On Vacation

Yes we are on vacation.  Without the dogs. Seems strange.  The last few years every time we went away it was somewhere that we could load up the pack and head out.  This time alas, it was and airplane ride to a wedding.  No dogs invited.

This is good and bad.  Good; I can stretch my legs out on the bed, I don’t have to get up at 5 am to let Louie G go out to pee, nobody cares if I sleep past 7, I don’t have to clean up poop, pee or vomit, nobody needs a bath.

Bad; it’s so lonely!  And I’ve only been gone 24 hours.   Luckily Woodstock is very dog friendly and everywhere we go we see dogs and meet new dogs.

We are lucky enough to have some great options for our dogs when we go away.  First of course is I have a great staff that will come over and look over them.  Second option is my brother who lives near by and has 3 dogs of his own and our guys all get along great.  Third, which came as a complete surprise was my parents offer to come and stay at our house. Continue reading “On Vacation”

Where Have I Been?

I have been gone a long time.  Why?  I love writing the blog.  So why so long away?  Busy, of course.  I always struggle with the life work balance.  I’m sure everyone who has their own business does.  I think if I hire more people I won’t have to work so much.  So I  bring  on more staff, then I take on more clients and I get busier.  It’s a problem most people would want and  I’m not complaining about that part, I just have to figure it out.

Another reason is that finally I moved forward with my canine massage  certification.  Since 2012 I have taken the intro class twice and then got busy and never followed through.  Well, this September I completed my 75 hours of classroom and by the end of March completed the 25 hours of internship.  Now I’m waiting to hear back on my portfolio to start offering this as a service.

I also took a Healing Touch for Animals class.  I was interested but not sure about this modality.  After completeing Level 1 I am on board and will continue studing Healing Touch for Animals.

I will be expanding on my new interests and how the dogs are so open and accepting to these two alternative healing experiences in future blog posts.

My Deaf Dog

Walter is 13 years old this year.  Not sooo old but no spring chicken either.  He actually is doing very well because 2 years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and was never expected to be with us so long. Therefore we will take the deafness.

We started to notice the issue about a year ago.  He would be sleeping somewhere in the house and the other dogs would start barking and he would just continue to sleep.  At first I though this a great boon with him being such a talker and all, what the heck a little silence.  Then we realized it wasn’t him just being quiet it was him not hearing.

Other things that started happening were he would stand starring at a door while I stood near by calling to him.  He had no idea I was there.  One day I came home and he wasn’t with the pack to greet me.  Oh no, I thought that was it.  I looked all over looking where he might be.  Of course, he was sleeping in the most unusual place and had heard none of the commotion of me coming home.  It’s almost scary that I can walk up behind him and he has no idea I am there.  He has also taken to being even more of a velcro dog.  I suppose being that he can’t hear me he needs to be near me at all times.  And if he can’t see me he will start searching the house for me, room by room.  It almost feels like having a stalker.

Knowing he is having this problem I try to make things a little easier for him.  When I come home I will walk heavy to try and make some vibrations.  We use a lot of hand signals and I am learning it is useless to call or ask him to be quiet as “he can’t hear me”.  I need to make the extra effort to get in front of him so he can see me and we can communicate.  But all in all our time together is a blessing and we are just going to enjoy it for as long as we can.



Halloween; Trick or Treat

Halloween Poster

Many of my friends think that Halloween is the best thing EVER.  Me, not so much.  I think it’s cute that little kids get dressed and hit the street but it ends there.  Please do not ask me to wear a costume and please do not ask me to dress my pet up either.  Of course, I am probably in the minority, so here goes with a few tips that I have learned over the years of being a dog walker to help your pet be happy and safe during Halloween.

If you have just adopted a new dog and especially if you have a puppy they are adjusting to their new home,  don’t scare them to death their first week with you.  Lawn ornaments?  Scary. Any thing that may be out of the ordinary can be very scary, those big blow up things, very scary.  When Penny Lane was small we walked down a street and a yard had lion sculptures out front.  She was so frightened in order to pass we had to walk around so she couldn’t see them.  Now imagine the Halloween decorations.

Continue reading “Halloween; Trick or Treat”

Canine Massage Training

Canine Massage
Canine Massage

For several years I have been trying to complete my canine massage certification classes.  I have taken the prerequisite, “How to Massage your Dog” class twice in 4 years while trying to get the time to complete this program.  Well here I am!  Excited to be here and exhausted from all the learning.

For two weeks I entered into a very intense learning situation, for me at least  (it’s been a long time since I have been in school) it was overwhelming and amazing. The days were long, starting at 8 or 9 am till 6 pm at night.  But it wasn’t over yet, most nights I studied until I fell asleep. Continue reading “Canine Massage Training”

When The Pet Sitter Goes On Vacation

A few weeks ago I went away for a few days without my dogs.  Yes, even the pet sitter goes on vacation.  Luckily my staff is aways ready to step up and help me out and that certainly gives me peace of mind when I go away, at least on the business level.

Louie G
Louie G

The other level is the same experience that my clients have when they leave their pets at home and go out of town.  I miss them, I worry about them, I wonder if they miss me, if all their needs are being catered to, and then of course there is the guilt that I feel for leaving them.

It was 2009 the first time that I left my dogs for vacation and totally in the hands of the pet sitters.  Previously when we would take a vacation either my husband or I would go away, never both together because we didn’t want to leave the dogs alone.  So after having owned Calling All Dogs for 5 years and having a staff I decided it was time to go away and let my staff take care of my dogs.

Walter and Pippen
Walter and Pippen

I was your typical  insane pet parent, I checked in on them daily, worried about them obsessively, missed them desperately. One night I woke up in the middle of the night disoriented and  in a panic because the dogs were not on the bed.  Where are the dogs?  What happened to them?   In about 5 seconds I realized I was not at home and knew everything was alright.

One thing I will never do when I am away is talk to my dogs over the phone.  I did that one time to Spike. The poor dog was in a panic barking and looking for me all over the house.  I felt so bad to have played such a trick on my the poor guy who had no understanding of phones or Facetime.

Now I go away on a regular basis.   For short trips they go to my brothers and visit their “cousins”, for longer visits one of my staff will come and take care of them.  I’m sure they miss me as much as I miss them.  When I come home we are all happy and excited to see each other.  And perhaps enjoy each other a little bit more because of the separation.

Penny Lane
Penny Lane

If you are interested in getting started with professional pet care that will give you peace of mind when you need to be away from your furry friends, contact Calling All Dogs to set up your free in home consultation

Rainy Day Fun with Your Dog

Rainy Day Dog
Rainy Day Dog

OK, it’s been raining now for what feels like a month.  You, your kids and your dogs are just about over being cooped up in the house.  Boredom is settling in which only means one thing, trouble is brewing.  Well here are a few things that you can do with your dog to help them and yourself have a little fun and get some exercise.

HIDE AND SEEK:  This has been one of my go to games for a long time.  It’s easiest to

You can't see me
You can’t see me

start with two people but one person can do it.  Have your dog sit and stay.  (If your dog will not hold the sit this is where the second person comes in) Hide near by, try not to let the dog see where you go but don’t make it hard in the beginning.  Have a treat handy and call your dog to you.  Call only once, if they are having a hard time finding you, give them a hint and call them again.  As the game progresses you can hide in more challenging place.  This is also a great training technique for teaching your dog to know where you are at all times.

Continue reading “Rainy Day Fun with Your Dog”