Posts tagged ‘Roadrunner Pet Nanny’

A Furry Friendly Family

A beautiful Newfoundland

As you may know, I have always been a lover of animals.  From the time I was a small child I had a connection to all animals so it is logical that in my retirement I would end up being a Pet Nanny, loving and caring for these precious furry companions. 

What you may not know is when I was a young girl living in the small town of Wenatchee WA, some neighbors of mine had several Newfoundland’s who needed to be exercised several times a week, so my sisters and I took on the job.  We were to take the big dogs out to the large orchard behind their house, walk them around and bring them back home. Now I have to admit I did more cuddling on these big gentle giants than walking around, but I loved the time I spent with them.  Gwyneth and Bruce Mitchell were the neighbors, and in 1967 they donated their home and land and founded the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, fulfilling their dream of giving hope and homes to homeless animals in the Wenatchee Valley.

The story and connection continue with my family and this Humane Society.  I love the fact that my family shares my love of animals and have committed their lives to them.

The Mitchell home was converted into a thrift shop and my Aunt Fern volunteered there for many years, supporting and helping to fund the Humane Society.

My son Ben Baker became involved in working at the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society when he was in high school. Always an animal lover, this was the perfect fit to further his love and understanding of them. Over the years he has rescued several dogs in need, giving each of them a loving home.

One of the many poems my son Ben Baker has written

Ben Baker with his constant sidekick Angus

Little did Ben know that his son Christian would find his way to the same Humane Society many years later to achieve his passion as an Animal Control Officer.

Christian Baker heading out on a call

My grandson Christian Baker is a Wenatchee Valley Animal Control Officer serving the animals and residents of Chelan and Douglas counties.  Its mission is to help protect the safety and well-being of the citizens and animals of its jurisdictions through compassion, education and law enforcement.  There is no one better qualified for the job than Christian.  He has always been a sensitive, compassionate person towards people as well as animals which has made this occupation perfect for him.

Christian has shared a few stories with me.  Some heartwarming, some sad.  But all showing his compassion for this very important journey he has undertaken in his life.

Jordyn Baker with her horse Ahsoka

Christians wife Jordyn is also an animal lover who enjoys her horse Ahsoka whom she has broken herself! 

Jordyn also finds time to do some pet sitting in her spare time and of course Hilly, her close companion and sweet little partner in crime is always by her side.

Jordyn Baker and Hilly

My daughter Heather Kalinowski has always loved animals since she was a little girl. She wanted to be a veterinarian but when she shadowed a veterinarian in high school she almost fainted from the blood and realized, to her great disappointment, that veterinary medicine was not in her future.

Ava welcoming Heathers son LJ into the family
Little Ava with my daughter Heather

Over the following 15 years, while focusing on a career in journalism, she volunteered her time fostering and caring for dogs. She fell in love with the Italian Greyhound and spent years dedicated to fostering and finding forever homes for this very special breed.

In 2010 she joined a pet insurance company as a blog writer and found that the company was not just focused on ensuring pet owners could afford the very best care for their pets, but it was also a company dedicated to pet health and veterinary wellness. She stayed with the company for over ten years, even managing the non-profit organization the company’s Chief Veterinary Officer founded, MightyVet.

MightyVet is dedicated to supporting veterinarians and veterinary staff members in their career and personal well-being. Did you know that veterinarians are among the most likely professionals to commit suicide? You would be surprised at how stressful their job is, dealing with pet owners who may not have the money to afford the very best treatment for their pets. They get yelled at daily, are under tremendous financial strain with school loans, work around the clock, and don’t make much money (relative to other professions). MightyVet aims to help reduce the suicide rate among veterinary professionals by ensuring they are aware of and prepared for the challenges they face in practice.

My daughter Heather Kalinowski with her family and two latest rescues Molly and Lucy

Recently, Heather left her job and is pursuing other opportunities. I just found out she is planning to go back to school to pursue a zoology degree and will be celebrating her upcoming 40th birthday with a trip to South Africa to volunteer with an organization that supports the conservation of African wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, rhinos, and zebras.

Me with my newest little fella I’ve been looking after, 7 month old Louis.

And me? Well after 14 years, I’m still pet sitting and loving every minute of it!

April 17, 2021 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

Pet sitting at Green Lake


For the last couple of weeks I’ve been pet sitting Mabel and Eddie at a house just steps from Green Lake.  What a wonderful place to spend my days!  Each day I take the pups for a walk around the lake, and each day I see something different.  One day my daughter and her son LJ joined me.  LJ absolutely loves to toddle around and watch the ducks.


One day someone had left a beautiful heart make from flowers on a stump along the path.  How cool is that?


Spring is coming and flowers are blooming!


And every day someone is trying their luck at catching some fish.


I enjoy watching all the people, dogs, babies, etc., and the pups enjoy checking out the squirrels, other dogs, ducks and everything else.  It’s a wonderful outing for them!


One really special thing that I found along the sidewalk on my way to the park is something called Little Free Library.  I had never heard of it so I had to google it.  This is such a wonderful idea!  Here is an excerpt from the Seattle Times published on July 11th, 2012 explaining what they’re all about.


Little Free Libraries pop up in Puget Sound area

By Erik Lacitis

Seattle Times staff reporter                       

Little Free Libraries can be a friendly way to share books with neighbors.  In an age of cynicism, when everything seems so ironic, there are some who choose not to be.

In the Northwest, and cities across the country and even in countries like Ghana and China, in the past year some 2,100 simple, little gestures of goodwill have been built: Little Free Libraries.

It looks like a birdhouse on a post, usually in front of somebody’s house. There are about a dozen in the Puget Sound area, with more on the way.

What they contain are free books. The little hutches each fit about 20 or so titles.

See a book that piques your interest? Take it.

And if at some point you’d like to contribute a book, great.

Is this the greatest idea or what?


Tomorrow I head to Maryland to pet sit little Maddie & Zoey.  I’m so looking forward to seeing them again!

February 26, 2013 at 10:43 am Leave a comment

Pet sitting and the loss of a sweet old Lab

For the last week and a half I’ve been pet sitting, first in Seattle, then in Wenatchee.  In Seattle I watched Clarence & Charlie, a couple of sweet pups that keep me on my toes and make me laugh every day (Man I LOVE my job!!!).  Clarence is wearing a cone because he has just been neutered.  But it didn’t slow him down one bit!

Clarence & Charlie

Clarence & Charlie

Then this week I came back in Wenatchee to watch two rambunctious, spirited, and absolutely amazing Chessies, Maggie Mae and Uncle Gus, along with sweet little Alex the cat.

Maggie & Gus

Maggie & Gus

The last time I watched Alex she was very sick.  Her blood pressure had shot up and damaged some of her eye sight.  She was in pretty bad shape.  But boy did she bounce back!  She has regained some of her eye sight and has a good feel for her surroundings and, I’m happy to say, gets around great again and is back to her old sweet self :-).

Little Miss Alex

Little Miss Alex

With a heavy heart I am sorry to say that lovable old Brook, a 16 year old Chocolate Lab has passed since I’ve last been here.  She had been failing for quite some time.  She was blind in one eye and had lost her hearing. The last time I watched her in September I knew that her time here would soon be over.  She was having trouble getting to her feet, but her spirit was still strong and she still got excited to play a bit in the yard and get her rubs and treats.   My eyes are filled with tears just thinking of her now.  Good-by my sweet Brook.  I will miss you for a long, long time, but I am so glad I got to be a part of your life.


January 19, 2013 at 10:21 am 1 comment

Outings in Milwaukee

Luna and Reilly enjoying a bit of sun

Luna and Reilly enjoying a bit of sun

I’ve been pet sitting two adorable Italian Greyhounds in Portland for the last couple of weeks.

Bob's Red Mill

Bob’s Red Mill

Since I’m so close to Milwaukee…Oregon that is, I decided to go to Bob’s Red Mill and check it out.  Wow, what a cool place!  I can’t believe the selection of dried goods they have.  You can buy bulk or packaged, organic or conventional, everything from grains to soup mixes to dog treats.

Huge selection at Bob's Red Mill

Huge selection at Bob’s Red Mill

They also have a sandwich counter so after picking up a few items, I decided to stay and have lunch.  I had their special and it was delish!

Dave's Killer Bread outlet

Dave’s Killer Bread outlet

I was so excited to see that across the street from Bob’s Red Mill was Dave’s Killer Bread outlet store.  I fell in love with the bread even before I heard the story of Dave.  It’s wonderful, organic bread.  It’s the only kind of bread my daughter and her son eat.  It’s a little spendy (although well worth the price) so whenever I want to treat myself, that’ the bread I get.  The loaves were about half price at the outlet store so I stocked up!  Yum yum!!!


January 9, 2013 at 10:10 am Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

Jan 1

Happy New Year everyone!  This is my fourth year in Portland spending the holiday with Luna and Reilly, my two special Italian Greyhounds.

Reilly & Luna

Reilly & Luna

It’s always such a joy staying with these two adorable little ones!  Their mom and dad got them an interactive game called dog it Mind Games.  What a great idea!  I didn’t even know there were games like this for pups.  They had such fun playing it!

Reilly & Luna looking for the treat under the cups

Reilly & Luna looking for the treat under the cups

Luna was the champion!  She found every treat!

Luna was the champion! She found every treat!

This year I decided to take a few hours and go out for a while on New Years Eve.  I planned to go out to dinner and then go to a “Who’s Line is it anyway” type of show at Comedy Sportz.  I had planned on going to 21st Street Bar & Grill.  I had googled places close to Comedy Sportz and this place looked really good.  BUT, I walked in and didn’t like it immediately.  For one thing it was practically empty except for a few people around the bar having drinks.  No waitress in sight.  I just didn’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling.  So I turned around and walked up the street a bit.  I’m soooo glad I did!  I looked across the street and saw a nice looking place with lots of people inside.  It just looked inviting.  I didn’t even know how good the food was going to be.

Dicks Kitchen

Dicks Kitchen

I was so pleased to find Dick’s Kitchen to have such a friendly staff, casual and comfortable atmosphere, and such a great selection of organic, grass-fed beef burgers as well as organic turkey, buffalo and veggie burgers on the menu.  They also had burgers on salads that looked to die for!  The gluten-free desserts looked wonderful too.  They have a great selection of sides like “non fries” –  baked fries just like I make at home, cooked greens, mashed sweet potatoes, etc.   I had a burger and their yam “non fries”..  Delicious and no deep-frying!

Dicks Kithen

Dicks Kitchen

Dicks also has a full bar with lots of specialty drinks.  I had to have a bloody mary…my favorite drink to celebrate the coming of a new year.

Then I walked down to Kearney Street to Comedy Sportz.


When I first arrived, I honestly thought it was going to be a bust.  The place is pretty sparse.  You walk in from the outside directly into the room where the show is held.  To the left is a counter where a lady was selling drinks as well as checking tickets, and telling another lady what my name was so she could take me to my seat.  It was a bit of a hub-bub with people coming in, not quite sure what to do or where to go.  The audio and video people were also behind and in front of the counter a little further down.  To the right was the seating.  All stacking chairs.

Seating at Comedy Sportz

Seating at Comedy Sportz

Since I went to an early show, there were lots of kids there.  I actually chose this venue because it was kid friendly.  There are two teams with a referee.  The referee as well as the audio guy along with the audience get to vote on which team does the best job.  It’s very interactive with the audience.  The referee calls out  what subject they should use and the teams start with their improv.  You can buy red and blue fly swatters.  Then when you’re asked which team did the best job, you raise either the blue or red depending on the team you liked the best.

Comedy Sportz players

Comedy Sportz players

There will be no profanity or off-color insinuations of any kind!  If there is, whether you are one of the cast or one of the audience, you will wear a sack over your head 🙂

Oh oh!  You can't say that!

Oh oh! You can’t say that!

To my surprise I had a really fun time and ended up smiling and laughing almost the entire time I was there.  It ended up being just the perfect thing for me to do to end 2012.  After a year with so many ups and downs in our country, the best thing I could have done to say good-bye to 2012 and hello to 2013 is by having a good laugh!  Thanks Comedy Sportz for giving me that!


January 1, 2013 at 10:17 pm Leave a comment