Sunday, September 12, 2010

Developing Relationships

This weekend I got to bond with some really great dogs. As a pet sitter, one of the most enjoyable processes of my work is the relationship I develop with the pets I care for.

Last year I attended the annual conference of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters, and spoke with Bill Berloni of Theatrical Dogs (he trains dogs for live performances in stage shows, and he is not only talented, witty, and fun, but the dogs he uses in shows are all rescue dogs! How cool is that?) Bill said that when it comes to working with dogs, he aims to "honor the being". I repeat that to myself all the time - "Honor the being." It really clicked with me. Every pet, every creature, has it's own personality, likes and dislikes, and way of communicating. Part of what I do is to try to open my mind and heart to the pet in my care, and ask "What do you need right now? How can I make sure you are comfortable and happy?" I observe the pets I care for constantly to learn their language. Of course pets need food, water, shelter, etc. But for dogs and cats, there are games they like to play, ways they like to be held (or not held at all!), toys they prefer over others, a special blanket they have to sleep with. I love the process of learning about pets likes and dislikes.

So this weekend I sat for a bunch of beautiful dachshunds (and other pets too!) and they all are so unique. A few of the dogs I have known since they were puppies, and even though it's been a year since I saw them last, they remembered me and immediately one was in my arms (she always loved to be held), another was wrestling my sneaker (she's a playful one), and another wanted his tummy rub - he knows I give great tummy rubs! I loved that I know these dogs well enough to know what they like, and to be able to provide that to them. The response from the dogs is always favorable, it's like they are expressing to me that they appreciate that I know them so well!

Bonding with pets is never a wasted effort, and it can be done with the right gesture, or word, or tummy rub, or toy.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

You KNOW You Want To See More of This

Now you HAVE to come to the dog wedding. You don't want to miss THIS!

The Dog Wedding!

I was trying to think of something to share about pet sitting to give a little insight into the pet sitting world. And today I thought that one thing I didn't know before I became a pet sitter was that pet sitters have to be good at waiting.

It's sort of interesting now that I think about it. When I worked 8-5 (or actually, 6 to 6 with Chicago traffic), I went to work, and I came home. But pet sitters leave and come home throughout the day. Sometimes I get home and it may only be an hour until I have to go out again. So I find productive ways to fill small amounts of time. I have about a half hour before I leave for another pet sit, and that seems like the perfect amount of time to write a blog post.

The Dog Wedding

Most? All? of you know that next Sunday, September 19th, my puppy Fiona will be joining her puppy friend Jake in canine matrimony. Come join us - it will be a lot of fun and a great fundraiser for Hillside Animal Shelter and One Life to Live Rescue. You're invited!

What: Jake and Fiona's Dog Wedding and Fundraiser
Where: Nay Aug Park, 500 Arthur Ave., Scranton PA
When: Sunday, Sept. 19th, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.
Cost: Free! Although we are asking for voluntary donations of $2.00 OR new or gently used pet crates, beds, toys, food, towels, blankets, leashes, etc. to benefit Hillside Animal Shelter and One Life to Live Rescue.
What Will Be There: Live music by Analog Velvet, raffles, face painting, canine contests, and of course - Jake and Fiona's wedding!

Come on out, bring the kids and the dogs, and celebrate with us! And help homeless animals at the same time. We really appreciate it and I hope to see you there!