Once a long time ago, when I was a little girl, I imagined I would be a veterinarian. Then my hormones started raging, I got a boyfriend and any thought of planning for the future seemed, well, LAME!! Not that I was some kind of wild child, quite the contrary. I made good grades, helped my Mom around the house and even learned how to cook. Not bad for a 15 year old. On my journey to becoming a professional pet sitter I traveled many roads. I went to college to study psychology and social work. I worked hard and applied myself. I was a member of 5 honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa and graduated cum laude. I really enjoyed college. It was my time to blossom. In fact, I enjoyed it so much I decided to continue my education and get my Masters in Social Work. Sounds like a pretty altruistic path to venture down. I did receive my Masters in Social Work and began working in the field as soon as I could land a job. Surprise of surprises…..I wasn’t really cut out for this kind of work. You see, I wanted to “fix” everyone and I wanted to do that as quickly as I could. Not so good for those people who needed to find their own way.
So I went back to what I had done for many, many years, waiting tables. It had always proved to be rewarding both financially and personally. I could develop a relationship with a patron or patrons within a few minutes and it served me well. My ability to care for people probably came from my training in the social sciences. My managers soon saw this as a huge asset, one to be used to their benefit. Thus, I began a new journey in the arena of the Hospitality industry. I moved with ease into management positions in boutique restaurants, large chain restaurants and finally private clubs. All the while being promoted because of my aptitude with people. I could engage the surliest of club members or the most out-of-control bride and have them working my program in no time. Funny thing was, I wasn’t truly fulfilled. I didn’t get up every morning and think, “Wow, I get to plan a $50,000 anniversary party!!” I mean, it wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t ME. How do we find our ME? What do we have to go through to understand what ME needs?
Enter my Mom. My Mom had supported me financially and spiritually when I was going through graduate school. She knew that I was just going through the motions with my career choices. She knew it was simply a means to an end. Then my Mom happened to enlist the help of a pet sitter when she and my Dad went on a long vacation. She had traveled with her dog before, but this was different. She couldn’t bear the thought of boarding her dog. Taking her to some fancy, schmancy doggie resort where she would be in a kennel all day long with only scheduled walks and timed interactions. So, she found someone who had made a career out of caring for people’s pets in their own homes. Where the dog was most comfortable, where the dog’s daily routine would not be turned upside down and where she could sleep in her own bed at night. My Mom was so taken with this woman’s care that she saved every note, every bit of information she could, even the cutsie placemat that was left behind under the water and food bowls that said, “I was treated like royalty while you were gone.” She made a file and saved it for my next visit home. When she presented it to me she simply said, ” I know this is what you should be doing.” Moms, how do they do that? Reach right down into your heart and know what is best for you? And you know what? She was right.
Of course, the new career didn’t magically materialize overnight. It took a leap of faith, a really big leap of faith. And a good bit of hard work. Anything worth having is worth working for, we all know that. My husband and I moved to my family’s hometown to help my sister care for my aging parents. That was a big step and a little scary. I started a business based on the training I received from a generous woman who had her own pet sitting business. She learned the business the same way, from a woman who was passing it along to her. That was pretty scary too. Knowing that I had started this business before my Mom passed away gave me the strength to follow through on what she knew was best for me. It has been one roller coaster of a ride, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love what I do and my clients love what I do. Funny thing is it’s my ability to connect with these people and learn what it is they want for their pets that makes me successful. It’s my training in social work and psychology that helps me establish and maintain these relationships. Some might say I have wasted my education by not working in that field. They are wrong. I use those skills daily.
My childhood dream of being a veterinarian isn’t too far off from where I am right now. I care for many pets, mostly cats and dogs. I do have a hamster, a bunny, a couple dozen doves and some chickens thrown in the mix. Diversity is a good thing!! I am responsible for their well-being when they are with me. I have a diabetic Scottie that has a heart problem. One day when I walked him out of his house, he started breathing hard. I knew that was not right. I called his Mom and she directed me to call his vet. The vet saw him the next morning and we found that his sugar level was above 500. That’s life threatening. He could have lapsed into a coma if the problem had not been realized and treated quickly. I have a Weimaraner I care for and while walking him, I noticed a large lump on his rear leg. I notified his Dad and he went to see the vet soon afterwards. I was recently caring for three American Eskimo dogs, one of which is elderly and has some health issues. One day he decided not to eat his breakfast. Fine, I thought. I’ll just pick it up and give it to him for dinner tonight. But at dinner time, he turned his nose up again. I can tolerate missing one meal, but in an elder dog, two meals can be significant. Looking in the fridge, I saw some beef broth and knew this would up the ante on the kibble in the bowl. Sure enough, he ate heartily. I got a text from his Mom thanking me for being creative in getting Buddy to eat. What some pet owners don’t know is that as our dog or cat ages, the sharpness of the senses diminishes. This not only means they lose hearing and sight, but their sense of smell can become compromised. Dogs, like people, eats with their senses, if it doesn’t smell good, why eat it? Adding a little flavor enhancement may be all it takes to be sure your dog is getting a healthy, balanced meal. I look for any unusual behavior in my clients that is out of the ordinary so I can notify the owners. It’s not that they are negligent, but my sole purpose is to ensure the welfare of these wonderful creatures. In my efforts to learn what is best for each breed of dog or cat, I have happened upon a lot of knowledge that I wanted to share with my clients as well as anyone who owns a pet. If a client has a behavioral problem with a dog, I want to help. I do research to find a solution. I check several different sources to see what other professionals would do. I take this information and spread the word to other clients and dog owners by having this website. My Mom was right, pet sitting is what I should be doing. And in doing it right, I have found that I can be a catalyst to pet owners in being proactive with their best friends care.
I trust you will find my website a source for helpful hints on pet care and recent findings in pet health management. My affiliates offer many of the products and resources that I find will make caring for your pet less confusing and probably save you some money.