Navigation

Tick-nado hitting CT this year!

It has been a long time since I blogged and for that, Dear Reader, I apologize.  I have no excuse–I got busy with life 🙁  Hi all, Amanda here.  Today we are going to talk about something , that everyone is hoping for–warm weather.  Now I know that wishing it won’t make it so but I can try!!!  Warm weather means a lot of great things…short sleeves, flip flops for some (still too cold for me!) and windows open.  Fresh air and lovely walks in the sunshine.  It also means some not so great things–bugs!  More specifically, ticks.

 

We have had a really great winter as far as things go–it was warm most days.  We had some snow here and there but for the most part it has been mild.  Even though that has been great for your local pet sitter (thank you very much!) it turns out it has been a growing season for ticks.  Worse than that, Lyme disease ticks!  

 

Fear not, Dear Reader.  Let’s just be blunt–you have to be vigilant.  You have to check your dogs (and yourself!!!) when you come in from outdoors.  It takes about 12 hours to transmit Lyme disease so when ever you are in an area that is a known tick spot (high grass, lots of trees, etc.) just be quick to check Fido for ticks.  And for our feline friends–you aren’t off the hook.  Even though your friend probably didn’t go on a hike with you, they are still a carrier.  Check yourself.

 

Just because ticks are going crazy this year doesn’t mean that you can’t go on hikes with your furry friend(s.)  Just be careful!  Also worth noting–dogs don’t get the bullseye ring that humans get so please don’t wait for that!  If your dog seems off–bring him/her to the vet.

Below is a link to an article about the tick problems this year.  Not to scare anyone…just want you to be aware!

http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Shaping-up-to-be-a-bad-season-for-ticks-11027659.php

Be safe, my friends!  Enjoy your walks and the soon-to-be warmer weather 🙂

 

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!

 

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!

Last installment of All About Amanda

Don’t cry, I am still here!  Haha, Amanda here.  I am wrapping up my “all about me” series with a personal note.  I have been wracking my brain trying to think about what else a person would want to know about me and my fantastic business, Amanda’s Paw Pals.  My office manager (and very best friend) Mary said I should tell you all about how I feel about running Amanda’s Paw Pals as my main source of income.  2016-06-07 12.25.56

Not everyone knows this, but up until last August I was what I would call a “hobbyist Pet Sitter.”  I put my heart and soul into my business, but only part time.  I worked full time at Young Horizons daycare center and also went to school online to get an Associates Degree in Early Childhood Ed. and a Bachelors Degree in Library and Media Science.  Turns out I liked going to school better than actually working in the field, but no education is wasted.  I also have a certificate in Grooming, a certificate in Computer Networking and Repair, and I am A+ Certified in the state of Connecticut!  I am a full-fledged career hopper 🙂

I loved everything I have tried and everywhere I have worked.  But not enough to see myself doing it forever.  The one thing I can see doing forever is being a pet sitter.  Too bad I didn’t come to that thought sooner, Sally Mae lives in the guest bedroom upstairs and won’t leave until my student loans are paid LOL!

But seriously, being a professional pet sitter is like a dream come true for me.  I get to see so many smiling faces every day that it is nearly impossible for me to get down.  What is a better antidepressant than a cat rubbing against your legs or a dog bringing you their favorite toy to play with?!

There is more to being a pet sitter than just playing with animals all day.  I also have to keep up to date on all the different ways animals behave.  I am always listening to podcasts and webinars about my craft.  There are no formal licenses needed to be a professional pet sitter, but someone who doesn’t hold insurance, bonding and some other credentials doesn’t have to be the only choice anymore.  Most of the professionals I know are just like me, keeping current on the changing world of pets.

Also, my favorite part besides the actual work, is marketing.  A serious professional is marketing themselves any way they can.  Staying visible in the community (helping with drives, volunteering, working at festivals, whatever is needed in your area!), hanging flyers in all the local bulletin boards, and posting on social media are just a few ways to market.  I have also found that handing out business cards to strangers is helpful…but I am not really good at that part.  I usually don’t want to intrude if you are just taking a nice walk with your dog or something!  I always have cards on me, though; feel free to ask for one!

winter is comingAs far as having this be my only income, being self-employed is a double edged sword a lot of the time.  You have the freedom to “be your own boss” and “make your own hours”, but also have the fear of not paying your rent or cell phone bill when business is slow.  It is scary sometimes but I am fortunate.  I live with my Mom so I never worry about being evicted.  Verizon Wireless is not as sweet and lovely when I am late on my bills, but thankfully I make enough to have that covered 🙂  The pet care business has ups and downs, not unlike most businesses, and I plan accordingly.  You will not find me crazy because I overbooked myself out of fear of the long winter.  That being said, I always say you should book your pet sitter as early as possible so they will be able to guarantee you placement.  I made a budget of sorts when I first started out that gives me a “poverty line” and a “maximum visits” line.  The poverty line is more for my own peace of mind.  When things are not going well, I add up my visits for the week.  As long as I am above the poverty line (and I usually am) I don’t worry.  The maximum visits line is to keep my current customers happy and satisfied.  Once I reach that line, I no longer take vacations or new clients.  I still have several spots left per day but they are reserved for my current rock star clients who want to go out to dinner straight from work or who find themselves with last minute plans.  I can’t always say yes, but once you are a current client you have a really good chance.  This also serves another purpose for me.  I can live off of the money I will make between both of these lines.  Therefore, I never make myself crazy or overloaded with visits because I know exactly what I can handle.  Burnout is an unfortunate side effect of self employment and I am hoping to have found the way around that.  Also, overloaded people tend to cut corners to get through.  I will not cut corners or shorten visits!  You will always get what you paid for with Amanda’s Paw Pals.  I feel like I am running for office haha 🙂

I am one of many professional pet sitters in my area but I would like to think I stand out.  When you see me in line at the grocery store, feel free to ask me about Amanda’s Paw Pals.  I always have a company shirt on and talking about my job is my favorite thing to do.  You won’t be sorry if you call me, either.  I may not answer (I try to only answer when I can give you my full attention so leave a message and I will call you back when I can do that…within 24 hours.)  I return phone calls after 6 pm usually, sometimes after 2 pm if you call early enough in the morning.  The other way to reach me is by Facebook or my website.

So there you have it.  A blurb about me, Amanda Krom.  I hope you reach out and contact me.  You won’t be sorry and your fur-family will love you forever!2016-05-10 13.13.13

 

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!

Presenting…Amanda’s Paw Pals!

Hi all, Amanda here.  I recently did an interview with Ray Anderson, The Dog Walker.  He has been rudogwalker podcastnning a podcast called, “How to start and operate a dog walking and pet sitting business” and it is located at The Dog Walker Podcast.  This podcast is designed to help people who are trying to decide to get into this field, or who have already made the leap (like me) and just want to stay fresh and current.    As a side note, Ray also owns his own pet sitting business, Christine’s Pets, out of Virginia.  What that means for me is that he has insider knowledge of what it means to be a pet sitter; he understands why I carry an empty water jug and pee pee pads in my trunk, for example.  What that means for you is that he understands what customers want to know.  When he interviews other professionals, he doesn’t ask them pointless questions just to take up space in the interview.  I mean, truthfully.  Who cares what season I like to pet sit in or what my favorite thing is about pet sitting?  (I would hope you, my readers would care!  But that isn’t the point).  What a person listening to the podcast wants to know is how I handle difficult situations and how I work every day in every weather situation without flinching.  The people listening to this podcast are individuals who are trying to figure out a path in their careers and in their lives, and customers (future and current) of the guest speakers.  If they are going to take 20 minutes out of their time to listen (and I hope they do because it is fantastic!!!) it has to be worth that time.  Ray Anderson definitely delivers.

So back to the podcast.  Ray called me via Skype to do the interview.  We had to record it twice, there was a snafu with the first recording, and that was a surprising difficulty.  You see, The second copy was exactly like the first.  The same questions were posed to me.  I should just
give the same responses, right?  Except I didn’t always do that.  I know, weird.  Turns out that I felt like I was having a conversation with someone I had already talked to and I didn’t want to repeat myself!  I don’t know how he does it, or for that matter how anyone does this!  I am most thankful for the fact that it wasn’t on live. My answers in the first go were BRILLIANT usually.  Ray had emailed me the questions ahead of time and I actually went through and wrote out my responses.  A little extra work but then I knew I would sound precise and professional instead of stammering a lot of umms and uhhs.  I knew Ray would have edited as much of the stalling and lost air out but I didn’t want it to be there in the first place.  After a few questions, I was able to snap out of it and just give the polished answers that I had worked on previously.   I still fretted over it for the few weeks before the podcast was released, but it was fine.  I should not have had any doubts!

The whole experience got me thinking that maybe my customers would like to know more about me and about Amanda’s Paw Pals in general.  So this pod
cast
(which I hope you take the 20 min. to listen to, it is really good!) is a stepping stone into a series on Amanda’s Paw Pals and what we can do for you.  Next week, we will explore what being Pet First Aide certified means and why I make sure it is on the top of my list (and should be on the top of your list when you are looking to hire a professional to care for your pets!)

And just for the record, I love the Spring for pet sitting best because it isn’t cold but it isn’t so hot that I am not enjoying the outside.  The animals are all returning from their winter hideouts and are preparing for summer.  The birds are singing and the air is sweet.  I don’t have allergies so the pollen is not a problem at all.  And my favorite thing about pet sitting is when I come into a house and get rushed by a dog who hasn’t seen me in YEARS (or maybe it has been minutes, time is relevant!) and they just want to love me.  Who doesn’t love that?!

Be on the lookout for next week’s post and please send me a comment or write on my Facebook page if there is a question you have been wondering about.  I am answering questions that I think people might wonder but you, dear readers, can give me real questions.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Talk to you soon!

Awkward…Right?!

 

Hey there, Happy Friday!  Amanda here ?  I recently had a few different meet and greets and realized that I am SO awkward when I talk on the phone!  I don’t know why that is for sure.   Do you ever feel that way when you hang up the phone or talk to a person?

I am brilliant at pet sitting and dog walking.  I am well educated in the field and I have so many different ideas and skills when it comes to keeping my current and future customers happy.  I am very informational and lovely in email and text conversations.  I am fabulous in face-to-face meets.  But get me on the phone, and I become a different person entirely!  I struggle to find words to say.  I stumble through my thoughts and I can’t remember the basic information (such as prices of visits) that I can prattle off in my sleep!  I sound incompetent and inept even though I am far from it.  Easy questions seem to catch me off guard and cause me to hesitate in the flow of the conversation plavix tablet.  Why?  WHY?!

I know how important a knowledgeable person is to speak to on the phone.  I know that first impressions are the most important (right or wrong!).  I have absolutely been on the phone with someone who didn’t seem to have a clue and felt like maybe I picked the wrong company to handle my needs.  So having a phone conversation with someone where I may or may not seem to know what the heck I am talking about is pretty huge.  Or as Donald Trump would say, “HHUUUGGEEE!!!”   This is definitely something that I need help with.  I can’t go on stumbling through life awkwardly and I don’t want to lose out on meeting some amazing clients (two and four legged!) because I didn’t make the right first impression.

One of my advisors told me to make a list of questions a person may ask me on the phone and answer it on paper.  Not so I can be reading off a script when a person calls; but writing down some questions and answering them when I have time to calmly reflect on my responses will go a long way in settling my nerves about the phone.  I believe it is a strength to talk to a live person who has answers in this world instead of the automated systems that have invaded our telephones, so this is a must for Amanda’s Paw Pals.  She also told me I needed to elaborate a little in my responses after a quick Q & A session we had where she pretended to be an interested pet owner looking to see if Amanda’s Paw Pals would be a good fit.  It was very helpful to do that with her but we struggled to come up with questions.  Here, dear readers, is where you come in.  Can anyone think of questions they would ask me about Amanda’s Paw Pals when they first reached out to me? We covered the basic questions, what are your rates?  What is the amount of time you spend on a visit?  Are you insured and bonded?  I know there are more questions out there! I am going to collect a list and answer them in a thoughtful and informational manner like my friend advised.  Once I have done that, I will remember my thoughts when the question is posed to me again and I will be able to respond with ease and confidence.  It seems like a lot of trouble to go through but nothing easy is worth having, am I right?!

So please, leave me a question or two in the comment section.  Let’s see if you can come up with questions that will be thought provoking for Amanda’s Paw Pals.  I know you have them…this is the perfect chance to get them out!

Flea Circus

Hi all, Amanda here 🙂  It has been so fantastic lately, warm weather and nice breezes.  Rain, but even that is good.  We need to feed the grass and trees so they can grow.  Unfortunately, it isn’t only great weather that is here.  Bugs.  Let me say that again.  BUGS!

Bugs are another part of life that is actually needed.  Bugs help pollinate the flowers and the trees, not to mention eating other bugs.  Oh, and what about some unsung heroes like the dung beetle who eat the waste the animals leave behind?  Gross but true; there are bugs out there whos sole mission in life is to eat the stuff left behind.  Spiders are, of course, another story.  I think their sole purpose in life is to terrorize unsuspecting pet sitters like me when they are trying to finally fall asleep.  Nothing like looking up on the ceiling and seeing eight legs scurrying across over your head to wake you up!!!!!

Bugs, not unlike most things, have downsides as well.  Specifically to this post, fleas and ticks can carry diseases and can cause illness for your pets.  Although I think eradicating bugs off the face of the Earth would be a mistake, erasing fleas and ticks from your life is not.  That brings up another question that has plagued dog and cat owners for a long time, what to use?!flea circus

There are several options available as of today to guard your pets from these pests.  There are homeopathic solutions such as raw garlic, brewers yeast, rubbing raw lemons on the fur of the animal before going out, and many others that I don’t even know about!  There are cards you can attach to the collar with a magnetic strip that causes a barrier of “earth energy” around the dog or cat to repel insects.  In other words, this barrier has been developed to cause a “do not fly zone” that bugs will adhere to.  The newest thing I have seen is a beacon of sorts that clips to the animal’s collar and emits ultrasonic waves that repel bugs.

A person can also go the traditional route and use once a month treatments.  There are several that have to be applied topically to the back of an animal’s neck or given to the animal to be digested.  The key with these is to apply them to the skin (careful not to put too much on the fur) and to give them or apply them on the same day every month.

Along the same line, there are new collars out that give the pet constant  doses of the above type treatments but don’t have to be applied every month.  Every 8 to 10 months the collars have to be replaced.  And speaking of collars, let’s not forget about good old fashioned flea and tick collars.  You know, those white collars that you cut to fit on your animal?!

I am sure I am forgetting something but that is not the point.  The point is, there are a bunch of options available for pet owners and really no excuse not to use something.  There is no reason for an animal to spend the bug season unprotected.  I can’t say which options work and which options don’t work, but pet owners have to at least try something!    One thing I do know is that it is so much easier to prevent an outbreak of fleas than it is to get rid of them once they have arrived in your home!

 

Free Meet and Greet

Hi there, Amanda here.  Have you ever wondered what is happening in the pet sitter’s mind when they come to your house for a meet and greet?  I mean, think about it.  If you have interviewed a pet sitter (Amanda’s Paw Pals is a really great pet sitting company!  You should call them!) you might not notice what is going on; but that pet sitter is “reading between the lines.”  Or, hopefully they are!  Did I mention that Amanda’s Paw Pals Pet Sitters do this?!

I am going to assume that you have called Amanda’s Paw Pals and I am coming to your home for a free meet and greet.  We have an appointment set up and you have made a list of questions to ask me.  Am I insured and bonded?  (Yes.)  How long have I been in business?  (almost 13 years!)  Do you have any references that you can give me?  (Of course!)  You may ask me about my experience, about my credentials (am I a member of any pet sitting institutions?) or my education in the field.  (Pet CPR certified.)  You may have questions about when I started and why I continued pet sitting.  (For answers to all these questions and more, call Amanda’s Paw Palsdog sitting in an easy chair at 860-338-7135).

Now here is what I am doing when I come to your home to meet you and your pet(s).  I am not trying to be devious at all but I am definitely trying to glean some information on my visit.   This is my chance to figure out if your pets are going to love me as much as they love you.  I am truly hoping they do 🙂

The very first thing I do when I walk in the door is shake your hand.  Seems like a professional way to begin an interview (and it is!) but that is not why I do it.  What I am doing is transferring your scent onto my hand.  Then when your dog or cat smells me, they have your scent mingling with mine.  It usually puts them at ease and helps me to see their true selves, not the anxious, stranger-is-in-the-house-what-do-I-do self!

After we have formally met, I will try and steer the party to the kitchen table or another surface where I can fill out the contract I have brought.  While I am asking you questions, I am watching out of the corner of my eye what your pet is doing.  Is he or she sitting on the edge of the couch so he can be above me?  Is she laying on the floor with her tail tucked between her legs?  Sometimes I think people think I am uninterested in getting to know their fur families but nothing could be farther from the truth.  I don’t typically approach your dog or get in their face.  I will often let a cat come to me for affection rather than trying to get them to play with me.  Your pets will come to me when they have decided that I am not a threat, trying to force them to “friend me” before they are ready will just make it harder for me to win them over later.

I definitely don’t try to presume to know everything and I learn new things about new pets every day.  I learn the most about interesting things about pets from their owners.  I have said it before and I will say it again, pet owners know their pets better than anyone else knows their pets!  My hope is, when meeting every fur family, that I will find a new fur BFF to hang with and love.  After all, is there anything better?!

Insurance Fun Facts

Hi, Amanda here 🙂  I have to be honest, I don’t think there is anything fun about insurance; let alone fun facts.   But, I like the alliteration of it all!

A question was posed to me recently about insuranceone of the “clauses” in the legal section of my contract and I was caught off guard.  I didn’t know how to answer the question and, truth be told, had never even thought about it.  I have had the same contract since I began my business in May of 2003.  I purchased the contract from a reputable web site because all the legal leg work had already been done and I was able to adjust the questions to fit my needs.  Of course, I didn’t really know what those needs were yet (LOL) but I knew I would soon figure it out.  (I did.  I am pretty sure I have changed the questions on that contract at least 3 times a year for the last 12 years!)  I read over the legal portion and that was that.  I understood everything and nothing seemed out of sorts.  I purchased pet sitting insurance soon after that and even though some of the parts of the contract were probably already covered in the insurance, I left it all as is.  A lawyer wrote it up so who am I to start monkeying with it, right?!

The question that was posed to me was why there was a section that said any physical harm done to the pet sitter (i.e. a dog bite) was the responsibility of the client.  That should be covered under my pet sitting insurance, should it not?  Does anyone else hear the sound of the ocean in my empty head?!  I shooed away the seagulls and told the client I would research that question and get back to them.

My first stop was my pet sitting insurance company’s website.    I started to hit the tab for contacting them and decided to look on the FAQ page first.  It turns out that it is not the out of the blue question I thought it was!  Under the heading “What isn’t covered?” (Duh?!)  The answer was right there in black and white.  My pet sitting insurance does cover medical expenses acquired (up to $5,000) by someone OTHER than the pet sitter.  An example they give is if a pet sitter is walking a dog down the street and the dog bites a passerby, Amanda’s Paw Pals pet insurance policy will cover their medical bills.  Good to know, makes sense.  So surely it would cover the pet sitter if she or he gets bit?  That clause in the contract (along with others, I am sure!) is redundant and can be taken out.

Nope.  It very specifically states that it will not cover medical expenses for the policy holder.  The pet sitting insurance is considered general liability insurance and that type of injury would fall under workman’s compensation insurance.  Many states have laws about how much insurance a company must have and Connecticut is no different.  As a sole proprietorship, I am exempt from being required to hold workman’s compensation insurance.  Good for me, I can’t really afford it anyway.  Right?!  Unless a dog bites me while I am working and I have to pay out of pocket for my medical expenses.  I wonder if my personal insurance would cover that or if it would be something they would deny paying as well because it falls under “workman’s comp.”  That question, I am embarrassed to say, is still floating around in my head.  As soon as I am finished with this blog, I will find out!  I think the safest thing for me to do at this moment would be to look into a health care savings account.  That way, if it isn’t covered under my personal policy I can just pay for it.  I have actually been toying with the idea of a health care savings account anyway.  And anyway, I am pretty good at reading animals (knock on wood) and I don’t accept jobs if I have even the slightest reservations; so I am not overly concerned that this kind of problem would ever even come up.

I took that clause out of the contract and moved on with my day.  There is such a thing as being TOO concerned with insurance issues.  I mean, I could get hit by a bus crossing the street and all the insurance in the world wouldn’t help me.  I started this business because I wanted a less-stressful life and career so I don’t want to get worked up over “what-ifs” in the future.  Call me crazy, but I don’t have time for all that drama.  Ain’t nobody got time for that drama!!