Archive for November, 2012

Friday tip of the day – What is Your Cat Trying to Tell You?

Even when cats are silent, they’re always giving off signals of their current moods. Is your cat feeling playful? Does she want to be approached? Is she fearful? Relaxed? Understanding how your cat’s non-verbal communication differs from that of people and dogs is a simple step you can take toward strengthening your bond.


A friendly cat’s eyes will be alert and blinking, and her ears will be pointed forward while she holds her head up and fans out her whiskers. Aside from looking at her body language, you can also listen to a cat for signs of friendliness. If you hear meowing, she may be looking to interact. Keep in mind that how you interact should be based on the personality of the cat and the context of the situation.


You may have to look closely for indications of fear in your cat, because while her posture may appear calm, a closer look at her face and tail may show distress. A fearful cat may have dilated pupils and flattened ears, and her tail may be held downward, close to her body, while she flattens her whiskers and presses them against her face. Try to minimize sudden or rapid movements when your cat seems fearful, as they may amplify her discomfort.


When a cat is standing with her tail curled, rolling side-to-side or belly up, she’s likely looking for contact and play. Her ears may be pointed forward, as well. Just make sure not to touch her on the stomach, as you would a dog, because this will elicit reflexive, defensive or predatory behaviors that might make her claw or bite your hand.


You can tell if your cat is relaxed by looking at a combination of cues. Make sure you examine her facial expression and body language, as a crouched, relaxed position can look similar to fear. Her ears will be pointed forward, and her tail will be visible, rather than tucked or curled, while her whiskers will remain slightly fanned out, rather than pulled back against her face.


When a cat is showing negative body language, she is most likely not open to contact. It’s probably best not to try to approach or pick her up, especially if the cat is hissing or growling. Her pupils may be dilated, and her ears will be flattened against her head. She may arch her back, and the hair on both her back and her tail may be raised.

Article taken from Your Cat’s Behavior – Purina web-site

November 30, 2012 at 9:27 am Leave a comment

Pet sitting in Snohomish

Last week I was pet sitting in Snohomish for a couple of my favorite pups.  Brody, a Viszla and Calla an Italian Greyhound are such a joy to watch.  They are a couple of pretty pampered pups.  They have their own bedroom…

Brody is hanging out on his bed

“This is my bed!” Says Calla

Not only do they have their own special bedroom, they have a huge yard to run and play in!

Brody chasing the stick

“I think my feet got wet!”

And when they aren’t hanging out in their bedroom or running around the yard chasing sticks and rabbits, they cuddle together on the couch.

Like I said, these are a couple of pretty pampered pups, AND I LOVE IT!!!

November 27, 2012 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

Small Business Saturday! November 24, 2012

American Express has announced this year’s Small Business Saturday as November 24, 2012. Small Business Saturday sits between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is dedicated to driving sales to small businesses on one of the busiest holiday shopping weekends of the year. It is the day we celebrate the Shop Small® movement and support the small businesses that help fuel the economy and invigorate communities.

In an age of global markets and capitalism, it’s far too easy for small businesses to struggle and fail, even if they have superior products and services. We have the power to change this, and Small Business Saturday encourages people everywhere to shop with small businesses for just one day, and to change the world a little bit.

Small Business Saturday is the day that hometown businesses show the public why shopping local makes sense. Friendly service, convenient proximity, and unique options make the frenzied rush of holiday shopping much easier and more fun!

November 24, 2012 at 10:15 am Leave a comment

Friday tip of the day – Crate training your dog

Crate training is not a way of putting your dog or puppy in a “cage” or “jail”, and you are not being cruel if you follow these tips. Dogs feel secure in small, enclosed spaces, which are like the dens that wild animals use. Dog crates make excellent dens.

1. Choose a crate appropriate for the size of your dog. He should have enough room to stand up, turn around and lie down comfortably, but you don’t want a crate that is too big. His crate should be for sleeping or for a safe place to be when you aren’t with him or do not have time to supervise him if he is still a puppy. If you have a large breed puppy, you may have to buy two differently sized crates or purchase a crate with a divider that you can move as he grows.

2. Use a single-word command to tell your dog to enter his crate, and throw in a treat or piece of kibble. When he enters, praise him and close the crate door. Gradually increase the time he spends in the crate before you let him out. Remember, your dog still needs time to play and go to the bathroom. Maintain a regular schedule of trips outdoors so as not to confine him too long.

3. As a general guide, your puppy can stay in his crate comfortably for several hours, depending on his age. Take his age in months, add 1, and that’s how many hours he should be able to stay in his crate (up to about 8 hours). For example, a 2-month-old puppy should be comfortable in his crate for about 3 hours.

4. Providing your dog or puppy with a crate that is too large may allow him to relieve himself in one end and sleep in the other. Make sure you take your dog or puppy outdoors to go the bathroom on a regular schedule and especially prior to being left for prolonged periods of time. Always take your dog outside on a leash, to the same area in your backyard each time, to eliminate. Do this so that you can praise him when his job is finished. This will take the guesswork out of his visits to the backyard.

Article taken from the Training Your Dog – Purina web-site.

November 23, 2012 at 9:17 am Leave a comment

Happy Thanksgiving!

Here’s wishing all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I am spending Thanksgiving in Wenatchee this year, something that I’m not always able to do any more.   I will be going to my nieces house for dinner, along with most of the rest of my family.  I always make the sweet potatoes.  Yummy!  And then on Friday, we will gather for “left over day”.  The family members who weren’t able to come on Thanksgiving usually come on that day so I get to see everyone.

I hope you all have a wonderful day that you can be thankful for this year!  Bring on the turkey!!!

November 22, 2012 at 10:33 am Leave a comment

Such a simple idea for Christmas giving!

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods – merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.

Hopefully this year will be different. This year Americans can give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!

It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper? Everyone – yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?

Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.  Or how about a gift of a week of pet sitting by your favorite pet nanny :-)!

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamin’s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains – this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.

How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?

My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.

Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.

OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.  Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.

Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.

Christmas can now be about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.

November 24th is Small Business Saturday.  I hope we will all go out especially on that day to show our local businesses that we care about them and are willing to support them.

November 19, 2012 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

Friday tip of the day – Autumn Safety Tips

Ah, fall—there’s nothing like crisp, cool air, the first months of school and luscious foliage to get you excited for the changing seasons. Your pet, too, is probably welcoming the break from hot, sticky weather. But pet parents, beware—fall is also a time of lurking dangers for our furry friends. From household poisons to cold weather hazards, the season is a minefield! Here are some tips to keep your pet snug and healthy during the autumn months.

  • The use of rodenticides increases in the fall as rodents seek shelter from the cooler temperatures by attempting to move indoors. Rodenticides are highly toxic to pets—if ingested, the results could be fatal. If you must use these products, do so with extreme caution and put them in places inaccessible to your pets.

  • It’s back-to-school time, and those of you with young children know that means stocking up on fun items like glue sticks, pencils and magic markers. These items are considered “low toxicity” to pets, which means they’re unlikely to cause serious problems unless large amounts are ingested. However, since gastrointestinal upset and blockages certainly are possible, be sure your children keep their school supplies out of paw’s reach.
  • Training tip: If you and your pooch haven’t been active outdoors in a while because of the summer heat, do some remedial recall training. Dogs, like people, get rusty on their skills if they aren’t using them.

  • Fall and spring and are mushroom seasons. While 99% of mushrooms have little or no toxicity, the 1% that are highly toxic can cause life-threatening problems in pets. Unfortunately, most of the highly toxic mushrooms are difficult to distinguish from the nontoxic ones, so the best way to keep pets from ingesting poisonous mushrooms is to keep them away from areas where any mushrooms are growing. Contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center immediately if you witness your pet eating a wild mushroom.
  • In order to generate body heat, pets who exercise heavily outdoors, or who live outdoors, should be given more food during colder seasons. Make sure horses and other outdoor animals have access to clean, fresh water that is not frozen.

  • Autumn is the season when snakes who are preparing for hibernation may be particularly “grumpy,” increasing the possibility of severe bites to those unlucky pups who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Pet owners should know what kinds of venomous snakes may be in their environment—and where these snakes are most likely to be found—so they can keep pets out of those areas.
  • Many people choose fall as the time to change their car’s engine coolant. Ethylene glycol-based coolants are highly toxic, so spills should be cleaned up immediately. Consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants—though they aren’t completely nontoxic, they are much less toxic than other engine coolants.

This article was taken from the ASPCA web-site.

November 16, 2012 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Pet sitting in Bellevue – Remembering what I love about the Autumn

As I was walking the dogs the other day while pet sitting in Bellevue it occurred to me how much I love this time of the year.

Bailey LOVES his walks!

It’s Dudley’s turn

So I decided to list the top 10 things I love about the Autumn.

1 – Fallen leaves

2 – The decorations on people’s houses

3 – Vibrant colors

4 – Crisp, clean air

5 – My birthday 🙂

6 -Creative Jack O’ Lanterns

These Jack O’ Lanterns were made by one of my clients who have two Pointers.  Love them!

7 – The sound of the rustling leaves as I walk

8 – Piles and piles of leaves

I remember raking up my leaves and letting my kids and grand-kids play in the piles.  Soo much fun!

9 – Fall fruits and vegetables

10 – Thanksgiving with family and friends

And speaking of Thanksgiving, I’m so thankful for my life right now.  I couldn’t be happier.  I have a wonderful job of taking care of so many sweet animals, and have a great family and friends that I love so much!  I hope you have lots to be thankful for too!

Almost gone!

Well, as much as I love the Fall season, it appears that it’s almost gone and before we know it, it will be winter.  I’m looking forward to the next season!  Bring it on!

November 12, 2012 at 10:22 am Leave a comment

And the winner is…Gabe! For the 2012 Hero Dog Award

Sgt. 1st Class Duane Brown

Retired Army Military Working Dog received top honors at the 2012  American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards premiering on the Hallmark Channel at 8 p.m EST., November 8.  The Hero dog Awards were created by the American  Humane Association to celebrate the devoted relationship between dogs and  people. Military working dog Gabe, and his owner Sgt. 1st Class Charles Shuck,  instructor at the United States Army Drill Sergeant School, Fort Jackson, South  Carolina, were named the 2012 American Humane Assoc. Dog of the Year. Gabe  deployed to Iraq with the duty to find hidden weapons and explosives and help keep our Nation’s Soldiers safe. While deployed, Gabe completed over 210  combat missions, discovering 26 explosive and weapons caches. Gabe and Shuck also spent time visiting wounded troops in combat hospitals and Iraqi children in elementary schools during the deployment. Gabe retired from the Army in 2009 and was adopted by his handler, Shuck. Now, Gabe has taken on a new mission  bringing awareness to our communities about the plight of shelter dogs, and the importance of adopting these very special canines into a forever home. The AHA awarded Gabe and Shuck $10,000 for being named 2012 American Hero Dog. The Duo is donating the prize money to the United States War Dogs Assoc.

November 9, 2012 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

Friday tip of the day – Tour Dogs for the Deaf

I was fortunate enough to meet a lady who has a hearing dog companion.  This dog was brought to her through Dogs for the Deaf.  If you would like to tour of their facility in Central Point, Oregon you can contact them by going to their website @ and click on Schedule a Tour.  Or call for an appointment @ 541-826-9220.  They will show a video, take you on a tour of the facility, and give you a demonstration of one of the dogs actually in training.

So as not to disrupt the trainers’ busy schedules, they ask that you please call ahead to make a reservation.  Regularly scheduled tours are at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm Monday through Friday, except for holidays.  Tours take approximately one hour.

November 9, 2012 at 9:04 am Leave a comment

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