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Archive for the ‘Blog-Adventures In Pet Sitting’ Category

Keho (spelling?)My husband and I have lived in Old Town for 5 years now and while we love the concerts and movies in the park and make a point of walking the classic car shows, we wait all year long for FIESTA. We plan our other vacations around it and we expect our friends, families and neighbors to do the same. We are lucky to have an ideal location for all the festivities. We can listen to the band at the end of the block while we scarf down the cholesterol-laden calorie feasts known as "fair food". Then, at our leisure, we stroll down the boulevard perusing the booths. It takes us a long time to get to the other end of the fair because I have one weakness even greater than funnel cake...Fiesta Dogs. Camarillo, Old Town in particular, is very very pet friendly. Everyone brings their dogs to Fiesta. It's fantastic. Even in the beer garden I see dogs. Here are just a few of the dogs of Fiesta Izzy (Instagramed)Bubba"Cadillac" behind bars at the beer garden

Hot Dog

Zoey

Fiesta Dog

"Daisy" (adorable name)

Old Town Locals

Doggy In A Cooler

My husband and I are leaving for a few days on the Colorado River, sans our dogs.  Chihuahuas aren’t exactly a hardy breed and bringing them wouldn’t be best for them.  In making plans for the trip I made the usual lists:  food, ask the neighbors to check on the house, haul out the camping supplies and hot weather clothes…all check.  Make reservation with our fab petsitter…not so much.  SHE’S MOVING TO IDAHO.  Totally devastated.  The Girls L-O-V-E  Shannon and her pets.  I leave them there knowing that, sadly for me, they barely miss me.

I’m a big believer in referrals.  I can’t even imagine going online and picking a petsitter off Google results.  Kinda funny, ’cause that’s how I make my living.  I never really even thought about it because I know me and I’m the exact petsitter I would want for my pets.  I’m also a very big believer in listening to your instincts.  That’s how I chose our petsitter and it could not have worked out better.  We met her once and knew instantly she was exactly what we needed.  And she was.  And now she’s in Idaho. 

Leaving the dogs with a pet sitter was a big deal for me.  I had always travelled  with my dogs and when I got married, we still took them everywhere.  I did, however, marry a (wonderful) man with a gigantic family, all of whom live on the other side of the country.  The first time we took them with us they handled the cross-country, multiple flight trip better than we did.  They are a couple of pretty old broads now and flying across the country doesn’t seem like the best idea for them.  I called other pet sitters and our wonderful neighbors offered to even let them stay with them.  None of it felt exactly right.  I finally got a referral from a friend and I feel good about leaving the babies with her. 

When you can, take them with you.  When you can’t trust your gut.

A new badge :  

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So I go to my favorite design blog and I notice that they have a new category about…wait for it…………………..DOGS.   Actually, it’s about pets in general, but mostly dogs.  It’s a site I go to mainly for inspiration because I couldn’t in my wildest dreams afford anything I see on there and that includes almost every single thing I’m about to blog about. 

 Now I’m for sure a crazy pet lover who spends what it takes to make sure my babies are happy and more importantly, healthy.  Then there are the “luxe” products I see and dream of.  I always ask myself, if money were no object would I seriously buy these things?  And if I did, would I be consumed with guilt?  Could I watch my pets enjoying these luxuries and not think about how many children could be fed, clothed and/or educated with that same amount of money?  Since money is an object I don’t know for sure, but a girl can dream…             CONTINUED AFTER THE JUMP   

    

In truth, I would absolutely at least attempt to DIY these things.  It’s who I am.  We recently moved into a home with the ugliest light fixtures I’ve seen in a while, and believe me sister, I’ve seen some.  I’m a fairly savvy bargain shopper and the lowest priced drum shade  I could find in the size we needed with was about $70.  I was prepared to pay that $70 until I saw close-up photos of the fixtures I could afford.  A little voice inside whispered “I can make that”.  It’s no good ignoring that whisper, until I at least give it a shot.   All I can think of is making that gosh darn thing.  As it turns out, I could make that drum shade.  And I did.  For $13.    And it looks fantastic.  So I look at that ridiculously priced, fabulous mid-century modern looking dog  bed and off in the distance I hear a whisper…

Brothers Frank & Andy

Whiskers would like to introduce our newest clients, brothers,  Frank and Andy.  Two of the most adorable orange Tabby’s you could ever meet.  I only got to spend 4 visits with the Boys but every minute was a pleasure.  They were impossible for me to tell apart except by temperment…Andy met me at the door, was the perfect host from day 1 and gave me grief (he’s very vocal) the day I was a little bit late.  Frank stalked me the first day, but warmed up enough to let me pick him up.  By the second day, both kitties would sit side-by-side and watch me prepare their meals.  Ever noticed how cats love to watch us pitiful humans perform menial tasks for them?  Andy never missed a minute of me cleaning the litter box…from up high on the cat condo.  Cats!

Last week Whiskers welcomed two of its newest friends, and in another Whisker’s first….they don’t have Whiskers. Or fur.  They are both Sphynx cats.  I had never seen one except in pictures so I was looking forward to meeting them.  Pictures do not do them justice.  They are the coolest-looking animals I have ever seen.  And super soft, which I totally didn’t expect. 

Their names are S.A. and Pickles and they look like living art.  This breed is a result of a genetic anomaly that occurred in the 60’s in Canada.  The breed became unexpectedly popular amongst cat owners.  In my research about the Sphynx cat I did come across an unexpected and truly disturbing trend (seriously, who even thinks of these things?) of tatooing these animals.  I wouldn’t even consider including pictures of this sick and disgusting practice in this post because no human with any compassion at all would even consider doing this.  I made a point of not tagging any images or search words in this post that might further encourage such a total lack of judgement and intelligence. 

I am very pleased and happy to welcome S.A. and little Pickles to our merry band of Friends With (and without) Whiskers  :+)

St. Bubba’s Day!

I just love holidays that involve food, booze, friends and you don’t require houseguests for any period of time.  Enter St. Patty’s Day.  And to give it an extra special boost, my husband is Irish and, wait for it….Irish.  AND it’s finally on a Saturday.  Another fun aspect of any holiday is the opportunity to put silly hats, costumes and accessories on our pets. 

Pictured here is Bubba.  Bubba has the patience of a saint.  A saint named Patrick 🙂

valentine-doggie-doggy-treatsCatnip on Valentine's Day...Priceless

No one will ever accuse me of being a romantic, I think Valentine’s Day is the silliest occasion ever.  Notice I said occasion, not holiday.  It’s not a real holiday, it’s an homage to capitalism.  If your 1/2 of a couple you’re under pressure to have a perfect romantic gift and dinner and…well, whatever.  If you’re single, even if you’re happy being single like I was for years, you feel inadequate for not being 1/2 of a couple.  So silly.

On the other hand, any occasion/holiday is an opportunity to craft.  And I did.  I made a really fun crafty gift for my husband that he absolutely loved, he even got “misty”.  A handmade gift is always the very best, don’t you think?  I spent February 13th baking and sewing.  Baking is usually something I detest but this was an ideal opportunity, making treats for my canine clients.  What are they gonna do, complain?  Plus, the recipe was shockingly simple and I found adorable cookie cutters on sale at Michael’s Crafts.  Sewing I’m more comfortable with.  Found felt squares the exact color of the Whiskers Camarillo logo and already had organic catnip left over from another recent kitty craft.  I hope all of my clients and their humans had a great Valentine’s Day even if they chose to ignore the occasion altogether :+)

Bob The Snake

Superbowl….ah, Superbowl.  My team didn’t even make the playoffs but that doesn’t diminish my joy of the pomp and circumstance that is Superbowl.  I had a client early in the day whose parents were nice enough to leave Animal Planet on for him while they are gone and he was able to watch Puppy Bowl VIII.  Then back home so we could prepare our dish for the party (and when I say “we” I mean my fabulous husband).  Then off to the festivities!

First of all, the food….FANTASTIC!  Lots of people, kids, and of course televisions.  The pre-game festivities were kind of a let down because Phllip Rivers didn’t win the Walter Payton NFL Man Of The Year award.  Then the game.  I was pulling for the Giants, love Tom Coughlin and Eli.  There was some anxiety about Madonna’s halftime show but having been a teen in the 80’s, I shouldn’t have worried.  Girl rocked the halftime!  Of course the main attraction was the game.  What a game.  Seriously, What A Game!!!!!!  Towards the end of  the fourth quarter it was brought to my attention that if the scored remained the same I would be the lucky recipient of $500.  The score remained the same : ) 

Oh, I almost forgot about Bob the Snake.  One thing I love about going to friends’ home is their animals.  This hosting family had just one pet, that’s right…Bob the Snake.  Bob is a medium-sized King snake and very handsome.  I’m not sure where snakes got such a bad reputation.  My first pet ever was a snake.  His name was Horatio, he was a baby boa constrictor and cute as a button.  All holidays should be about fun, friends and food and Superbowl is no exception.

Last week I got a head cold.  Classic sneezy, headache, alternately stuffy and runny nose.  I consider myself unbelievably lucky to be able to take a day or two off work without any financial hardship, which is good because I did absolutely nothing Sunday and Monday except sleep.  My husband had to go into the office so it was just me and The Girls.  When I’m sick or upset my dog Scooty always knows and always comes to comfort me.  If I cry she presses the side of her face against the side of my face and occasionally she will lick a tear.  It’s ridiculous that a dog should be capable of giving such comfort but she is. 

When I’m sick and spend a day or two in bed I am ALWAYS accompanied by two chihuahuas…one behind my knees and one in front of my belly.  Such comfort.  And joy…every animal I have ever had has given me joy every single day that they were alive.  Humans over the age of one  just aren’t capable of the totally unconditional love our pets give us.  Comfort and joy.