Happy 2014!

We hope that this New Year brings good health, happiness, good times and lots of fun to all.

We enjoyed caring for your guinea pigs, hamsters, chickens, reptiles, fish, gardens, homes and of course your cats & dogs. We’re ready for more – rain or shine – as always. And speaking of rain, please leave a towel by the door – it’s got to start raining again sometime soon.

As most of you know, I never miss the NAPPS annual conference and am looking forward to heading to San Diego in March for this years event. NAPPS is trying something new this year, a virtual conference. There will be viewing parties across the country allowing more pet sitters to attend. I have been asked to host the event in San Diego. More mingling and sharing of ideas. There is technology involved (uh-oh) but will be a great experience. I can’t wait.

NAPPS celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. NAPPS has created a new form of membership – for you – the Pet Parent. Pet Parent members have access to a virtual library, teleconferences twice a year, a message board and an e-newsletter three times a year, special offers, coupons and more. I happen to be Chair of this committee and it’s brand new and evolving. If you’re interested in more info – just let me know.

I just re-read the above, sounds like a NAPPS commercial! I am very enthusiastic about NAPPS because I get so much out of the organization. One aspect I most enjoy is being able to speak with pet sitters across the country – whether they are a sole proprietor or have over 100 employees (yes really) we love to share stories, ideas and support and help each other. I remember once, years ago, a client said to me – ‘Must be nice, all you have to do is walk dogs all day’ . Nothing could be further from the truth.

And speaking about the Pet Parent teleconference, the last one was fantastic. In doing some research, I discovered Dog Scouts of America. Really! I had the President of Dog Scouts on the teleconference for discussion and a Q&A. It was so interesting and informative. If you’re interested in doing a little something extra with your dog – let me know. Yes – they get badges and everything! I have several pups and their people in mind that I think would really enjoy it. You can do as much or as little as you want – no pressure. You can join a troop, form a troop or fly solo. Check out their website. I’d love to know what you think.

Also, some of you know that I am a Level II Animal Reiki practitioner. Guide Dogs for the Blind accepts this form a treatment as a viable resource for the dogs in their facility. My previous experience on the Dogs for Diabetics training team has made me aware of the special needs of the service dog. I will be volunteering my service to Guide Dogs beginning this year. There are other practitioners providing Reiki and Canine Massage as well. The dogs have a beautiful ‘spa’ room to receive these relaxing treatments. Guide Dogs has tours of their facility so if you have a free afternoon, take a trip to San Rafael. I think you’d enjoy it.


Pet First Aid classes will resume in February. Most of the classes will be held in Walnut Creek. I’m just firming up the details. This is a 4 hour class and though not intended to replace veterinary care, you can learn a lot about emergency treatment for your dog or cat should an incident occur. Just what would you do if your dog or cat were choking, bleeding, unconscious? There are a few types of classes, please contact me if you’re interested in more information. Yes – I will be the instructor.

So another new year is upon us. We thank you for your trust and confidence in allowing us to care for your precious loved ones. We resolve to improve our services to you through continued community engagement, continuing education and continued team training. After 10s of 1000s of visits, we’re still learning and seeing something new. Our team meetings are very lively, much sharing of information. I continue to maintain my Certified Pet Sitter status and share the info from my classes and events with the team.

Thanks once more and cheers to another great year.

Posted under Updates by admin on Saturday 1 February 2014 at 4:24 pm

Pet First Aid/CPR Classes Available

Posted under Updates by admin on Wednesday 29 May 2013 at 2:07 pm

Pet First Aid /CPR

Today, I am in Carlsbad Ca completing (yet another) course.  I am being certified as a Pet First Aid /CPR Instructor.  Typically our pet sitter / dog walker day goes something like this – we roll up into your driveway, meet your happy pup and go off on our adventure and get some good exercise in your neighborhood or nearby park.  Then fresh water, a treat, maybe some rascally love and good bye until next time.  We could be seeing a kitty for string or feather play, lap time, buffet refreshing and cuddles.  Then of course, there are the iguanas, turtles, guinea pigs, rats, chickens, bunnies etc who receive their own special kind of care.  Usually things are pretty straight forward.  HOWEVER, occasionally things don’t go so smoothly.  Sadly, we have walked in on pets in distress, major distress that has required calm quick thinking and appropriate care.  Having taken the pet first aid course has been very helpful.  (I’ll include one story at the end of this note, though I have several.)

Do you know how to assist your pet if they are choking, bleeding, in shock (and for that matter, what causes shock)? Do you know what to do if you suspect a fracture or injured limb? What about signs of poisoning, snake or insect bites? Do you know how to properly muzzle (if necessary) and transport an ill or injured pet? In an emergency – there may not be time to jump onto the Google-machine and figure out what to do. Do you know the where the nearest emergency facility is and is their number on your speed dial? Can you take your pets temperature?

I’ve sat with transitioning pets while waiting for their Pet Parents to come home.  I’ve taken critically ill pets to the vet for Pet Parents while they were away and stayed with the pet while they made their transition.  Being able to provide  comfort and appropriate care in these situations has been invaluable.  Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to learn more about Pet First Aid/CPR/Pet Safety.

One day I arrived at the home of  a sweet senior dog.  A real beauty – red fluffy fur, sweet sweet eyes.  Although she was aging, she still had some spunk.  Yes her walks became shorter and shorter so we’d spend more time brushing and catching up on Dancing With the Stars .  Usually she was on her bed on a shady part of the patio.  Honestly, I heard what I thought was a yipping that sounded like ‘help’ ‘help’.  I rushed to the patio and saw her lying in the sun.  She had fallen and couldn’t get up.  It was a hot day and she was quite fluffy.  I cooled her down and offered water.  I had cared for her for many many years and knew that today was different.  I had been in constant communication (daily) with her Pet Parent and although quite difficult, I had to ‘make the call’.  ‘Mom’ was at work and rushed home.  I stayed with her and brushed her and comforted her and we reminisced.  She waited for her parent to return.

That evening I was on my way to an overnight.  Two brother Golden Retrievers who look very much like the sweet girl I had just left.  One of the brothers has a history of seizures but with great health care and medication the chances of him seizuring were slim to none.  There is an emergency kit handy – just in case.  I was familiar with the medication, procedure and instruments.  I never thought I’d have to use them.  We were out running and roaming in the yard when brother 1 looked a little strange.  He slumped down and yep, started to have a full on seizure.  Brother 2 (litter mate) was right there and although I’m sure he was trying to help, I had to get him back into the house.  I took B2 into the house (being a large property, we had to hustle!) and with the dog gates – I was jumping hurdles, grabbing the emergency kit while in midair  (practically), getting the vet on the phone, and putting medication into the syringe all while zooming out the front door.   Thankfully too, I grabbed the car keys – just in case.  Needless to say,  this was quite alarming.  I had just had a similar looking pup dying in my arms hours earlier.  I was determined to save B1.  Although my heart was racing, I remained calm, stroking the dog, had the vet on speaker – just in case.  The injection required is an anal injection so there is a hose, the syringe, the syringe needle and cap and vial of medication.  In other words, lots of stuff to sort through,  the dog is seizuring – I think you get the picture.  I am happy to report that B1 came through with no problems.  Of course that episode flashes through my mind every time I drive through their gates.  And you bet, every time I or one of the sitters is caring for these guys, the procedure is reviewed thoroughly.  Having a bit of training under our belts was invaluable.

Posted under Updates by admin on Wednesday 15 May 2013 at 1:38 pm