Posts Tagged ‘Pet Sitting’

Favorite Video Friday – Igor’s Home Away from Home

July 17, 2015 7 comments

This week has been a tough one. My mother went into emergency surgery on Tuesday morning.  Thankfully, she seems to be doing better than even the surgeon expected, but she will be in the hospital for a week and then in recovery for another two to three weeks.

With her being in the hospital, someone had to take her dog, Jake, home to care for him. So, he came home with me. I am glad he and my dogs get along so well. It makes things a little easier.

He was pretty confused and unsure when I first went to pick him up at my mother’s place. He had no idea why my sister and I were there and not my mom. Luckily, his transition at my house has been easy for him and us. I credit the time he spent with me in March, when my mom went on vacation with my sister, for it being a little less stressful for him. I think he enjoys being around other Shelties.

Of course, I’ve also tried to bring a little of his home to my house so he can feel a little more comfortable. I think that’s why today’s video resonated with me. When you need to leave your dog with someone or at a boarding kennel, you want them to feel like they have a bit of you there with them. I think that’s why this week’s video resonated with me so much right now.

This Friday’s video is cute and very sweet. It features a dog, named Igor, and his loving family, who are about to go on a vacation to another country. How they make him feel a little less sad, and a little more comfortable at the kennel he is staying at, is very sweet. I hope you get a smile like I did when you see him with his new friend sharing his special space. It’s adorable.


Happy Friday everyone!

Daisy Makes a Leap – A Look Back

May 23, 2013 14 comments

DSC01243Today I am taking another look back to the early years when Daisy came to live with me.  This is an old blog post from Daisy’s blog, “Daisy the Wonder Dog (and how she found her inner Lab).” It highlights the progress Daisy had made after I adopted her in 2007.

I think it is a good reminder for those who have a damaged or unsocialized dog. Progress can be made with dogs like Daisy. It just takes time and patience. Often it happens in fits and starts – for every step forward, there are two steps back, understanding this may be easy, but seeing it can be hard. They key is to never give up hope. You need a lot of patience and understanding. You also need learn to learn to celebrate the small successes.

This post is from April 11, 2009, a little over two years from the date she first came home with me.

It’s been a while since I’ve updated anyone on Daisy’s progress. Partly because it’s been a little busy around here (we’ve had a lot of visitors staying with us), but also because Daisy seems to have made a tremendous leap in her progression towards finding her “inner lab”. To be honest, I couldn’t be more proud of her.

It’s like a light switch has come on. Although I know it has taken a lot of work, time and patience, it seems as if Daisy has suddenly gained confidence overnight. Oh, she still has her moments when she is unsure and overwhelmed, but all in all, she seems to have turned a corner. Even my friends at the dog park have noticed her new confidence. She absolutely loves to have her friend Brutus chase her through the woods at the dog park. She can fly like wind when she’s running through the woods. I am always amazed at her dexterity and her ability to quickly change course or find a way through the thick brush. I would never have guess she could be so nimble!

It makes me laugh sometimes to watch her pretend that she doesn’t see Brutus sneaking up on her, and then just when he’s about to pounce (and yes, a 120 lb. Rottweiler can pounce!), she’s off like a flash! She flies through the woods, her tail up and a smile on her face. What happened to the dog that stuck closely to my side or just behind me, so close that her nose often touched the back of my leg?  She’s still there, on those occasions when she does not feel safe, but she is more often than not off exploring with her friends or running through the woods. And when she does stick closely to my side, it’s different. I don’t see the fear that I used to see. She’s more confident. More sure of herself.

Just last week, our friend, Lynn (Sasha’s dad) commented on how she is now able to comfortably approach men and women now. She used to be more cautious and unsure when she approached a woman or when they approached her. But, so many of her friends have moms that she has learned to be less fearful around women. It’s so great to see.

Daisy is also confident enough to sit with her group of friends waiting for a treat from her friend, Henry’s mom, Ann-Marie. Last summer, whenever her Bob, another dog park regular, would distribute treats she would back away and only approach cautiously when the other dogs let her in. Not anymore! She’s right there waiting for her share. A Lab never turns down free food!

I think the last thing that has changed is our morning and evening rituals.

Daisy has always preferred to sleep in her kennel because she feels safe there (and because Nick doesn’t terrorize her there). In the past, morning rituals consisted of me getting up and letting Daisy outside and then getting our breakfasts ready. That was until Mya (a pet sitting client) came to stay with us. Daisy was watching when Mya started sleeping on my bed with me at night. She noticed that Mya got belly rub from me every morning before we got out of bed.  The wheels in her head started turning and soon she was thinking she wanted a bit of that attention for herself. So now, every morning before she goes outside, she jumps onto my bed, lays down and stretches her body out so I can give her a belly rub.  We spend a little quality time together just me rubbing her belly and giving her kisses. She loves it, and so do I.

In the evening, her belly rub time is a bit longer. Sometimes it even includes a little doggie massage. She absolutely loves her doggie massages! It’s our quiet time together and I get to tell her I love her. I think she likes that too.

When she first met Daisy, my vet told me that she would probably be the best dog I’ve ever had. To be honest, I seriously doubted her statement at the time. I had already had some pretty awesome dogs I my life. But now, I think she may be right. Daisy is so very special. She’s courageous, well-behaved, gentle, loving, and smart. She doesn’t bark and she gets long with every dog she meets. Who wouldn’t want a dog like that?

Maggie. In Memorium.

April 3, 2013 Leave a comment

I found out earlier this week that one of my very first pet sitting clients, Maggie, had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Even though Maggie was an older dog, it still hit me pretty hard. Maggie was one of those dogs who just seemed like she would live forever. She had a zest for life like no other dog I have ever met. She lived life with gusto.

Jasper loved her. Daisy loved her. And, I loved her. So did her family. It was hard not to love Maggie. She made me smile whenever she stayed with me. I used to laugh when her mom would say Maggie was starting to slow down. That was never the case when Maggie stayed at Casa del Mel. She saw her stay as a vacation and she made sure she made the most of it too. I smile now just thinking of how much fun she had here. She was a bright light in every day.

So instead of being sad that she is gone, I thought I would celebrate Maggie’s life, and her love of life, by sharing a few pictures of her during her stay here.

We will miss you Maggie. More than you know.

A happy Maggie. Playing ball was her favorite thing to do.

A happy Maggie. Playing ball was her favorite thing to do.

Maggie assumed all cars were SUVs. When I opened the trunk to put the water jugs in, she jumped inside. Silly girl.

Maggie assumed all cars were SUVs. When I opened the trunk to put the water jugs in, she jumped inside. Silly girl.

Daisy and Maggie

Daisy and Maggie

Maggie loved going to the dog park.

Maggie loved going to the dog park.

Maggie running at the dog park

Maggie running at the dog park


Maggie and Jasper shared a love of sticks and tennis balls

Waiting to go into the dog park

Waiting to go into the dog park

Maggie loved water

Maggie loved water

Maggie loved playing ball

Maggie loved playing ball



Black & White Sunday #8: Little Marley’s Muddy Face

October 7, 2012 31 comments

It’s Black and White Sunday. This week I thought I would do something a little different and share a picture of one of my former clients, Marley. She is the most adorable little dog. As you can see, she had gotten into some mud this day.

My thanks to our hosts for this blog hop You Did What With Your Weiner, My Life in Blog Years and Dachshund Nola.

Unfortunately, doesn’t allow Java script so I can’t provide a direct link to the linky, but you can join here.

A Following Atticus follow up – What fills your soul?

September 11, 2012 18 comments

Reading Tom Ryan’s book Following Atticus was just supposed to be a book review. I would read it, review it, and be done. Instead, I have found myself thinking about it a lot these past two weeks.

Why? What was it about this book that resonated so with me?

The answer came to me slowly, but when it did I was left thinking about it and my life and what I was missing.

When I was a pet sitter there were two things I loved most – the dogs and cats I cared for AND being outside with the animals and nature. While most people were at work, I was outside walking a dog. When people were heading to bed, I was heading out into the still of the night to care for a pet. When people were driving to work and stuck in the mindlessly frustrating gridlock, I was enjoying the sun rise, or the rise of a flock of birds from the Minnesota river, or taking in the beauty of the newly fallen snow. When I was a pet sitter my soul was fulfilled by the beauty that surrounded me. I was in awe and wonder most of the time.

The woman who hated winters in Minnesota grew to love them. The sparkling snowflakes falling on my nose, the crunch of my boots on the packed snow and the sound of my own breath as I walked in the quiet mornings were all that I needed. They fulfilled me more than any desk job could.

I got to see and experience so many things as a pet sitter, but above all the ones I treasure most are the quiet moments with just me, a dog, and mother nature. That’s why Tom Ryan’s book resonated with me. He got it. For me, and for him, it is being in nature that fills our souls. It’s a sense of connectedness and completeness.

In Following Atticus, Ryan wrote: “For the first time that day, all the clouds shifted and completely lifted out of the way, revealing a vibrant blue sky that stretched over the mountains, which were now a brilliant white, glowing under the sun. It was so stunningly astonishing, so striking, I was left speechless. It was so beyond definition or description that my heart ached and tears welled up in my eyes. Man and dog, connected in adventure and solitude, stood together, gazing at the world few had ever seen before. Something changed when those clouds lifted. Not ‘out there,’ but inside us. Our lives would never be the same again.” (Following Atticus, Pp. 138-139)

This one moment stuck with me long after I had closed the book. It reawakened something in me that had been lost when I went back to the corporate world – a realization that I am happiest when I am in nature. I am most fulfilled when I take in all that surrounds me with all 5 of my senses – a sunset, a light breeze, a snowflake on my tongue, a cardinal singing, the essence of lilacs. Those are the things that fill my soul.

So what about you? What fills your soul? What rejuvenates you? What inspires you?



My doggie fence friends

May 31, 2012 11 comments

Reading Kristine’s post (“Wordless Wednesday – Fence Friend”) yesterday on her blog, Rescued Insanity,brought back so many memories from my days as a pet sitter and all the dogs I got to know as I walked my client’s dogs in their neighborhoods.

In the morning, there were the two Yellow Labs that used to run with their owner – we would wave “Hi” as he jogged by and once in a while I would greet the if I arrived as he and they were leaving for their morning run.

In the afternoon, there was the black Lab mix who lived behind a brown picket fence and who would whine for us to come and greet her when we walked by. We always did and I often would sneak her a kibble or two. She was such sweet dog.

In the same neighborhood as the black Lab, was a Husky that loved to run along the fence with Marley (one of my clients) and sometimes, when she was feeling particularly frisky, she would hide behind the corner of her deck until we had gone almost the whole way past her house, then she would bolt and race to the fence to try and scare us. It never did, but it often made me laugh to watch her. She loved kibble too.

In my friend, Henry’s, neighborhood, there was a sweet girl named Blondie. She was a yellow Lab like my Daisy, and just like Daisy, the sweetest thing you could ever meet. She would often sit in her garage or in her driveway while her Dad worked on his car and then would wander out to greet us as we walked by.

The little guy across from Henry also used to run over to greet us if his owner was outside with him. He loved all the attention I gave him, even though he got more than plenty at home, and most certainly was happy to take a piece of kibble from me.

But, perhaps my most favorite was a Husky/Yellow Lab mix that I got to know pretty well. Annie was a sweet older gal who loved laying in the sun and napping most of the time. The only exception was when the kids were returning from school or when I would walk by with my clients, Marley and Bailey.  Then she would “chuff “and sometimes bark, to let me and the kids know that we had to stop by and say hello, and you know what? We always did. She loved the attention she received from all of us.

Over time, I got to know this dog’s owner as well. A nice older gentleman, named Frank. We would often wave “Hi” and stop to chit-chat for a minute before I moved on with the girls. Annie was the love of his life and over time I fell in love with her too. There wasn’t a day we didn’t stop to greet her and give her a piece of kibble or two. She came to expect us and would wait by the fence for us as she watched us come up the street.

Then one day, she wasn’t there to greet us. I thought maybe it was too cold and she was inside laying on a nice warm rug, but the next day she wasn’t there either. A week later, I ran into Frank and he told me the news. Annie had gotten ill and had died. How sad. She had become my friend over that year and a half that I had come to know her. Frank and I both shed a tear over his girl as we talked, but it was hard. We both were grieving her loss. I still think of her and smile today. Like Kristine’s dog friend, she was my fence friend too.

It’s been a year since I left my pet sitting business, mostly for monetary reasons, but I still miss it. I don’t just miss the dogs and cats I cared for every day (I miss then a lot!), but I also miss the ones I didn’t care for but got to know along the way.

My fence friends.

Wordless Wednesday #86

April 10, 2012 13 comments

Wordless Wednesday #78

February 14, 2012 8 comments

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Wordless Wednesday #69

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Wordless Wednesday #56

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