Monday, November 30, 2009

Announcing: Our NEW E-Newsletter "Barks, Meows, Chirps & Howls"!

Your Best Friend Pet Sitting is proud to announce our new E-Newsletter - coming soon to an email inbox near you!

Will there be interesting pet-related articles? YES!
How about insights into the life of our favorite professional pet sitter? YES!
Photos that make us grin like a Golden Retriever getting it's back scratched? YES!
Hm, can we learn about how to get FREE pet sits? OH ABSOLUTELY!

Click Here to sign up to receive "Barks, Meows, Chirps & Howls" - coming SOON!

If you have questions or article ideas, send them along - I'd love to hear from you!

Winter Walking Woes

We in the Northeast have been very lucky this November - no snow, lots of beautiful days, temperatures in the 50's! For a pet sitter, that's perfect. So what can professional pet sitters share to help YOU when the weather isn't as cooperative?

A lot! My first winter investment is always a good set of studded snow tires. Northeast Pennsylvania is made up of hills on top of hills on the sides of mountains, and I can't think of a single road that runs in a straight line around here. So far, the snow tires have done a good job getting me through most terrain.

Warm weather gear is a must. I wear layers with a good warm hooded coat over everything. I am still shopping around for a set of warm gloves that still allow me to clip a leash to a collar, any suggestions? Waterproof boots are important, and I still keep a pair of socks in my car in case my feet do get wet. Walking dogs in wet, cold socks is no fun!

In addition to my boots, I also bought a pair of ice cleats that pop on to the bottoms of my boots. These are excellent for getting traction on icy driveways and walkways. They pop on and off easily (they are not to be worn indoors!) and really make a difference when walking on ice or hard snow.

Rock salt and quick-melt pellets can be dangerous to your pets' feet, especially when they come inside and try to lick their paws clean. Rock salt can cut and dry out their paw pads, and pellets can contain harmful chemicals your pet can ingest. I recommend finding pet-friendly ice melter if possible. If not, then make sure you wash and dry your pet's feet very well after coming in from your walk. I always keep clean towels in my car for muddy or messy paws, and in my own home I keep a towel by the door for the same reason.

Share your winter weather ideas with me in the comments section! I'd love to hear what others are doing to keep pets warm, safe, and dry this winter!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Presents 4 Pets!

Today was a GREAT day - for me and my friends as well as some beautiful shelter pets.

This is my second year of involvement with Presents 4 Pets, a NAPPS initiative where professional pet sitters reach out to their clients and communities and gather food, toys, beds, and other items to make life more comfortable for shelter and rescue pets. This year I had some help from some wonderful friends who love animals. They hosted a wonderful "Yappy Hour" event at Nay Aug park (dogs in costumes - it was the BEST!) With those donations, as well as donations from clients and members of the community, we packed an SUV full of donated items and drove down to Hillside SPCA.

As many animal lovers in PA know, new kennel regulations went into effect in September creating standards for commercial kennels. This effectively shut down some puppy mills (hopefully MORE to shut down as enforcement increases) and the Hillside SPCA, located in Pottsville, PA, took in quite a few dogs from these mills. Hillside is a no-kill shelter so they certainly had a great need for items. (Find out more about Hillside HERE: )

Today friends Janie & Laura and I made the trip down with the goods, and got to meet some beautiful dogs and pups. The shelter workers were dedicated folks who knew these animals well. I was impressed with the site and the people working there. They were very appreciative of our visit!

I want to thank all of the folks, friends, clients, and community members who came out to Yappy Hour, donated items, money, time and support for this drive. While the real gifts go to the homeless animals, I feel as if I have been given a gift too. I am already planning next year's Presents 4 Pets drive. I can't wait!


It's EASY!

Step 1: Find old leashes, towels, pet beds, or pet supplies in good condition
Buy some wet or dry pet food, metal food and water bowls, bleach, laundry detergent, kitty litter, or gift cards

Step 2: Give me a call or send an email and I will pick them up at your home or at a prearranged location.

Step 3: Receive a thank-you letter and receipt (donations ARE tax-deductible!!), and more importantly, know that *YOU* made life better for a homeless animal in need. It's an amazing feeling.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dog Tales

Pet sitting is full of surprises - no two days are ever the same. This time of year reminds me of a sit I was doing a few years ago for a beautiful little Maltese. We were taking a walk, enjoying the fall leaves, and suddenly she started barking at a big tom turkey running towards us!
This turkey was huge and angry, making quite a racket. So I quickly scooped up the Maltese and hustled into to the house (hey, this turkey had death in his eyes - he wanted a piece of me!) Safely inside, I watched this turkey coming toward the door, and saw what looked like a big, misshapen limb protruding from his chest. It looked like it had a foot on the end. So of course the first thing that pops into my head is "Oh no! A killer mutant turkey!" I really thought that this turkey had a third leg sticking out of it's chest.

When the turkey ran off, I finished my walk (warily!) with my Maltese buddy. After I got home that day, I called my father to tell him about the mutant turkey of doom. My father explained to me that male turkeys have "beards" that protrude or hang from their chests, and that's what I saw. I told him that what I saw was not a beard, but then he had me look it up on the internet, and sure enough it was a turkey beard!

I was born and raised in this area, you'd think I would have known that. Well you learn something new every day. I started reading about lots of Pennsylvania wildlife in order to gain a better understanding of the critters that inhabit our area. It's time well spent!