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Biggest Pet Sitting Adventure YET!

Buster Boy
Buster Boy & Liza hanging out
Lucy the beagle sharing with her kitty cat friend Belle
Lucy the beagle sharing with her kitty cat friend Belle
The sweet little ducklings
The sweet little ducklings
Mia...are you smiling?
Mia…are you smiling?

 

Recently, I got a request for a pet sit for 8 dogs, 11 cats, 19 ducks, 20 something chickens and 2 sweet little ducklings.  The potential clients sounded like they were almost afraid to ask if I would be interested in doing the job.  I think they thought it would be a little overwhelming but oh my…I was SO excited!!  We talked about options and I suggested a 12 hour overnight with a midday potty visit for the puppies.  Why?  Because it would give their sweet furry and feathery babies the MOST one on one attention! 

The three musketeers

Lucy, Buster Boy & Amber soaking up the sun during a midday doggie walk

Grace resting on her belly

When a dog gets comfy during a pet sit, we know that they are happy we are there

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, off they went to their long away, long awaited vacation.  Many of us are in that predicament these days right?  But, these two furry parents were VERY MUCH in need of a vacay.  Let me tell you how that makes ME feel, we know how it made THEM feel right??!!  Well, just the thought of being able to GIVE them that vacation without a lot of worry (let’s be honest, no matter who watches our fur babies, we have a little worry).  It gave me that burst of energy, excitement and great feeling of giving that I needed as well.  We did a full walkthrough of the feeding schedule, food bowls galore, wet food, dry food, treats, chicken and duck feed, watering hoses, we checked all of the boxes.  Was it a LOT of info you ask?  YES!  But, one reason we do a contract AND we use the online Time to Pet system is to track every single detail about every single furry and feathery pet.  All the way down to the ducklings, we had a plan.  All of this info was entered into Time to Pet and when I went to the house the first time, I was READY!  I had my plan of action in my pocket – aka on my iphone in my Time to Pet app. 

Lilly loves to watch

Lilly loves to cuddle on the couch anytime, any couch, especially with her toy chicken.

Day ONE – One thing I told my 2 legged clients was that by the time they got home in a week, I would have all of the furry baby’s names memorized.  Well, let me tell you, day one, that didn’t happen.  But, as I scanned through my app dishing out their food, I called them by name when I put their food down for them.  Within 2 days, I had it down!  Now, the chickens and ducks probably have their own names if I had to guess but I didn’t push it, I’ll save that for next time!  HA!  Cuddle time on Day one was so funny, a few of the puppies weren’t quite sure if they knew me well enough to cuddle, then a few of them were trying to climb on my lap and of course I let them.  I had a dog at my feet when it was cuddle time who wasn’t a couch potato, one on the next couch snoring and giving me lovey eyes, one on the back of the couch giving me the eye and one that wanted a lift onto the couch for some snuggles.  And, one on his bed in the kitchen passed out from the excitement.  Then, downstairs, I had 3 more that wanted nothing but to tell me about their day and what they saw and did and of course they wanted lots of pets.  It was HEAVEN!  And THAT was just the DOGS!  Cats…oh my..talk about a great group of kitties!  They all go in and out so it was like having multiple 5 year old children, in and out and in and out.  But, they all seemed to know when the yummy wet food was going to be distributed and lined up for their ration.  The kitties downstairs have their pad to themselves and absolutely are total love bugs.  Lots of pets, brushing and loves, they just wanted more and more which I happily gave them every visit I was there.  You see, they are all rescue pets, not sure if you know about rescue pets but they KNOW they have been rescued from a bad situation, they KNOW that the food they get is an amazing gift, they KNOW that each pet they get is out of LOVE and attention.  They KNOW that the roof over their heads is to be thankful for.  If being with them doesn’t teach us something about life and how thankful we should be for the small things, nothing will! 

Belly rub please?

Belly rub please? Well, of course!

Day SEVEN – I really should have written in my journal each day to share all of the funny things, the messy things, the challenges involved taking care of 60+ animals but I really didn’t take the time, maybe next time I will and share a diary, if you’re interested.  Honestly, after Day one, we got on a schedule, a routine and we all benefited from it.  What’s amazing about furry and feathery pets is they LOVE a routine.  Just like a newborn baby needs a routine, so do the furry family.  Once that routine is set after day one or two, we are all more settled in our role in that routine and what we are going to do and when.  Do you know why?  NO surprises, nobody gets upset, everyone is H.A.P.P.Y.  They expect and realize what comes next and for me, the routine helps me stay on track so we are all taken care of and everyone is happy!  One night, I remember we were sitting on the couch during cuddle time at about 9pm and my stomach started growling. I looked at the puppies and said, well you all got your ration but I forgot mine!  I had brought a sandwich for dinner and put it in the frig when I arrived and forgot to eat it.  Why?  Because THEY come first.  Yes.  One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is helping others.  Why?  Because it comes naturally to me, it is rewarding, it makes my heart swell.  Some people may think that when you jump up to help others in their time of need, whether it is 2 legged, 4 legged or feathery, that it’s too much, that it’s about yourself and not them.  NO WAY!  As a giver, it is ALL about them and what they need.  And, yes, sometimes you forget to take care of yourself but all you have to do is stop and realize that you need that sandwich and you get up and go and get it for YOU and all is well again in the world.  They sometimes call us Empaths.  I guess it’s true, I am an empath.  Maybe that’s what makes me good at giving to people and their pets.   If that’s the case, I’ll take it.

Cooper..those eyes

Some cats just grab your heart and Cooper is one of those…those eyes!

So, back to our story, my clients came home HAPPY and relaxed from their wonderful vacation.  I got a call from one of them the next morning with GLOWING words of appreciation.  He said everyone was so HAPPY!  The house smelled so CLEAN!  And, he noticed a few “improvements” I had done to the place – ie: a pee pad under the kitty boxes for someone who doesn’t always get all the way in the box before pottying.  J  How does this make me feel??!!  EXCITED, LOVED, APPRECIATED!  THIS is why I do what I do.  Although this was a challenge, I accepted it whole heartedly knowing I could do it. If I didn’t think I could, I would have told them and declined.  But, nothing better to me than a good challenge.  Wow. My heart was overflowing with love when I left their home after the last visit.  Beyond blessed knowing I can do what I love and love what I do.  The love I received was much more than the love that I gave and boy did I GIVE! 

The ducks and chickens free roaming living the good life

The ducks getting a dip in the pond

Little Bit and her chickens

Little Bit hangs out in the chicken coop, they don’t seem to mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed this, let me know if you would like to see more stories about my pet sits, maybe even a play by play.  Enjoy the pics!  I took about 100 more if you want to see more of the amazing furry and feathery babies.  And, just to let you know, I DID learn ALL of their names….Bebe, Agnes, Amber, Anderson, Belle, Victoria, Victor, Lucy, Prissy, Liza, Mia, Rusty, Lilly, Little Bit, Grace, Cooper, Charlie, Blackie, Buster Boy, the chickens, ducks and 2 ducklings.  🙂

Buster Boy cuddling in his blankey

Buster Boy cuddling in his blankie

Agnes oh how sweet you are

Agnes oh how sweet you are

Kitties hanging out

Living their best life, these rescue cats are so amazing

Liza posing

Liza posing in the yard

Thanks for listening,

Kelly Catlett

PROUD Owner

Waggs 2 Whiskers, LLC

Victor the orange kitty cat
Victor the orange kitty cat
Little Bit watching over the chickens
Little Bit watching over the chickens
Is there something behind me? I know there's something behind me.
Is there something behind me? I know there’s something behind me.
Charley and his kitties having dinner with his puppy friends supervising
Charley and his kitties having dinner with his puppy friends supervising
Amber snoozing, her fav pastime
Amber snoozing, her fav pastime
Bebe doing her best to have a good nap
Bebe doing her best to have a good nap

How to Introduce your Dog to a Cat

 

A dog and a cat, is it possible?

Sebastian the dog and Liberty the cat love each other.

Dogs and cats… each makes a terrific companion for you, but they don’t always live in harmony together. You’ve probably heard the expression “fighting like cats and dogs” before, right? While that can certainly be true, there are steps you can take – starting with the first introduction between the animals – to foster a loving relationship.

 

Body Language

Before you schedule the first meet and greet between your two pets, learn their body language cues.

Happy cats will purr and rest with their feet tucked under their bodies, maybe with their eyes half closed. They’ll rub up against you and act with an overall calm demeanor. Cats who are agitated will pin their ears back or puff up their tails. They may growl or shriek, or roll onto their back or side so that they’re ready for an attack, bearing their teeth and claws.

Happy dogs will be loose in their body and tail, maybe with a tongue hanging out. They may be playful, but will alternate between a chase and be chased posture. Dogs who are displeased may stiffen their body or tail, fixate on the other animal, and stare. Dogs may also bark and whine if they’re upset.

While these are standard body language cues, your pet may have a unique signal for you to watch out for, so be sure to know what the warning signs are before you schedule an introduction.

 

Making the Introduction

 

When it comes time to make the introduction between your animals, there are a few different options to consider.

 

Cats really do love dogs most of the time

Liberty will even stand on his head for Sebastian.

Desensitizing Your Dog

In some cases, your dog will be so fixed on the cat that you’ll need to desensitize them so that you can make a controlled introduction. This usually starts with sequestering the cat in a room so that the dog can get used to the cat being in the house, while creating a bit of separation. Set the cat up in a bathroom or spare bedroom with all of their needed supplies (water, food, litter, toys, blankets). Feed the dog right outside the door, so they begin to associate positive rewards with the smell of the cat. After a couple of days, swap the blankets of each animal with the other animal’s bedding so that they can continue to get used to the smell of the other animal. Slowly start to let the dog see the cat without getting to the point of overstimulation, so that by the time they are both allowed to be free in the same room, the dog is disinterested or otherwise not excited by the new animal.

 

Face-to-Face Introduction

If your dog has a naturally calmer demeanor, you can try a face-to-face introduction right away. Keep the dog on a leash and let the cat walk around the dog, getting acclimated. If the cat’s body language stays calm (see body language above) and the dog is able to remain controlled, responding well to commands and direction from you, perhaps even lying down, then the dog should be rewarded for ignoring the cat. Ultimately, the goal is for the cat to be close to the dog, sniffing it even, without eliciting a reaction from the dog. If the dog lunges, this method likely will not work right away and you should try desensitizing it before making another introduction.

 

Professional Training

If after desensitization and a face-to-face introduction, the dog is still unable to remain calm around the cat, it’s best to consult a professional, certified trainer to discuss a more structured training regimen for your dog. This doesn’t mean that the two animals will never be able to live in harmony together, but you will need to keep them separated until you know they’ll be safe when left alone together.

 

Pet Sitting for dogs and cats is fun

Sebastian and Liberty are buds, it makes Sebastian SMILE when he sees Liberty

 

Sources: https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/introducing-dogs-to-cats/, https://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/15-signs-your-cat-happy, https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/aggression-cats

 

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