Friday, 31 January 2014

Puppy Power! Rare & gorgeous black Spaniel

Perfect Pet Sitter is in Wollstonecraft, on the Lower North Shore, caring for a most adorable and cheeky little puppy, Audrey, a black Spaniel. Unusual to see a Spaniel - but especially a black one.
Being only 5 months old Audrey loves getting into mischief. If I leave my bedroom door open out she comes with an item of my clothing or shoes – always looking very pleased with herself!

However, she’s very good with the basic commands - exceptionally so off lead in coming to recall -  pretty amazing in one so young. Her owners have achieved this through rewards based training.
'Come Audrey!'      OK!!!

Most dogs are either food focused or play focused. Whilst Audrey likes to play, she’s crazy about food. I’ve written about the value of treats before and it’s good to see how the early use of food rewards achieves such a great outcome as it has in pretty little Audrey.

One of her owners takes her to work with him each day. Coming back from the dog park by chance I found out where his office was when in Crows Nest main road Audrey suddenly leapt sideways and hauled me up some steps. Next she went into a door and almost took wings flying up some stairs dragging me behind. At the top a chorus of voices said “Audrey!” The work colleagues were as pleased to see Audrey as she was to see them. It was great to hear them say they could see how happy she was. I know she missed her owners the first couple of days but we now have our own little routine and she’s very content and settled.

Playing in the ornamental pool in Crows Nest
When we left the office outside was an ornamental pond which Audrey promptly jumped in - much to the amusement of people eating their lunch in the cafes!

Right now Audrey's a bundle of mischief, but she'll grow out of that. Most of all Audrey is one lucky pup. Her devoted and caring owners are ensuring she’s been exceptionally well socialised and will grow to be balanced, obedient and happy girl.

Audrey makes friends wherever we go

A dog Guru from many years ago used to say that dogs needed training so they would be “A pleasure to all and a nuisance to no one”. That’s certainly Audrey!

Monday, 13 January 2014

Cattle dogs, Kelpies & Ginger Toms

I’m back pet sitting one of my regular fur families, this time for nearly a month. There’s Jack, an 8 year old cattle dog/Kelpie mix. Maggie, a 3 year old black and tan Kelpie - and not forgetting Jimmy, the ginger tom who thinks he’s a dog.
It’s my third time looking after them all and I really look forward to staying as they each have their own individual and entertaining personality. 
Jack has one of the best noses I’ve seen and could easily have been a drug detection dog. Wherever we go he never fails to find a tennis ball. Even if it’s a just a remnant of a ball – he’ll find it. 

Maggie doesn’t bother to hunt balls – she doesn’t need to. Instead she watches Jack intently. As soon as he finds a ball she’ll do her best to sneak it – only to quickly bore of it and drop it for Jack to pick up again - and her to continue keeping a beady eye on him.
A particular pleasure with these two is how incredibly good they are in keeping by you when off leash. Jack is incredibly loyal and always watching where I am, staying close by. 
And Maggie is watching Jack the whole time – so by definition she is close by too!
Jimmy was brought into a house with this pair of herding dogs when a tiny kitten. The owner did an amazing job of integrating him. So much so that he comes to the call just as well as the dogs!
If you have seen the film 'Puss In Boots' this is
Jim doing his Antonio Banderas impression!
When the dogs and I are leaving for our walk, Jimmy comes too, looking most upset when we drive off. And when we come back, there he’ll be by the gate, rushing in with us when we go inside.

I just wish Jimmy could come on our walks too – I’m sure he’d enjoy them every bit as much as Jack and Maggie!

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Dont let your dog give you the brush off!

Recently one of my daughters and I were discussing our past experiences of Kennels.

My experience was years ago in the UK with Flash, our German Shorthaired Pointer.
Dear Flash in the Backround being lead around by our other GSP, Harry
Claire’s was before I arrived in Oz when she was stuck and had to put her two Boxers in kennels for a long weekend.

Flash was two years old and desperate to find a new home when we found him. Not only was it his third time returned to rescue, but it was his last chance as he was days from being put down. We took him on and with patience and love over time he became a great pet.  Then we went on a family holiday and left him at kennels for two weeks…..  When we came back he was like a different dog, hoarse from barking and pent up from being locked in a cage – we’d been told he would get exercised daily - clearly he hadn’t.
Back home he sulked for days - it took a long time for him to forgive us and re-settle.  Claire said it was the same with her Boxers – just a weekend away and they gave her the cold shoulder for days.
Then recently Helen, the Owner of the two fabulous Rhodesians Ridgebacks Oscar and Mia
Oscar on the left and Mia on the right - how majestic!
(that Gail looked after & I Blogged about on 3/1/14) sent us a great reference which included this extract:-
Normally we get the brush off after having a holiday. It can take Oscar a day or so to accept us back, laying his head on our lap acknowledging we are back in the good books. This time round they were happy to have us home the moment we got back, and clearly happy with the 5 star experience they got whilst we were away, no brush off, just happy dogs.  (For the full reference see ‘Testimonials’ or click here).
It made me realise it's common for dogs to feel betrayed when they're sent away. It’s not that all kennels are bad. But even in the best it’s very stressful for your pet – for when you go, how does your dog know you are ever coming back?

My experience with Flash stayed with me and was instrumental in my setting up Perfect Pet Sitter - a unique and professional 24/7 live-in pet sitting service for dogs (and cats) in their own homes.

Nothing comes close to the one-to-one attention your fur pals receive all the while staying in their familiar surroundings and keeping to their usual routine. That’s what Perfect Pet Sitter is all about for pets young or old –  premium care when you can’t be there. 

And we can also help with Doggie Day Care too.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Rhodesian Ridgebacks - looks can be deceiving!

For those lucky enough to know a well trained Rhodesian Ridgeback, descriptions of them might include calm, deeply loyal & independently minded (or is that a little stubborn?!). For certain they need a confident & competent pack leader.

For those who haven’t met a good Ridgey, they may appear scary – perhaps due to their size, their presence & deep booming bark… We’ve all been told “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but sometimes that’s not so easy.

So what if there's a pair of them?

Well two lovely Ridgebacks Oscar & Mia (above) as well as Harry the family cat, came into the care of Perfect Pet Sitter over New Year. A calm & affectionate pair of dogs, it didn’t take long for us to become totally smitten with this couple!

Although very large they walked sedately, not pulling on their leads. When off lead they ambled about - often with noses to the ground in true Ridgeback style!

On a number of walks I joined Oscar & Mia with my charges Jack & Maggie – a pair of energetic Kelpies I’ve looked after quite a few times now.
Also Chico, a Wheaten Terrier in our care & Elly the boxer, joined us at times too.

So there we were, three Perfect Pet Sitters and six lovely dogs getting along famously, with the two Ridgebacks calm & regal, good as gold. Gentle giants. 

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