Thursday, November 25, 2010

The table is set for Thanksgiving dinner

As you see, even though I am not cooking a Thanksgiving feast, I am preparing a large meal for some of my friends! Everyone gets a little piece of sweet potato in their dish tonight.

Willa, Tally, Beau, Desi, Casey, Lucee, Portia, Ginger, Bonnie, Lily, Tux, Sammie, Pepper
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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pet sitters prepare for the holiday rush

Oliver's feet never touch the floor
I thought I would look back to a post I wrote two years ago in anticipation of the holidays. Are you ready for your big week?

I was reminded of this when the time changed a few weeks ago. The first time I took out the flashlight to use it, the batteries were dead. This weekend, I realized I don't have an umbrella in the car. And the air pressure light for my tires is flashing. Tomorrow I will catch up on these chores before I hit the rest of my busy pet sitting week!

Riley models the new pillow
This morning I hit a couple of estate sales while out on my rounds (I do love weekend pet sits- garage sales are my bonus for getting up early). I got two giant faux fur pillows with removable washable covers for $5. Perfect for dog beds!

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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Best wishes for a busy Thanksgiving!

As you can see above, my calendar for next week is a tad full. And that's good news! 9 visits a day plus 7 dogs staying here. My family get together is Saturday afternoon, so I will spend Thanksgiving evening with friends here in Poway. 

For the next week just about all I will do is petsit, feed dogs and sleep. The laundry is done, the groceries are in the frig. I'll clean house the FOLLOWING week!

I am very thankful that over the past seven years I have been able to build my business enough to remain self employed and able to pay the bills. There were many times I wondered if I would be able to make it, and I finally feel secure and happy. 

I am so lucky to have such wonderful clients. They are really nice people that I enjoy doing business with, and I count them as friends as well as customers. You can tell I am doing what I love, and I hope you are too! 

Thank you for reading and supporting me in my journey!
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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Petsitting- a 24/7 job and then some

The view of the pool
“Honey,” she said as she passed her husband the phone, “It’s the cat lady…”

What a great name for a business, I mused: The Cat Lady. Except most people would call me the dog lady instead. On this day I was the cat lady, and I was visiting a new client to arrange care for their cat, Sweetie, over Thanksgiving.

Pet sitters can make a lot of money this time of year, but it is a lot of work too. Every morning this week I have been out before 7 am, letting two dogs out for a run and feeding them breakfast. Their owner invited me to make myself at home, and I did. I enjoyed my coffee and the hilltop view of the pool and the city while Lily and Whitty ran laps around the yard.

Lily and Whitty and the view
Each evening at dinnertime I am back, feeding them and giving them another run. A neighbor comes over before bedtime to let them out, or I would be back at 9 or 10 pm for one last outing.

Whenever I have dogs that need to be let out, I am out early and late every day, and sometimes a third visit in between. Then I do all my once-a-day kitty visits and come home and relax awhile before the afternoon rounds.

When I was married, this was a harder schedule to keep. I used to do my late-night visits after my husband went to bed at 9 pm. Sometimes I had to be out at dinnertime. I’m sure having kids would make it even harder to schedule pet sitting and still have a family life.  

Last night as I sat watching the Country Music Awards, thinking my workday was done, I got a call. My client was stranded in San Francisco, and they didn’t want their old dog outside all night. Could I go get her? Of course. So off I went. I was tired, but I like the people and the dog a lot, and I wanted to help them out. “Pet care” is also “caring.”

Boarding dogs at my home has eased up some of the running around, but now I never get away from my client dogs. I have to care for all of them–and my own dogs and horses–before I head out on that 7 am visit.

Holidays are even tougher. This is when we make our most money, but we end up sacrificing our holiday with the family. I always give myself a few hours in the evening to have dinner with friends, and my family comes down on another day to celebrate. It’s hard to leave a party and head out to do petsits, but that is what we signed up for, and those pets and their owners are counting on us. You can take time off in January.

Meanwhile, plan a few hours off here and there over the holidays so you don’t burn out, so you can see your family and friends, and so you have some fun!

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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Sharing an interesting article from Whole Dog Journal

Read the Whole Dog Journal's take on dog daycare, by Pat Miller:

I am happy she points out that not all dogs are appropriate for group situations. We wish all dogs could get along, but some just get too stimulated, too aggressive or too overwhelmed to be comfortable.

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© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.