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I am your pet sitter and dog walker….

I am your pet sitter and dog walker…. I drive backroads, side streets and highways every day looking for you and your pets. I argue with the maps app about which turns to take, how long it takes and where to go next.

I’ve walked and cared for hundreds of animals and I love them. Dog walking and pet sitting is much more than a job, it’s my life. No job is too small, I sometimes care for single pets in houses. No job is too big, I’ve walked up to three of your dogs at a time, cared for collections of reptiles and birds, herds of horses, pens of pigs.

I am the person who is responsible for your pets in your absence. I guard them against outside means of danger and love them as if they were my own.

I love on your pets, play with your kids, compliment your house. I’ve helped you administer medication to your pets, helped with emergencies, listened when someone needed to vent on a pet related situation. I do not charge for any of these services, I’m happy to help anyone where I can.

My vehicle is rusted and worn. But my heart is gentle and kind. You’d never know I was sick, sore or tired. I’ve driven through weather advisories for ice, snow, and flood, I’ve secured houses and pets during tornado warnings. I’ve macgiver-ed horse water troughs to provide water to horses in -30 degree weather, secured horse sheds that have blown over due to wind, held your dogs paw amidst a seizure. I keep working under any conditions, because this is more than a job or my work, it’s who I am.

I see happy, well cared for pets with plenty of room to play, and pets with minimum housing and care scenarios. Some days I’m overjoyed with the amount of care your pets receive and some days I bite my tongue on how you treat your pets.

I am your dog walker and pets sitter. I’ve watched your pets grow, I’ve seen your life through adversities, watched your kids grow. I’ve been there when the worst happened and celebrated when you experienced the happiness and joy I wish for you!

All I ask is for a flat collar in good working order to walk your dog, appropriate attire for your outdoor pets as needed, planning services ahead (when possible) and to be paid on time.

I am proud of what I do, and I hold my honesty and integrity in high regard. I strive to improve on my skills and knowledge daily. And promise to provide you with pet sitting and dog walking services from the heart.

*adapted from another post by an unknown author*

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Idols & Inspirations

I’m not one to idolize a person. I think once upon a time I had to choose a person for a school assignment. I chose my brother.

The people who inspire me live everyday lives. They have lived through adversity. They worked hard for everything they got. Once I hear people’s stories, it inspires me and encourages me to go forward. It reminds me that we’re all in this rat race called life together. That we can achieve anything we want if we’re willing to work for it and not give up.

What’s your story?

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Happy Holidays!

With the holidays approaching everything seems faster paced, more rushed and tensions run high. Sometimes it even gets the better of me, I say something negative or out of character and have to centre myself again.

What I’ve found that helps keep the good vibes going

– Understanding that even the grinchy people are people too, say a kind thing to them

– Giving small thoughtful gifts to people and their pets

– Random acts of kindness, holding the door, letting someone in during rush hour, helping someone

– Taking a friend out for coffee

– Listening to up beat music. I like to crank the tunes!

– Having some down time reading, enjoying a bath, having some me time

– Playing with dogs, when we get excited they get excited and it helps to keep the good vibes going!

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You know you’re a pet sitter and dog walker when…

You know you’re a pet sitter & dog walker when

  • Your work schedule changes from hour long days to 14 hour days. Early mornings and late nights to make sure everyone has been cared for.
  • You’ve put tons of mileage and time into driving from house to house (rural pet sitting)
  • You’ve driven through almost every road condition (black ice, tons of snow, wind, hail, etc) to let a dog outside to pee.
  • A day off consists of an overnight pet sit with furry friends.
  • You feel super sad when you can’t fit in a last minute client into the schedule
  • You’ve walked in the cold -25C winter storm weather with a dog because they were having the time of their life (snow dogs especially)
  • You’ve cut walks short in the same weather to let the chilled pups in the house right away
  • You’ve been slobbered on by various animals (dogs, cats, cows etc.)
  • You’ve stepped or kneeled in Dog poop at least once by accident.
  • Visited Pets on holidays, as even they need some holiday lovin’ too!
  • You’ve celebrated the good times with your clients and supported your clients in the bad times
  • The pets in your care become like your own pets, you celebrate the happy times and mourn the loss of beloved friends when they pass over the rainbow bridge.
  • You wouldn’t trade what you do for the world, even if you happened to win the lottery. You have a passion for pets and their people.

Let us know if there are any points you would add to this!

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Positively Dog Walking

Why hire a professional dog walker when I could hire a neighbour/kid/friend/etc.? Is a question I’m sure quite a few people have. Yes, I’m quite sure that you can hire all of the above. Although I think there are much better reasons to hire a professional dog walker.

What makes us different?

  • Our business is insured and bonded
  • We have been serving the Okotoks area for 4 years
  • We have current Pet First Aid
  • We have current criminal record checks
  • Our Lead Walker is currently attending a dog training apprenticeship program
  • We attend various courses and seminars on animal training, care and well being. Continued education is very important to us.
  • We are current members of Pet Sitters International

Our Walking Tools

  • On our walks we use flat buckle collars, martingale collars (for dogs that can slip their collar easily), head collars or harnesses.
  • Most dogs are clipped to our hands free walking belt on walks. The length of the leashes can extend from 1 foot to 6 feet to allow more space as needed (this is done by clips and “O” rings). The hands free belt is used as a safety tool and is like our safety belt to your dog. We use this as we found not all leashes are easy to use with thick winter gloves on, the buttons on retractable leashes can be faulty, and also the leash is impossible to drop or let go of.
  • Poop bags are attached to our belt and all waste is deposited in the garbages where appropriate.
  • Tasty low calorie treats (Freeze dried beef liver, 3-5 calorie small training treats) are used as rewards. For dogs with sensitivities, their own kibble may be used.

We don’t use

  • Prong Collars, choke chains, slip leads, shock collars, citronella collars or other aversive walking tools.
  • Aggressive Positive Punishment (adding something to stop or alter behaviour I.e. kicking, hitting, yanking on the leash etc.)

What are some things we do to help dogs walk better? I.e. pulling, barking

  • Usually we’ll prime the relationship we have with the dog by simply “Yes” and giving a treat. This is repeated a few times so they understand that the word “Yes” gets them a reward.
  • “Yes” May also be used to help improve behaviour, if a dog is walking better or nicely we will use the “Yes”/treat cue to encourage the better behaviour
  • We use a treat as a lure in our hand to help coax the dog away from something they may be pulling towards, or barking at.
  • Make interesting sounds to get the dogs attention back to us.
  • Stop & Go: if a dog is pulling we stop walking and wait for the dogs attention to come back to us, then we continue the walk
  • While this list is certainly not exhaustive, our aim is to provide force free/positive reinforcement methods to encourage the best behaviour from our dogs.

Disclaimer: please note our blog is not a substitute for the advise from a professional behaviourist or trainer. We recommend contacting a professional trainer or veterinarian for any questions regarding your pets behaviour. Please use caution when working with any animal. We are not responsible for the use of misuse of any information on our blog.

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Delayed by a What?

We travel to a lot of our different clients. Some reside in Okotoks, Millarville, Black Diamond, Dewinton and the MD of Foothills in Alberta, Canada. While we are more commonly delayed by weather conditions and traffic/construction there have been a couple of instances of being delayed by different types of animals.

We were travelling down an old gravel road to one of our more remote clients, and a wayward cow decided she needed to cross the road. Well she stopped midway to give us a good long stare, so I popped out of my car to steer (no pun intended haha) her into the ditch away from traffic. She seemed to be a sweet little thing.

Another time we came across a badger sun bathing in the middle of the road. It was quite the sight to see, thankfully as we inched forward, he made his way off the road. (Fun Fact: Badgers claw length is 2-3 inches and they can run up to 30km/h).

And probably the most beautiful delay we’ve had was in the winter time. There was a large herd of white tailed deer effortlessly jumping the fences from one side of the road to the other. The bucks were all equipped with a beautiful rack of antlers. They frolicked throughout the wooded areas.

Have you been delayed by an animal? Let us know in the comments below

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Vegas Baby!

me

On our recent trip to Las Vegas we had the chance to meet these two lovelies! The green boys name is Bob Marley (too cute), and the white girl is Princess. This was taken at approximately 2am Las Vegas time, we were walking the strip and a very nice gentleman was busking with his birds for photo ops. Needless to say it was a late night haha.

I’m a traveler that aways looks for opportunities to be with or see animals. I’m curious about the local zoos, interested in the animal enrichment, training, and welfare. Back when I travelled to the Dakota Zoo, it was amazing to see the conservation efforts of the Przewalski’s horse. Also I saw one of the most amazing jungle gyms there, for pygmy goats (It rivalled some larger children’s playgrounds haha).

Have you been to any exciting places with animals? Let us know below 🙂