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Josephine the Jovial

Hi all, Amanda here.  I have been putting off writing about the last member of this fur-family, Josephine.  Not because she is a trouble maker or boring (no way on both counts!) but mostly because she is new to me.  Josephine is the baby of the pack (although at somewhere around the age of 8 she is no baby!) and I just haven’t had as much time to get to know her as the others.20160611_104500

Here is what I do know about the beautiful Josephine.  Baby Cakes is her nickname, and she likes to eat (so I would have to say that is appropriate!).  When we come in from outside, she is the first one to get in her “spot” for a treat.  She is pretty laid back like the other girls, but she has a fierce streak in her when anyone gets “in her face.”    Turns out this family of dogs is built around mutual respect and understanding–everyone respects each other’s boundries and understands that ultimately Mom and Dad are in charge.  Not that there is never any plays for power 🙂

Josephine is happy to sit by the window and bark at the world.  And what a bark!  It is loud and deep…very effective!  She is a great Pyrenees and so her job in life is to protect and guard.  She takes that job very seriously;  she makes sure her Mom and Dad know when the mail comes, when a car goes by, when the other dogs are outside, even when there is a squirrel running around the yard!   Unfortunately for Josephine, Huxley also feels that his job is to protect the family and therefore they don’t always see eye to eye on who should take the first watch 🙂

I have spent a few evenings at this house and Josephine was so amazing at keeping me abreast of noises and potential threats.  When everyone else was sleeping, she was on point to make sure everyone was safe and sound.  I found that if she could see me, she could relax a little and get some rest herself; so we spent a good portion of time in the living room sleeping.  When she heard something, she could look up and see that I was okay before going back to her slumbers 🙂  The perfect guardian.

That is it for this family, although they are foster parents so I usually am introduced to temporary family members.  Josephine is no longer a foster, Mom and Dad just knew their family was not complete without this Grande Chien des Montagnes (“the big dog of the mountains”).  I am so glad!

 

 

 

 

O Lucy Beth, Lucy Beth…wherefore art thou…Lucy Beth?

Ok, so any of you Shakespeareans know that Juliet isn’t a dog…she is a Capulet.  But I don’t think anyone could argue that they are both very beautiful!  Hi all, Amanda here.  I would love to tell you about one of the pets of the mwp-image-1664029806jpg.jpgonth, Lucy.

What can I say about Lucy Beth?  Well, first thing is she is a breed I had never had or even heard of–an Akbash.  In Turkish it comes from Akba? meaning ‘white head’.  She looks like a yellow lab with some very big differences.  The most obvious is that she is white like fresh fallen snow.  The other thing I noticed is that Lucy has double dew claws.  That is a standard trait of Akbash dogs and again, completely new to me.  I have enough trouble keeping up with my dogs nails…cutting them must be double trouble!  She also has an adorable curled tail that is fluffy at the end and the most soulful brown eyes I have ever seen.  If I had to pick the most beautiful dog in the world, it would be this 3 year old beauty.  Who am I kidding, it would be EVERY dog.  I couldn’t pick!!!!!!

I read about this breed after I signed up Lucy and her family to make sure that I knew all I could before I started watching them; and I have to say Lucy is pretty normal 🙂  She spends her time hanging out watching her family play and playing with her brother, Huxley.  The story I have been told is that Lucy Beth came to visit as a foster and Mom nor Dad could find a good way to tell Huxley that she couldn’t stay.  So they adopted her and added her to the family!  Huxley is forever grateful and he and Lucy are inseparable.  All the dogs seem to love her but where you find Lucy, Huxley is not far behind 🙂

Her Mom told me her nickname is Sweet Pea and she is a calm and Zen dog.  That is another trait of Akbash dogs…they are very quiet but very observant.  Please don’t mistake that calmness for uncaring…Lucy would definitely fight if someone was attacking her family!

So Huxley is not the only defender in the family.  Turns out this pack is like Shrek described himself.  Ogres have layers like onions.  This family has a lot of layers!  That is all for now, stay tuned for the last member of the family, Josephine, to be profiled.  Peace, Love and Paws!

 

Drum roll, Please…Huxley the Hero!!!!!!

Okay, so it has been a CRAZY month plavix pill.  Some things really took my attention away from my blog for a minute but I am back from the asylum!crazy train

Hi all, Amanda here.  I would like to finish off July by writing a little about the rest of the pack from the family of the month.  Now, I know it is August and I am a week or so behind.  Please, Dear Readers, be understanding!  I will be announcing the family of the Month for September in a few weeks but think it is only fair that I spend a little more time with this family!

So, what can I say about Huxley?  Huxley under the stairsTo start, he is the only brother in a pack with 4 sisters.  Good thing they go to the bathroom outside…can you imagine?!  Just kidding.  Seriously, though…he most certainly makes sure his sisters are all good.  He is the most Regal-looking German Shepard I have seen in a while.  His family calls him Batman because of his ears and perhaps that is fitting as well.  I mean, Batman is a superhero who doesn’t rely on super powers to save the world.  He relies on a will of steel, smarts, and intimidation (among other things) to get his way; and he is a billionaire with education and poise when he isn’t fighting crime.  Yup, that’s Huxley!  Mia may be the General of the group, but Huxley is certainly the muscle.

In a few days I will talk about Lucy Beth, Huxley’s soul mate.  We will also talk about Josephine, who is Huxley’s other sister and may be a little mad that he loves Lucy more than her ?  Talk to you soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emergency, emergency…

This post was supposed to be about Lucy and Huxley, two of the wonderful pets in the Family of the Month.   However, something pretty serious happened and I feel the need to talk about it.  Don’t worry, Huxley and Lucy will be talked about either later in the week or next week at the latest 🙂

Hi all, Amanda here.  I have been pretty vocal about the fact that my brother had a pretty bad car accident over the weekend.  He was on his way to Florida when he crashed in North Carolina and he is still there.  He is alive (Thank you Lord!) but he has serious injuries to his back and I am not sure when he will return.  The whole situation is a lesson in patience…I had to wait to find out where he crashed and where they took him.  I had to wait to see what happened and what they would do to “fix” him.  Now I have to wait to see when he will be able to return to us and his home in Connecticut.  I had to wait.  I HATE TO WAIT!

But, Amanda, what does this have to do with Amanda’s Paw Pals?  I mean, this is a sad story…but doesn’t seem to have a point.  Is there a point?  Why, yes Dear Reader!

John is not only my brother, he is also a client.  He has 3 very loving and occasionally insane dogs.  Because his trip was an emergency and not as planned as he usually is, I had a difficult time fitting him into an already full schedule.  But he is an established client of ours,so we do our very best to figure out how to accommodate.  In this situation, Brian Nieves (pet sitter extraordinaire and Amanda’s son!) was scheduled to stay at the house and do overnights with the dogs until John returned.  John’s good friend cared for the dogs for the first few days and then Brian took over.  That was the plan, at least.  After John had his accident that all changed.  Today I made the decision to find some foster homes for the dogs until John can care for them himself.  Not all three, one of his dogs is a good sized German Shephard.  John is having back surgery and when he gets home he will have a hard time with her.  He won’t be able to walk her and putting her on her run will be a challenge.   Just the fear that he will be knocked over was enough for me to start looking.  Turns out I didn’t look far, his friend who cared for the dogs in the beginning of the week volunteered.  A call to John cemented the deal and now Ariel is hanging with her 🙂

With that out of the way and the other two safe with Brian, I started thinking about all of this.  This is the biggest reason for an emergency contact on my pet sitting service agreement.  And this is also why I ask for someone other than the person you are with.   If you are both in an accident, who do I call to make sure your animals will be cared for until you can return?

I keep openings in my schedule for emergencies and last minute bookings, but I don’t know how much long term I can do beyond a planned trip.  So anyway, that is all I needed to say.  Hug your pets and your loved ones!

🙂

 

Let’s talk about dogs!

Hi everyone, Amanda here.  I have the awesome task of making everyone who reads this blog understand how great the family of the month is.  I already know they are fantastic because I have the opportunity to interact with them often.  Their family knows they are outstanding for the same reason.  But you, dear readers, only have my word for it.  I can promise you, therefore, that none of the fur-friends featured in this blog are anything less than magnificent!

This week I am going to delve into the lives and loves of Mia and Tessa.  They are only a fraction of the whole of this family, but to use a phrase from a book I am reading, I am especially fond of them.  (For those of you who have never read The Shack by Wm. Paul Young, one of the main characters, Papa, says he is “especially fond of” everyone.  And I have to say, I have not met a pet I wasn’t especially fond of.  So I get that!)  But enough chatter, let’s get back to the focus of this blog!  I am going to start with Mia.

Mia is a Rottweiler mix who is approx. 4 years old.  She is one of the most lovable, expressive dogs!  Her family calls her “Sweet Face” or “Smiley.”  As a matter of fact, she was the star of another blog post called “The Death Stare.”  Her Mom told me she is The General, she keeps everyone else in line.  Isn’t that usually the way, the smallest of the bunch is the one everyone listens to?!  Besides staring at me (lol), Mia loves to play.  She will run continuously for a tennis ball and doesn’t relinquish it easily see it here.  Usually I can get a dog to drop the ball in their mouth by throwing another one (therefore I typically have at least two in my possession.)  Not Mia.  Mia will run (with the ball in her mouth) and pick up the other ball.  In her mouth.  With the other ball.  Let me say that again…WITH THE OTHER BALL IN HER MOUTH.  You think it is hard to get a dog to drop ONE ball?  Try two!  I am a quick learner and so I waited for her to drop the balls (she wanted to bury them under the deck) and never threw another ball until she had dropped the first one.   When Mia isn’t hording tennis balls with me, she loves to go on long walks and runs.  She recently has been put on the sidelines with an injury so she has had to spend more time keeping the others in line and less time keeping her Mom company on her runs.  I have not experienced this firsthand but her Mom tells me that if I take her swimming, she will love me forever ?

Tessa is Mia’s younger sister, by one year.  This Bernese Mountain Dog is a beauty!  Although she is not a rescue in the literal sense, I don’t think anyone would argue that being included in this fabulous family was not a rescue of sorts.  Sure, she could have been adopted by another family who would have loved her as much.  But she would not have the overwhelming love and support of THIS family.  Oh, and I think we can all agree that she hit the pet sitter lottery with me ?  Seriously though, this lovable goofball (Puppy Face is her nickname…very fitting!) makes me glad to know her every time I see her.  She lays on the porch and watches Mia get the ball or she leans on me and looks for some love.  I looked up why bernese mountain dogs lean a while ago and learned that it is just a way to get the love and affection they crave.  It is true, too; it is almost instinctual for me to stroke her fur and rub behind her ears when she sits on my feet and leans into me haha.  Sometimes Tessa will get the ball but I am convinced she really is just trying to passive-aggressively get it away from Mia ?  Mostly, she just wants to watch the fun from the sidelines (or my shoes lol.)

So that is all I can think about with these two gems.  There are a few more (3, to be exact!) in this family to talk about so watch for a couple more posts.  In the meantime, be safe and enjoy this gorgeous weather we are having.  Maybe you should take a daytrip and call Amanda’s Paw Pals (860-338-7135 or email at Amanda@amandaspawpals.com)

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to visit your fur family while you are gone!

Family of the Month for July!!!!!

Mia

Mia cooling down after some time in the heat!


July is upon us and so is the heat!  They are forecasting a heat wave over the next few days…great time to start a new running program, if I do say so myself.  (And I do…something about hot weather and cute little outfits makes me want to lose weight, go figure 🙂 )  Another really hot number in July is Tessa.  Oh, and Lucy.  And Josephine, AND Huxley!

Tessa

Tessa chilling inside!

Hi all, Amanda here.  This month’s family is a pack of 5.  All rescues and all fabulous!  This group has been our Pals for the 7 months or so and I am so glad to know them.  They are like typical siblings, wrestling and fighting when they are outside but snuggling together when they are inside.  

Lucy

Lucy likes the view from up on the stairs!


Huxley      Huxley likes the cool tile the best!

  Their parents are pretty awesome, too.  Not only have they opened their hearts and homes to these 4, they also foster one more…Josephine.  

Josephine

Josephine smiling for the camera!


So that is all for now.  I will post again with some individual attention in a few days, stay tuned!

Leo the Love

Hi All, Amanda here.  I have changed the format of Pet of The Month to include the whole fur-family this month (and future months).  There are two reasons for this change.  First of all, I have realized that being the pet of the month is an extreme honor but one that may be unattainable based on the number of applicants.  Another words, I could do pet of the week with all the pets and probably still not get everyone in a year!  The second reason was pointed out to me by this month’s winner (their Mom, of course.)  By asking for a little more information about each fur-family member, I am getting to know each animal a little better.  I mean, I know each animal pretty well after my pet sitting escapades with them; but I don’t ask about their life B.A. (Before Amanda).  Turns out they had a life before me!  Not as exciting, I am sure, but still…

leo

So let’s get back to Leo.  Leo is sharing the spotlight with his sister Brandi and his brother Rocky (postmortem 🙁 ).    I met Leo and his family in September of last year.  Leo’s Mom, Donna, answered an ad I have placed on Thumbtack for pet sitting and dog walking services.   I knew right away that I was going to love this family; Donna asked all the right questions and had all the right concerns.  Her first question was not, how much? It was how long would I stay?  Not that I hold it against anyone to ask how much it costs, that is one of the first answers I want to know myself!  I am sure that if I charged a crazy amount it wouldn’t really matter how long I was going to stay.  The point is, her first thought was how long the dogs would get to spend with me.  That makes me happy 🙂

 

When we met for the meet and greet, she had everything I could possibly need ready for me.  A bunch of the pet sitters I know email the agreement and client/pet contact info. ahead of time so that the meet and greet isn’t all about filling out the paperwork.  It streamlines it a bit so the focus can be more about seeing everything instead of answering tons of questions.  I have thought about doing that but as of now I don’t.  I really enjoy filling out the paperwork…it gives me a chance to talk to people about their pets and their home.  Plus, I am an auditory learner and I will remember (almost) everything when it is spoken to me.  Of course, Everything is entered into our database by me or Mary so I have access by my smartphone if I forget something, but I usually don’t.  It’s a Rainman kind of thing…haha.  A downside to not emailing the info ahead of time would be that sometimes a person thinks of something afterwards and has to call me to tell me.  Wait, that gives me more contact…not a downside actually!  And just like that first day, she has prepared for Leo’s debut.  I am going to copy and paste what she wrote about him because it is perfect!

leo adHere’s the ad that started it all 

Leo, has a bad case of those nasty heartworms but…..

Leo is  approx. 2 years old and heartworm positive.

Leo was lucky to have been pulled from

Jackson County Animal Shelter in the nick of time

He is a Labrador retriever, Tuxedo Great Dane mix.

When we were looking for a small dog for our daughter to take to Law school with her we came across Leo’s posting: I thought it would be a great idea to adopt him since I needed a running and hiking buddy and he needed a home. I fell in love first then found out he could not exercise for a few months because he was still recovering from heartworm treatments. He was rescued from the Jackson MS pound.  Luckily friends of Jacksonville fell in love with him, rescued him and he was brought him up North and treated his heartworm. The vet in Mississippi told me that the crushed skull you see in the picture is the result of being hit in the head with a 2×4 plank. I have no idea how someone can hurt an animal or human.  He is such a good dog. He has a lot of energy and love!  He got bossed around by our elderly pug and his sister Brandi rules the roost but he doesn’t care. She marches up and takes his toys right out of his mouth. He had lived outside loose in MS and had no leash training.  We worked on getting him to walk calmly on a leash and to pass by strange dogs without pulling, squealing and wanting to run and to play. Loose dogs in the parks have set us back a few times.  His greatest weapon is his tail! He wags it fast and furiously.  We’ve learned not to keep breakables at tail height. He loves hiking with us and running with me. His favorite time of the day is couch time.  He doesn’t bark unless he loses his toy under furniture or wants his walk.  He loves to fetch, learn new tricks and play tug of war.”

 

I did not know about Leo’s abusive and neglectful start, I only know him as the well trained and rambunctious dog that I love to visit.  I would never have guessed that Leo had anything less than a perfect beginning, he definitely doesn’t have any issues from his horrible experiences.  True of many dogs that are rescued, Leo seems to not hold it against humans that there are some truly disgusting people out there that would hurt an animal.   But, as Donna mentioned above, a lot of training and loving went into making Leo the dog I know today.  He is a lucky boy to be found by his family (but I have no doubt that they feel just as lucky!)  And I, also, feel this luck that his Mom found me!

So that is all for now about Leo.  His Mom gave me some pictures, too; I will be posting them throughout the week on Facebook and Instagram so keep an eye out!

Who are you, Amanda Krom?!

Hi all, Amanda here.  To continue on my “getting to know you” blog series I am going to write a little blurb about my past and what lead me to this point.  I am in a really great place with Amanda’s Paw Pals but starting a dog walking and pet sitting business was not where I started.

I started out at Brandford Hall.  I loved school and was at the head of my class.  I graduated with a certificate in Computer Repair and Networking, and was A+ Certified with the state of Connecticut shortly after.  I hit the ground running and I applied at every job I qualified for (and a few I did not!)  Unfortunately, the world wasn’t ready for my awesomeness and amazing skills and so I didn’t get a job in the Computer field.  I was pretty sad and desperate.

My friend Brenda owns a pet sitting company, Getaway Friends, LLC. in Essex.  She called and asked me to cover vacation time for her sitters while I continued to look for a job.  The LAST  thing I wanted to do was walk dogs in the heat of the summer, but I needed a job.  Money spends the same in the heat as it does in the cold and I like to spend money ? So…walking dogs won.  I reluctantly went to her house to pick up keys and for me to shadow her on a few jobs.

Our first job was the most adorable tan cocker spaniel I had ever seen.  His name was Aspen and he was so sweet.  Aspen went out and walked around in the yard, sniffing and scratching.  He did his business, Brenda brought him in and gave him a treat, and we were on our way.  That was so easy and fun!  Maybe this pet sitting thing wouldn’t be too bad.  We went and did a few more jobs that day and the next.   Brenda proclaimed that I was trained and gave me my own assignments.  I am pretty sure she went and checked on me after I finished my first few solo jobs but that was okay.  I was really loving the job and did my best to be perfect at it.  There were days when I wasn’t sure what I got myself into (like the day the UPS driver ripped down the dog’s run when he was backing out of the driveway and didn’t notice…I got there to a dog that was tied to a wire on the ground!  Or the times the dog had pooped in the house because she was anxious about being home alone…) but most days I felt like I had fallen asleep and woken up in my best life ever.

That was in 2002.  I was an Independent Contractor for Brenda and another local pet sitting company, Executive Pet Sitting. for a little less than a year before deciding to start my own company.  Brenda and Joan ( Executive Pet Sitting) were very instrumental in helping me to successfully get going.  I joined a few different pet sitting groups and got insured and bonded find more info.  Things have not always been perfect and I have not always been able to work at only Amanda’s Paw Pals; but it is my company and I love it.  If I had to do it again, I would.  HAPPILY.

 

Amanda’s Paw Pals is Pet First Aid Certified

Hi everyone, Amanda here.  Last week I said I was going to start a series of “get to know you” blofirst aidg posts.  I mentioned that the first one would be on the fact that a good pet sitter is Pet First Aid certified.  Amanda’s Paw Pals is…I am, Brian is, even the office manager, Mary, is.  Being Pet First Aid certified is
only one of the ways we stay above the competition click to read more.  We are also members of several pet sitting groups and organizations, but that is another blog post.:)

Back to Pet First Aid.  Why is it necessary?  The easy answer is, so we know what to look for when we are caring for your precious pets.  There are so many things that can go unnoticed…your dog or cat seems to be drinking more water than usual, maybe there is a slight limp when we are walking.  Being trained gives Amanda’s Paw Pals an edge because we are automatically watching for just those types of things.  It is scary to think about accidents happening to your pets but it should put your mind at ease to know that they are in the best hands possible with Amanda’s Paw Pals.

Pet first aid trains us in burns, cuts, punctures, and bites.  We know when to wrap a wound and when to put pressure on it. If Fido starts choking, we are educated in handling that as well.  We can administer CPR if needed.  We all have a Pet First Aid app on our smartphones and an emergency kit in our vehicles.  Most importantly, we know when to head to the vets (hint…almost always!).  I guess the most important thing is that we know to stay calm in the case of an emergency.  Having the knowledge learned in our First Aid class gives us the confidence to take any and every situation with a deep breath and a cool head.

Taking a class is just one of many steps needed.  We also subscribe to the American Animal Hospital Association (http://www.aaha.org) and Vetstreet (http://www.vetstreet.com) newsletters.  We try and stay current with any changes that come across and any helpful hints from other experts.  All in all, we do our best to be the most qualified person you could leave your precious fur-family with!

How did you meet your fur-friend?

I saw that on a headline and my curiosity got the best of me.  Hi there, Amanda here.  So, I will ask again.  How did you meet your fur-friend?

I met my Lucy at a pet store.  I had every intention of rescuing a pet and had gone to several adoption events looking for “the one” to no avail.  I was scoping petfinder.com everyday, sometimes more than once a day.  Feeling defeated and hopeless after yet another adoption event that didn’t have my fur-soul mate, I stopped at the pet store to get food for my turtles and, of course, I looked at the pets.

Cute little rabbits, furry little guinea pigs, quick and crafty mice.  Over in the other corner are the loud and colorful birds.  Maybe I will get a parrot…  I walk over to an enormous red bird and start to read the information sheet in front of her.  She is observing me while I am reading, cocking her head from side to side and clucking.  She is very beautiful, but I just don’t see it.  I can’t see myself sitting on the couch watching a show with my parrot on my shoulder or throwing a ball with my fine, feathered friend.  Nope, not a bird.

I went to the back to see the kitties and I heard a quiet little bark.  The girl who worked there was holding a tiny, white ball of fur.  A squirmy, very-unhappy-about-being-contained, ball of fur.  “That dog is cute, what is it?” I asked the clerk.  She was telling me the dog was a jack Russell puppy from a breeder in New London.  I was trying to be non chalant but I was shaking inside.  THAT WAS MY SOUL MATE!!!!   I tried to remain cool as I asked about my future companion.  “So, how old is he?”

“She is 12 weeks old.  She has been here for a while.”

I say, “Well she is very cute.” and the clerk replies with, “Yeah.  Everyone thinks she’s cute.  Except nobody wants her.”  She puts the puppy back inside the puppy area and goes over to another part of the store.  I play with this puppy for a little while, go get my turtle food, and leave the store.  I am in my car, seatbelt on and key in the ignition, when I make a decision.  I am not going home without my dog!

I walk back into the store and say to the girl, “I want her.”  She looks up at me, remembers our conversation, and goes to get my love.  She hands me the dog and we go over to the counter to fill out paperwork.  I am standing there, holding someone who has already become one of the most important people in my life in the last 5 minutes, and I am suddenly crying.  I hug my little girl, take a deep breath and pull myself together.  So much emotion!!  The pet store woman asks me what I will name her and I don’t have an answer.  I had always said my next pet would be named Annabel Lee (after the poem by Edgar Allen Poe) but it didn’t fit this lovely lady.  “What would you name her?” I asked my new friend, the store clerk.  “We have been calling her Lucy,” she responded.   “Well, then Lucy she will stay, ” I decided.  I bought Lucy a purple collar and we went home together.  After we took a selfie in the car, of course 🙂

That was two years ago.  And it is true–my Lucy has filled my life with so much love and affection that I can’t believe it took me so long to meet her.  Not always so much love and affection as chaos and destruction…someone once called their dog (also Lucy) Lucy Furr, and that name has really stuck.  Most days she is just Lucy, though LOL!

So that is how I met the love of my life.  I would love to hear other stories about how you found your fur soul mates!  Leave me some comments and tell me your tales!!!

20140510_150247_Android 3

Amanda & Lucy, Parking lot of pet store 🙂