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Rabbit Rescue (or a pet sitters worst nightmare!!)
Winter Holidays with the Furry Friends
Dedicated to Ruby special friend
Halloween Pet Safety
So who is walking who???


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Rabbit Rescue (or a pet sitters worst nightmare!!)

Isn't it crazy how you just never know what challenges the day may throw at you? I began my Tuesday morning like any, maybe a bagel...and then...I saved a furry little life!!! I literally walked into a pet sitters worst nightmare....check it out....
I was pet sitting for a wonderful family in Crosspointe over this past weekend. They have a beautiful German shepherd named Sandi and three giant (and I mean the size of small dogs) rabbits who live in the backyard. My job was to walk and care for Sandi a couple times a day and put fresh food out for the bunnies every morning. The visits were going just fine and Tuesday morning was my final stop...the family would be home around noon that day.
When I arrived at about 8 am everything seemed fine. I said hello to Sandi and then proceeded to the back deck door to put food out for the rabbits. When I opened the door I saw what looked like a scene from "Fatal Attraction" of the bunnies had tried to go through the metal fencing on the deck and gotten his head stuck. It was horrible...his eyes were covered by his third eyelid and there was blood all over the snow. I freaked! I ran over to him and unbelievably he was still alive!! He had obviously been frantically trying to escape and had injured his back feet from kicking the fence. The bars on the fence were no more than 2 inches or so apart, so his throat was caught tight....there was no way I could pull his head back through. I tried to bend the bars on the fence...expecting that surge of adrenaline you hear so much about that allows mothers to pick up cars when their kids are trapped.......well.......not so much. I couldn't bend them at all. I ran back into the house and grabbed the first thing I saw....a pair of heavy duty dog nail clippers. I ran back out telling the bunny "I WILL SAVE YOU!!!" and proceeded to try to cut the fence. After a million attempts, it finally snapped. I was able to bend the bar and free the bunny. He was messed up. He allowed me to pick him up, and he felt like a sack of potatoes...obviously exhausted from the struggle and I think he knew I was there to help. I had seen a cat carrier in the garage and I figured if I could just get him into that so he could calm down I could see if he needed further help. He actually started to get a bit kicky at this point, which I knew was a good sign because if he couldn't breathe he would not be kicking his legs. I proceeded rabbit in hand back to the deck door.....and realized I had locked myself on the deck. YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME I thought. There I coat...kicky rabbit...freezing my butt off....snow on the ground....locked out. NIGHTMARE!! I carried the bunny around to the side yard where another gate was. It was stuck shut by the snow and mud but at this point there was no stopping me. I barreled through that thing! Thank god the garage was still open and I was able to get the bunny safely to the carrier and get back into the house. I called the owners who were so surprised and so thankful. I watched the rabbit for a while and within a few minutes he was looking amazingly good for someone who was almost dead 5 minutes ago. Had I not been there that morning the family would have come home to a tragedy. I was so thankful that it was me who came upon that sight and not the little girl who lived there!  WHEW!!!
I stopped by later that afternoon to visit the patient. He was out on the deck, munching on turnip worse for the wear! :) All's well that ends well I suppose.

Winter Holidays with the Furry Friends

 Well it's THAT time of year again! As I sit here drinking my homemade peppermint mocha in my snugglepants...(yes I know....don't hate me because I work from home ;)...I begin to think about the colder weather, the blizzard of '09, and the huge task of pulling out the Christmas decorations yet again. There is so much to love about the holidays and so much to be thankful for this year, and I have vowed to stay focused on the joy of it all. This year will mark the first Christmas in 16 years without my dog Ruby and my cat Susie....both of whom I lost within 2 months of each other this year. However this will be my first holiday with Gizzie, my new kitty and bundle of fur that pulled me through the tears and gave me something to smile about amid the hurt. Our pets are such a blessing, and this is definitely the time of year to count those. :)
On that note, as I prepare to deck my halls with boughs of fake holly, I'd like to share some holiday reminders for those of us with furry friends. While all the trimmings that go along with the season make it bright....they can be downright dangerous to our pets. Check it out...
Christmas Trees/Plants
Holly, poinsettias, and mistletoe are all poisonous to pets. Keep them away...or opt for the fake versions. Tree water can contain bacteria and tree fertilizers which can make animals sick. Cover the base with a tree skirt so your pet doesn't drink the water. You may want to anchor the tree to the ceiling or wall so your pet doesn't tip it over. Keep light cords covered and taped, and unplug all decorations when you are out. Ever seen "Christmas Vacation" where the cat blows up after biting the light cord??? Maybe an exaggeration....but still not a pretty picture if kitty gets shocked. Also avoid tinsel...cats cannot resist it and it gets tangled in their intestines. I have seen this first hand when I worked at the vet...believe me...tinsel kills. String, ribbon, very careful around kitty. Avoid extremely toxic ornaments such as bubble lights, and avoid hanging ornaments too low as they are harder to resist.
Holiday Feasting
Yes we are all going to gain 5 pounds.....okay okay we know....but your dog doesn't have too! Resist the temptation to feed Fido his own dinner plate at your holiday meal. While a bit of turkey is a treat...put it in perspective...their calorie needs are MUCH LESS than ours. A 20 pound dog needs 650 calories a day.....thats a McDonalds cheeseburger......hmmmmmm......if you can't feel your dogs ribs....he doesn't need to finish your sweet potatoes. :) Also....NO TURKEY BONES!!!! They splinter...and kill.
Cold Weather
If you have a cat..keep it inside. A cold cat will sleep under a car hood to get warm....and you know where I'm going with that....yikes. If you have an elderly dog or a puppy, avoid long walks in frigid weather...the young and old do not deal as well with the cold as healthy adult pets. If you have a thin, tiny, or short-haired breed get him a sweater. Being cold is no fun. If you walk your dog in rain, snow or ice, be sure to dry his legs and stomach thoroughly when you get back inside. Check his paws for antifreeze and salt....all that stuff can make them sick when they lick it and crusted ice and salt can damage pads. Ouch!
Pets as Gifts....DON"T DO IT!!!!!
If it breathes it should not be given as a gift.....PERIOD. Even if the person wants a animal should be chosen wisely with lots of careful thought and research before such an undertaking. Pets are not disposable or returnable like a sweater that doesn't are responsible for that animal until it dies....and that could be 16 years from Christmas morning. If you are considering a pet for a child, I suggest "borrowing" a friends' dog for a week. Let the kid see how much work actually goes into caring for a pet BEFORE you bring it home. Also, while kittens and puppys are adorable...they all grow up into adults who if not trained and cared for can make your life miserable. Use your not get a new pet on impulse.
Hope these ideas gave you something to think about as you make merry this Christmas. I wish you all a safe and blessed holiday season. And of me to watch the furry buddies while you are at grandmas house!!  :)

Halloween Pet Safety

Happy Halloween everyone! As you can tell by the recent changes to the site Halloween is a favorite holiday of mine. While it is no doubt one of the funnest nights of the year for can be one of the most dangerous for our furry buddies. Here are a few tips on how to have a safe and happy Halloween night with your pets.
Halloween is scary for our cat and dog friends. The doorbell constantly ringing, the front door constantly opening, loud screaming kids outside walking past the house for hours at a can be very traumatic for them. Best bet is to keep them in another room away from the door. Set up a bed, some toys, food and water somewhere safe and quiet where they can hang out until the mayhem stops.
I know it sounds medieval and you are probably thinking "no one would do that nowadays..." but trust me...there are some sick people in the world who will steal and torture and/or kill black cats around Halloween. Most shelters and pet stores actually refuse to adopt out black cats in the month of October for fear they will be sacrificed by psychos with nothing better to do. I can tell you first hand that when I was a child our black cat Midnight disappeared just before Halloween. When we found her she had been spray painted orange and had dental floss wrapped around her limbs. She survived thank god, but no pet I have ever owned in my adult life has ever been allowed to roam free since. Cats belong inside.
Whether you have a lab with a strong tail or a curious and pets don't mix. An animal walking past a candle or lighted pumpkin could easily catch it's fur on fire, as well as knock over a lit decoration with its tail. They sell fantastic flame free lights now to put inside pumpkins that look just as good and are so much safer. Give those a try this year and avoid potential fire hazards.
Plain and simple...chocolate is poisonous to pets!! Where you keep your candy bowl and your childs booty bag can be the difference between life and death for your buddy. Don't believe me? When I worked at an animal hospital in DC a few years back we had a family who came running in our front door 2 days after Halloween with two huge standard poodles that were both barely alive. While the technicians worked to save them the owner told me they had come home to discover the gigantic bowl of candy that was on the dining room table overturned on the floor...every piece of candy consumed...wrappers and all. Both dogs died. The family was absolutely devastated. Don't let this happen to you. Keep the goodies safely out of reach.
While I admit there is nothing cuter than a dog dressed as superman, bottom line is most of them hate it. All I can say is every pet is different. Yes there are some toy breeds who are used to clothes and may be fine with them, but at the end of the day they are ANIMALS....not little people. Costumes probably do nothing more than cause unwanted stress for your pet. If you really want Fido or Fluffy to participate, why not try a Halloween bandanna for a big dog? Or a cute collar with pumpkins on it for the kitty? The pet supply shops are full of those kinds of thing right now! That way they can join in the fun without suffering all night long. Just a thought! :)
Hope this helped. Have a safe and Happy "Howl"oween!!!

So who is walking who???

Ever have a dog who walked YOU? Do you not enjoy walking your dog because its more of a drag than a walk??? Drag...both literally and fun!! Well today I worked with a very rambunctious lab puppy named Oscar. Incredibly intelligent, sweet dog....but with energy to spare!  The second we got outside I was nearly pulled off my feet. Everything was so exciting and new for him! He would dart toward a bird, then dart straight behind me and tangle me up because he saw another dog. Ever had this happen to you? If you have ever had a big dog the answer is probably YES!! This is a major problem and a safety issue....the dog can cause you to fall, or run into the street, or attack another dog or person if you cannot maintain control. So....what to do??? I'm going to share a training technique that works everytime....and takes just a minute or two to teach. Trust'll thank me later!! :)
 First of all, until he or she is trained to walk with you, keep the leash short. The closer he is to you the more control you will have. So, as you walk...when he starts to pull on you and drag you....grab the leash close to him and turn in completely the opposite direction and continue walking so he has to follow YOU. When he walks with you make sure to praise him. Next time he pulls do it again....switch directions and walk back the opposite way until he follows. Make sure to keep the leash short. once you turn and go the other way enough times the dog will get frustrated and tire of not being able to go where he wants. With lots of praise it only takes a minute or two of this for the dog to "get" that if he pulls you are going backwards. This technique also works if they dart out the door at the beginning of a walk. If he drags you out of your house...drag him right back in. You may have to go out and back in 20 times...but eventually....he will get it. Give it a try!!! Good luck!!!   Jenn

Will the rain PLEASE STOP!!!!

Hi everyone! The past week has been super busy.....and super wet!!! It rained literally for the last five days and I spent the entire week smelling like wet dog!! :)  Hahaha...not pretty. The dogs don't like it either. They looked at my like I was crazy when I tried to take them out. One day in particular last week I was about a quarter mile from a clients house with two dogs when the heavens opened. By the time we all got back to the house I looked like I had jumped in a pool with my clothes on. Even so, with all the perils of pet sitting, it still beats the heck out of sitting stuck in a cubicle all day. I love it, and wouldn't have it any other way.
Had the pleasure of meeting two new clients over the last couple days. One is a family with two beautiful basset hounds (Rocky and Chloe) that I will be walking next week. I love that breed...the ears are tooooo cute!
The other is a family with 3 chihuahuas and 2 cats. That's right!! 3 chihuahuas! So adorable it's almost ridiculous. I love my job. :)
There are a few long weekends coming up. This weekend is Columbus Day....not much of a holiday but at least many of you get Monday off so that's a bonus. Why not take the significant other on a mini break and I'll watch the furry friends?? Also the major holidays are rapidly approaching. I know quite a few services that are already booked solid for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I still have availability as of now, but requests are coming in quickly. Don't get stuck putting your best friend in a cage while you visit grandma!!! Contact me to book service today!

The weekend is here!

Hi guys! What a busy weekend we have here at APC! :) 
Just met with our newest family the Johnsons this morning who will begin service with us tomorrow. They have a pretty great pyreness named "Malibu" and her older sister "Julep", a chow mix. Boy do they have energy! Hopefully I won't get dragged down the block by the two of them tomorrow!  
Looking forward to playing with them while their mom and dad are gone.
Also watching "Norman", an adorable big gray tabby who is sweet as can be, who went berserk (in a good way!) when I tossed his mouse filled with catnip to him yesterday.
I will also be dropping in on "Boggie"( one of my midday clients) on Saturday while mom is running errands. Boggie is featured in our gallery....have a look. ;)
Please remember to tell your pet owner buddies about us. The holidays are coming!!!
Have a great weekend everyone. :)
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