginning of the story about 7 years ago.  Sadly, her father was battling cancer and was close to the end of his life.  He encouraged her to get a dog for his grandson who NEEDED a dog.  This took my friend by surprise because she knew that when she was a child, he was thoroughly against having a dog, her mother tried on many occasions for her and her siblings.  He never thought dogs belonged in the house…yadda..yadda.  But, then, sad as it sounds, on his death bed, he was asking his daughter to get his grandson a dog because he needed one for companionship.  She didn’t want to take on this responsibility and had put it off for several years even though her son REALLY wanted a dog for a while now.  She told her dad so.  She even flat out asked him WHY he was pushing her to get her son a dog when he didn’t want her to have one when she was growing up.  I think she had followed in her father’s footsteps and was feeling the same way he was when she was a child…they’re too much work…her son would never take care of it….she would have to do everything for the dog.  But, finally not long before her father passed, she gave in and got her son a small dog, a Jack Russell Terrier.  And…what a FIRST dog he was.  He was so tiny, he could fit in the palm of your hand, she told me.  Proudly, she took her grandson and the puppy to see her dad.  He took one look at the puppy, his grandson and her and looked right in her eyes and told her…I’m proud of you……  It was an amazing moment in the story.  I saw in her eyes what that meant to her.  To this day…JACK – yes…as she said..real original…has been nothing short of a Godsend to her son and her entire family.  He has been with them for 7 years now and is the joy of their lives.  Her father’s last gift to them all…kind of like a legacy, little Jack has brought love and life to their home and gave them a daily reminder of how important it is to love something so much it brings tears…

 

 

 

 

My Dog Eats First

Beth Green dogs eat first

Beth with a sweet puppy at Waggle Wednesday

Recently, I had the joy and privilege to meet another professional pet sitter and business owner Beth Green.  Beth owns Paws Pet Care in Louisville, KY.  For many years, I have gotten phone calls from some wonderful pet owners requesting pet sitting in Louisville but the distance and time would not allow me to oblige these wonderful potential clients.  I always hoped I could meet someone that did awesome work and held to the TOP QUALITY standard for pet sitting that I offer for my Waggs 2 Whiskers clients so that I could refer these pet owners and feel they will get a positive experience!  Well, I found her!  I found Beth by chance through a closed FB group that I’m a member of that I have gotten continued learning & business coaching from.  It’s an amazing group that I’m so proud to be a part of.  Being a professional pet sitter, I take continued learning very seriously.  I do this because I want to offer the BEST care out there and meet others that feel the same.  Beth has been in business in Louisville for 6 1/2 years now.  She has 25…yes TWENTY FIVE sitters that work with her to provide TOP NOTCH pet care to their clients in Louisville, both 2 legged & 4 legged.   What I instantly loved about Beth is her passion to GIVE BACK!  This passion comes out of her pours!  She was my hero immediately!  Beth started a non-profit organization in 2013 called My Dog Eats First.  [Read more…]

Nicky

What do you think of Nicky?? I think she is a doll! We had a good time together recently while her mommy was out of town! She loves to cuddle and get talked to!  🙂 Nicky

Auggie & Margot

I can’t help but keep sharing this cute picture of Auggie and his new little sister Margot! These sweet faces are two of the many reasons that I love offering this service! Thank you to all of our current customers and for those thinking about getting a pet sitter, please give us a call and give us a chance to show you how wonderful pet sitting is for you and your pets!!  We pamper them when you can’t be there and they get to stay home!! It’s a win, win!! 🙂AuggieandMargot

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