Please Excuse the Hair & Slobber!



An ongoing series of informational entries

What Does a Wagging Dog Tail Mean?

March 21, 2018

When a dog wags its tail usually means a dog is happy. Tail wagging is a frequently misinterpreted signal. But some dogs wag their tails when they are over stimulated, aroused or frustrated. You can usually tell the difference by looking at what the rest of the body is doing:

• A dog that is wagging his tail but barking with a defensive body posture, tense face, and hard staring eyes is overly aroused and frustrated, which means that he should not be approached.

• A tail that is held low or between the legs signals a lack of confidence, nervousness, or fear.

• A confident or aroused dog will hold his tail in the air, and advertise his presence.

• A tail that is held high but wagging slower means that the dog is assessing a situation.

• A tail that is extended and curved means that the dog is tense and ready to take offensive or defensive action.

• A tail that wags around and around like a helicopter and is accompanied by relaxed body movement and a wiggly bottom signals friendliness and a willingness to engage.

Research has shown that when a dog sees someone they like, his tail wags more to the right. When he sees an unfamiliar person, his tail wags more to the left. Subtle body language like this is easy to miss.

The tail is important for both balance and signaling, which is why the practice of tail docking disrupts the dogs communication to others. Because a dogs tail is a prime indicator of mood, dogs with docked tails are unable to correspond properly using that part of their body, which means that other dogs and people miss vital signals.

PSA Pet Sitting Member Claims 2017

(I wanted to share with you pet sitting claims that were submitted in 2017 from 

other individuals in the pet sitting industry. )

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Why it's Important to Hire a Pet Sitter with Liability Insurance.

Below is a sample of some of the program claims that have been paid by PSA insurance company. 

Please note that all claims are paid based on the individual circumstances involved in that specific situation. 

• While walking a client dog on leash, it lunged at another dog passing by and broke free of the leash; the client dog attacked the third party dog causing injury - $3,777.96 paid

• While in member’s care, the client dog jumped while playing with a ball and landed wrong, which caused injury to its leg - $1,000 paid

• While off-leash in the client’s fenced yard, the client dog cut its foot on ice - $351.30 paid

• Client dog got its leg stuck in its crate causing injury - $1,999.39 paid

• Member was training a client’s puppy; after leaving him briefly in an x-pen, the puppy climbed out of the pen and injured itself in the process - $394.24 paid

• I/C forgot to put medical collar back on the client dog after a walk and the dog licked the wound until the tendon was exposed; vet recommended amputation - $6,254.97 paid

• A client dog in the member’s care pulled the squeaker from a toy and swallowed it; surgery was needed to remove - $5,724.89 paid

• A client dog that the member was boarding got a foxtail lodged in its nose while playing in the member’s fenced-in yard - $888.65 paid

• At member’s home daycare/boarding location, while caring for four client dogs, a fight broke out amongst them and one client dog was injured - $242.04 paid

• While walking client dog on leash, a third party passerby was bitten and taken to hospital for five puncture wounds - $25,259 paid

• Client dog broke its leash and attacked a third party person and dog; both needed medical attention - $2,385.68 paid

• During an overnight pet sit, the client’s dog destroyed the client’s TV remote - $345.98 paid

• Member broke client’s vase while trying to shoo a wild bird outside - $20 paid

• Member lost client’s keys and home needed to be re-keyed - $159 paid

• Keys to five client homes were stolen; one client wanted locks re-keyed - $65.00 paid

• I/C lost client key and home needed to be re-keyed - $739.82 paid

Learn More

Best of 2017 Photos

The Following Pets were Voted Top of Their Class. 

The winners received a discount as a personal thank you for the use of the photo.

1.  BEST ACROBATIC DANCER  (Harley, Cockatoo)

 Harley, is a talker and loves to dance.

 2.  BEST SMILE  (Pooh Bear, English Bull Dog)

 Pooh Bear, is a ham and loves attention and bones.

3.  BEST EYES (Yoda, Himalayan) 

Yoda, is a gentle lover and enjoys his head scratched.

4.  MOST HANDSOME, (Nigel, Husky Shepard)

Nigel, is a photogenic gentleman and enjoys his afternoon walks.

5.  BEST KISSER, (Finn, Chihuahua)

Finn, is a timid boy, but loves to snuggle and give kisses.

6.  BEST POSER. (Meow, Main Coon)

Meow, enjoys laying on laps and loves to be brushed.

7.  BEST HAIR (Tux, Brittany Spaniel)

Tux, is happy, energetic and loves playtime.

Pet News

An ongoing series of informational entries

Hurricane Irma Animals Abandoned As Families Evacuated

September 18, 2017

Wow!  What a week we have had in Florida. Hurricane Irma plowed through our state and left many people and their animals in dismay. I was literally out of power for 8 days. Luckily, Red Cross, National Guard and even my pastor came by with ice, water, snacks and hot meals for the community. Thank you so much! You guys are the best!

Before hurricane Irma hit FL, hundreds of animals were left behind while owners tied dogs to trees and/or abandoned their animals to fend for themselves. Many shelters and hotels did not take animals during the hurricane which leaves many with the question - What to do with their animals? I had a lady call me telling me all the animal boarding facilities where booked for miles and she had a dog with puppies and didn't know what to do... Rescues had a limit on animals they were taking in and most were full at the time. What a terrible dilemma we were in!!

I literally couldn't book any pet sitting visits, because I have animals too and when these hurricanes hit Florida, there are curfews set in place and you CAN NOT drive on the roads. Ugh!

In addition, Palm Beach County, FL Animal Care and the State Attorney's Office are hunting down the people who abandoned their pets during hurricane Irma. Diane Sauve, head of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, told a news station "Leaving a dog tied up alone is already illegal in the region, but the added danger of the storm qualifies the act as a felony offense". 

At this time, I do not know if Volusia county is tracking down people who abandoned their pets...

If you'd like to help, the shelter  Friends of Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control. They are currently requesting people donate crates, animal carriers and collars, which can be purchased and sent through Amazon. 

What a Talented Customer I Have!

August 3, 2017 

Several weeks ago, one of my customers Joan who owns a sweet kitty named Zoey - had some beautiful painted rocks displayed on her table. These rocks were painted free hand with different abstract designs on them. I personally love abstract art. She explained she sells her rocks on a popular website called Etsy. Just by chance, I asked her if she painted pets. Joan replied "I have never tried". I gave her a picture of my "baby boy" Finn my Chihuahua to paint.  Joan said she would be delighted to give it a go, but since she never painted an animal it may not turn out. I had faith in her, because I am also creative. I have a degree in graphic arts and I certainly saw in her painted rocks she is talented.

Last week I got a text message from Joan with a completed painted rock picture of Finn. I think she did an awesome job and she has never painted an animal before. ( I told you Joan was talented!!! ) Thank you so much Joan for my rock - I love it!  For anyone who may be interested and looking at her art or if you might want a painted rock check out her Etsy site.  See below for the other rocks she has painted.

Click Here to Add a Title

Other Rocks Joan Has Painted

Our Blog

An ongoing series of informational entries

Summer Tip:  Hot Pavement and Your Dogs Pads

July 15, 2017

Summer time is one of my busiest times of the year. Unfortunately in Florida, it's so hot outside when I go for my scheduled appointments for dog walks it can be a bear. When I walk my clients dogs, depending on the type of dog I'm walking - I have to take inconsideration the dogs activity level and if he can walk the 20 or 30 minute allotted time in this Florida heat. Before the walk, I ask my clients specific questions about their dog and I also access the dog and his skill level during the walk. The hot pavement can become extreme in Florida and I have to be careful the dogs pads aren't getting too hot. I try to stay on grassy areas but in some of the neighborhoods pavement and asphalt are unavoidable. To check the pavement - I place my hand on the pavement or asphalt and see if I can stand it for 5 seconds. If I cannot, then it is too hot for the dogs pads. Depending on how it feels to the touch, I may consider either using a protective salve on their paws or carrying smaller dogs over the asphalt to a grassy area.

I am very cautious when walking any dog on hot pavement and if the heat index is over 100 degrees, walks will only be conducted if there is a safe path to do so (no concrete, asphalt, etc.). Additionally, the walks are shortened to 15 minutes outside, with the rest for a cool down period and water break inside. I also keep in mind that darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats. And overweight dogs are at higher risk for dehydration.

In this hot summer weather, heat exhaustion or heatstroke can affect all warm-blooded animals, especially dogs wearing fur coats year-round. I always look for these signs listed below during my dog walks and on hot days. 

These are some symptoms of heat exhaustion or stroke:

  • excessive panting
  • excessive drooling
  • lethargy
  • disorientation
  • obvious paleness of the gums

During my walks, If I notice even the slightest sign that your dog is not handling the heat well I do not attempt to push on. In addition, I make sure your dog is not walking on hot pavement and move to a grassy area as much as possible. Safety of the dog is always first in my book and I will always have your dogs best interest in any situation.


An ongoing series of informational entries

Clay Cat Litter or Pine Pellets?

June 3, 2017

Umm, I actually never thought of using pine pellets for cat litter. Although, I have a cat-- he uses the backyard for his litter box. But as a pet sitter, I find out some great ideas from my customers. I recently went to one of my customers home to do my daily rounds caring for their 5 cats and noticed something different. No smell of cat litter boxes. Huh? How can that be? Even though, they keep a clean home, it's rather hard to mask the smell of kitty poo and urine sometimes. I looked around and noticed in their litter boxes they had pellets inside them. So, I asked them what they were using--Pine pellets.

When it comes to cat liter many people are faced with the higher cost of cat litter prices-- they usually go shopping and grab the cheapest cat litter on the shelf-- most likely a clumping clay litter. But, more and more people are starting to prefer a more natural litter over clay. 

So, what are these pine pellets anyway?

Pine pellets are made from sawdust, a waste product from lumber mills. What a fantastic way to use dust wisely!


Here are a few reasons you may want to switch from clay litter to pine pellets.


Clumping it doesn’t form clumps at all. Instead, the pellets break apart into sawdust as soon as liquid touches them.

Odor Control Even though it doesn’t clump, it does a great job controlling urine odor. However, it does little or nothing to cover up the smell of poop. Most cat owners like the woodsy smell of the pine litter itself, but some find it a bit strong.

Dust its large pellet size, produces little to no dust when it’s poured.

Cost much cheaper than most litters: $5.99 for a 40-pound bag, at your local tractor supply store.

The only downside I have heard to using these pellets are some cats don’t care for these large pellets, and some owners find them difficult to scoop. 

An ongoing series of informational entries

English Bulldogs and Spina Bifida

May 9, 2017

I had a phone call several weeks ago to pet sit for a special needs English Bull Dog named "Poo Bear" with Spina Bifida. I take care of several dogs with special needs – although, not one that has this kind of health condition. I was confident that I would be fine with his care, so I met the pup and his parents. We had a nice 1st visit and the pup had two other companion dogs to keep him company during the day. When I drove to the visit I didn't really know exactly what causes Spina Bifida in dogs, so I decided to research it and write about this type of health issue. Furthermore, I did schedule my pet sitting visits for these fur babies and completed my visits with success.

What is Spina Bifida?

Spina Bifida can occur in any dog of any breed/mix of either sex. However, it is most commonly seen in English Bulldogs and in Manx cats. I also found out dog breeds with curly tails referred to as screw tails which include Boston Terriers, Pugs, and French Bulldogs can have issues with this same condition.


Unfortunately, there is no current treatment for Spina Bifida in domestic dogs. The attempts made to correct the vertebral defects surgically have not been successful, and management with drugs, supplements have no meaningful impact on the condition. Luckily, Spina Bifida doesn't worsen with time.


The prognosis for dogs born with spinal defects is quite variable. If a dog has significant spinal cord damage and if it shows severe signs of neurological deficits, its outlook is guarded to grim. These dogs – usually young puppies at the time of diagnosis – often are in a great deal of pain. Their inability to walk normally, combined with both fecal and urinary incontinence, probably will prevent them from living a good quality of life. Many caring owners opt for euthanasia when their puppies are so disabled from the disorder. However, the prognosis for dogs that have no observable symptoms of Spina Bifida is quite good. They probably should be restricted from vigorous athletic activities to avoid future spinal cord damage if at all possible. The English Bull dog Poo Bear - I pet sat for was healthy, very functional and only had to wear a diaper because he is incontinent. Poo Bear was amazing because he could run and play like the other dogs with no problems – he seemed very happy and content. I enjoyed my visits with him and his other companions:)  Photo courtesy of Poo Bears parents the Farley family.