New to BFS?

If you are new to Budgeting in the Fun Stuff (BFS), please click here. It'll give you a little background and a starting point for browsing BFS. See you in the comments soon!

As Seen On

Forbes

Yahoo
DailyFinance

Get Rich Slowly

Free Money Finance

House Logic

Check Out My eBooks!!!

How I Make Money Blogging Managing Your Monthly Nut

Categories

Wanna Laugh? Latest Foster Dog Antics…

The video sort of covers it all…

Missy, the younger of the two, totally has Riley’s number. Riley’s a 9 year old Yorkshire Terrier that is definitely Missy’s beyatch. Although he seems to think he definitely has dominance over MY fleece throw.

When I first saw this, I couldn’t stop laughing. Then it went on and on for nearly an hour. They go to bed happy at least…

Cheap Way to Kill Fleas on Your Pet

Mr. BFS and I are pet sitting two foster dogs for SMART Rescue while their normal foster family is on vacation.  Riley and Missy are both adorable and settled in well very quickly, but then I realized that Missy had fleas!  Ack!  I hate parasites.

Fleas Must Die

Eradicating Fleas

Missy just had her flea prevention and heartworm prevention medicines, but I don’t mess around with fleas.  So I searched online and found a cheap and easy method for killing fleas on an animal pretty easily.  Dishwashing soap or shampoo plus a little water, then a full bath.  Specifically:

1.  I used a plastic cup to do a half and half combo of dishwashing soap (off brand Dawn) and water.
2.  I started on Missy’s head and spread the heavy soap solution all over her, making sure not to miss her legs, the tail, and all of the hard to get spots underneath.
3.  I left that to soak and break down the fleas’ natural barriers so they could drown.
4.  While we waited 5 minutes, I picked off fleas that were trying to abandon ship and watched them go down the drain.
5.  We then started the rinsing off process that took a while since my tub doesn’t have a sprayer and the faucet doesn’t stick out enough to fit a dog under it, so I just used a plastic cup.
6.  About halfway through the rinsing, I went through every square inch of this 2o pound dog to pick off any hearty fleas that weren’t going easily like the others.
7.  Once she was all rinsed off, we did the whole process over again.  I was in the bath tub with her for 45 minutes.
8.  We’re getting flea meds from the rescue tomorrow to help tackle any possible survivors.

I couldn’t find anymore fleas or eggs on her so far, all for less than 50 cents of dishwashing soap.  She napped afterwards since she did put up with me with no problems for nearly an hour…

Missy

Missy is a Pug-Chihuahua mix that was supposedly going to be neurotic for the first couple of days, but she fit in immediately. She also is the softest dog that I’ve ever pet.

Still Feeling Itchy

The fleas got into my brain, so I’ve already washed her blanket, my clothes from yesterday, and the towels we used for the bath.  I also already thoroughly checked Riley and he is flea-free.  Tomorrow morning our sheets will be washed.  She hasn’t been allowed on any carpets yet.  I really hate fleas, ticks, and mosquitos.

What parasite murdering tips do you have?  Any super affordable recipes that may help others?

If You Don’t Like Snakes, Please Come Back Tomorrow

Pet sitting had been lots of mammals up to last weekend, but now I’ve entered into the reptile realm!  Honestly, it’s freaking cool!!!  Welcome to the world of snakes…

Pet Sitting Snakes

Dogs are cute, furry, and fun to play with.  They also have accidents once in a while, need lots of socialization, and are the primary reason people call pet sitters like me.  So most pet sitters are dog sitters that then decide what other animals that they will watch.  And even the dog sitters sometimes avoid certain breeds like Pit Bulls.  I didn’t limit my options.

This past weekend, I pet sat for an awesome family with 1 dog, 2 guinea pigs, 3 cats, a fish, and a ball python (Silas).  The dog was ADORABLE, the guinea pigs chatted away to each other, the cats like rough head pets, the fish was a fish, and Silas the snake never even moved out of his house.  But I had met him up close and personal at the pre-meet.  :-)

Silas the Ball Python Snake

The Big One

Then I received a call from a very distraught trucker.  If he couldn’t find someone willing to take care of his lavender reticulated python, Sephoria, he’d have to get rid of her…and she has meaning way beyond a normal pet.  He and his dad literally hatched her from an egg about a year ago, and his dad passed away since then.  :-(

Sephoria the Lavender Reticulated Python Snake

Okay, so the picture doesn’t do her justice.  She’s 10 FEET LONG!  I had to at least meet her, right?  I really, really wanted to help this guy keep his snake.

I met her yesterday, and it was easy.  She’s a tame snake.  I just picked her up (well, some of her at a time), let her slither around her room, and then put her up.  Later on, she was fed her frozen rabbit for the month, but I couldn’t stay long enough to see her actually eat it since that seems to take hours.  No, I will not have to feed her unless there’s an emergency.

I was just hired to visit her weekly while her human is on the road.  I’ll be picking her up and making sure her water is clean.  I’ll also be throwing crickets into a small aquarium for a tarantula.  And here is where some of you will laugh at me – I am doing this about 15 minutes away from me for $25 a visit.  I figure the entire trip will take less than 1 hour and I am helping a very sweet man keep his sweet snake.

Safety

I do understand that a snake that can grow 10 feet in its first year can be dangerous.  I  won’t let her wrap completely around me anywhere.  I won’t be feeding her, so I won’t be risking food aggression.  I learned today that if she ever decides to latch on to me, putting hand disinfectant on my hands and touching her face would make her detach.  So there will be disinfectant near me all the time.  And when she puts on another few feet, my hubby will be going along with me.  He’s always liked snakes anyway.  :-)

So, if you are still reading, is it because you like snakes too?  Think I’m a little crazy?  Comment away!!!  Oh, and if you want to see a picture of her eating, just let me know.  :-)

 

Sudden Loss Sucks – Goodbye Mr. Pug

I’m not myself right now.  We had to say goodbye to Mr. Pug yesterday and I feel blind-sided.  I mean, he was only perfectly healthy for two years while we had him (2009-2011) and then he developed allergies to everything – meat, dairy, soy, wheat, corn, and pollen.  But he had been stable since early 2012.  Well, stable-ish.

Mr. Pug April 2014

Goodbye Mr. Pug
February 2003 – May 2014

The Goodbye

About 6 weeks ago, Mr. Pug’s normal Pug-cough got worse.  I took him to the vet, they didn’t hear any fluid in his lungs, and they sent me home with antibiotics (Primor) and doggy Mucinex.  It cleared him right up.  Then it started up last week.  I called Friday and asked for med refills, but they said they rather do chest xrays.  So I put him back on doggy Mucinex for the weekend and he was doing better…until yesterday morning – the cough was worse than ever.  So I called the vet again and went in at 3pm.  A different vet hypothesized that he may have Cushings disease, took xrays, told me he had a collapsed lung, and referred me to an emergency clinic.  The emergency clinic took his records, said the xrays stunk and took more, and came back with similarly bad news.

My Pug either had a twisted lung or severe pneumonia, and either of those were probably caused by a bigger issue like Cushings or diabetes.  The emergency vet said that it would take either major surgery or 6-8 weeks of major antibiotics and then an ongoing regimen for whatever was the root cause.  I asked if he realistically had a good quality of life left for his future.  She said that realistically, we had gone really far with Mr. Pug and it was a good time to stop.

I agreed, I cried, and I gave him his favorite head massage while he passed on.  I miss him but it was time.

Trying to Remember the Good Stuff

It’s not all sad.  I keep smiling about his absolute crazy-love for ice cubes and carrot sticks.  I can almost feel him sitting next to me when I’m watching tv.  And I sort of miss the sound of his snoring in the kennel outside of our bedroom door.  We had more than 5 years together and he was a great friend.

He jumped into my lap and went to sleep 5 minutes after I met him in February 2009 while we were fostering for Pughearts.  A few days after we adopted him later that month, he was sniffing around Mr. BFS’ feet while my husband was on the potty, then he lifted his leg and peed right on my husband’s foot.  LOL.  It never happened again, he just felt the need to mark him that one time.  He also was adorable when he nursed on the edges of his pillows.  Overall, he was just a great dog.

My only regret is that I didn’t understand that we were nearing the end, so there wasn’t any real time to get used to the idea.  With Miss Doxie, I had a whole day to hang out with her before we said goodbye.  With Mr. Pug, it was just rush, rush, and then a few minutes before I held his head and said goodbye.  I could have taken the evening and returned, but he was having a hard time breathing…it didn’t seem right.

Remember to spend quality time with the people and animals that you love since you don’t really know when it will be their time.

Mr. Pug

My Mr. Awesome

Have You Used Care.com? Not Hearing or Experiencing Good Things…

I was looking at other ways to grow my side hustle, Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting, and came across Care.com.  I decided to try the free version, spent a few hours over a few days to create a solid profile, and splurged $10 on a background check.  Now I am slightly worried.  Here is what I’ve heard so far…

Thumbs Down

Care.com Feedback from Others

  • One of my current pet sitting gigs is with a lady that tried to find help through Care.com, but she found out AFTER submitting her needs that if you don’t join all the way for $40 a month, you can’t reply to anybody’s applications or see their contact details.  She only needed one visit on one day (a $25 job), so paying $40 upfront just wouldn’t make sense for her.  That means that everyone I’ve answered on their site so far couldn’t even get back to me if they wanted to if they aren’t fully subscribed – even if I was!  So I am really happy that I didn’t pay $40 a month myself.  None of this would annoy me if Care.com would have explained that before I spent about 8 hours trying to create a great profile page.  I had to go to one small part of their FAQ’s after the fact to find that fun fact.  I’m glad this lady found me on Craigslist instead.  :-)
  • The comments on this review scared the poop out of me.  They span from 2008-April 2014 so far and they all seem to be awful!  The ones that worry me the most are the ones that say that they keep getting charged after cancelling.  I didn’t pay for their service yet, but they do have my info for the background check.

My Own Experience Over the Last Week

  • Parts of my profile, like my picture and references were rejected the first time I tried adding them.  But the reasons they stated didn’t make any sense.  For example, I was trying to use the picture that is in my right sidebar right now (just me sitting down) and they said it “may not look like you or isn’t a view of just your face”.  Or my references “need a full name and phone number” when they had both.  So I just deleted what I had and resubmitted the exact same stuff again…then it wasn’t rejected.  Weird and a waste of time.
  • I keep changing my profile to read that I am a foster parent with SMART Animal Rescue.  Yet, it keeps getting changed back to “foster for an animal rescue” without any explanation on their part.  Yet they let the sentence about my past volunteer work at the Houston SPCA and Pughearts stay just the way it is…
  • No one has replied to any of my dozen applications so far.  And now I know it’s because they would have to pay $40 a month or $140 a year to get any of my contact info at all.  I’d highly suggest using a search engine to find more info based on what you can see in this situation…

I will be monitoring my credit card for any odd charges.  I probably won’t bother to delete my Care.com profile at this point, but I will never upgrade and will remove myself from their emailing list for all the stuff they keep sending me 2-3 times a day.

Good News

Even without Care.com, I’ve been busy.  I’ve made $1570 so far with 9 different sets of pets (8 of which I’d want to pet sit for again, lol).  I have spent $360 total on pet sitting insurance ($305), business cards ($20), car magnets ($25), and a background check ($10).  I also have $600 of jobs lined up already for May and June.  I actually think I may stop trying so hard to promote Crystal’s Cozy Care and just see what Craigslist continues to do for me.  You can check out my tips to starting a service business if you’d like to see how I started this one.

Have you ever heard about or used Care.com?  Do you agree that it’s not worth it?

Welcome to Our New Foster Dog, Dale!

Daisy has settled in super well with her new family, so Mr. BFS and I have been matched with a foster again. Everyone, meet Dale! He’s 12-18 months old, 50-ish pounds, sweet to everyone, and hasn’t eaten Mr. Pug despite Mr. Pug’s best efforts.

Dale

He’s all smiles when he isn’t sleeping, LOL.

 

Dale Normal

This is Dale in his normal state…

Dale’s Backstory

SMART Animal Rescue has many friends.  One of them is a fellow rescuer named Leo.  Leo and his wife added a/c and heat to their huge barn and currently have 42 rescue animals of their own.  Dale was dropped over Leo’s fence about 5 months ago.  Dale then jumped that 5 foot fence to chase down the car of his cruddy previous owner.  Leo’s neighbor stopped Dale from running into traffic and took him back to Leo since he saw him jump that fence…so he joined the rescue family.  I appreciate them letting me take it from here.

Settling In

Dale’s worst habit so far is random puppy teething like Daisy, but he’s taken to toys much faster. He also is learning not to give hugs.  He’s a quick learner, which has been fun.  Best parts so far – he’s quiet, hasn’t had any potty issues, and is super soft.  ;-)

Any new animals in your life lately?

Daisy Adopted – New Foster in the Works!

After talking it over with Mr. BFS and weighing the pros and cons, we decided to let go of Daisy.  A super nice family adopted her last Saturday.  :-D  We’re happy for the family and Daisy, and we will remember the nice month that we had with her.  Now we’re looking forward to the next foster that we’ll probably get this week.

SMART Animal Rescue

Daisy’s Forever Family

The couple is sweet, seems to be in the 45-50 year old range, and has a 17 year old kid and a 10 year old Beagle mix.  I feel great about the match since it is obvious that they’ll take great care of her and were ready for her little puppy issues.  While the husband finished the adoption paperwork, the wife took care of buying Daisy a good kennel, the same food that she was eating with us, a travel dog bowl, and a couple of toys (they agreed with me on loading up somewhere cheaper).

Daisy and their Beagle mix had met at a dog park at noon.  When it was obvious that those two could get along, and that Daisy was sweet to all of the other dogs and people at the park, they decided to adopt.  This was after I let them know about every issue I could think of – all of her positives and negatives.  They had a wedding to attend at 5pm, yet they followed me to the Petsmart that the rescue works out of at 1:30pm.  They even texted me a couple of updates later to let me know that Daisy settled in well and even got to sleep on their bed.  Thank you, awesome couple!

They know that they can bring her back to SMART if they ever need to give her up and they have all of my personal contact info too.

Our New Foster

That’s one successful adoption down and countless to go.  Katie, SMART’s adoption and foster placement specialist, is now choosing our next foster.  We’ll either be getting a 1 year old sweety named Dale or a playful, trained 1.5 year old cutey named Lucy.  I’ll update you when he/she is placed at our house. Mr. BFS and I are excited to meet either one of them and get to know another puppy.

Fostering rocks!  I’d highly suggest it to anyone who likes animals and can stand the idea of them coming and going frequently.  :-)