As Seen On



Get Rich Slowly

Free Money Finance

House Logic

Check Out My eBooks!!!

Managing Your Monthly Nut

How I Make Money Blogging



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.


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.  :-)

Took the Pet Sitting Insurance Leap – Coverage and Cost Breakdown!

I mentioned yesterday that I would be investing in pet sitting insurance soon to protect me from general crud that could happen with my new side hustle – Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting.  Making extra money wouldn’t mean much if I ever get sued and lose based on something my pet sitting fur-clients did while under my care.

Insured and Ready to Go!

Insured and Ready to Go!


I ended up choosing a policy through Pet Sitters Associates, LLC.  Here’s a quick breakdown of the coverage:

  • $1,000,000 per occurrence, up to $2,000,000 annually for bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, advertising injury, products, and completed operations
  • $100,000 annually for fire damage
  • $15,000 per occurrence, up to $30,000 annually for pets lost, stolen, injured, or killed in your care
  • $1,000 per occurrence, up to $5,000 annually for vet expenses regardless of negligence
  • $2,000 annually for lost keys and re-keying of customers homes
  • $5,000 annually for medical expenses
  • $10,000 per occurrence, up to $25,000 annually, for the theft, breakage, and mysterious disappearance of the personal property of the pet owner while under the care of you, your employees, your independent contractors, or your incidental helpers.

No deductible for claims, EXCEPT $500 per incident if you purposely took an unleashed animal to a dog park or outdoors unless it’s in the pet owner’s or pet sitter’s yard with an above ground fence that will keep pets inside and people/animals outside.

In Short

Does the pet insurance cover your liability if the dog bites someone or runs in the street and causes a car accident or does it cover death and illness of a pet? If the pet has to go to the vet, you might have to pay if the owner refuses to reimburse you. If the pet dies the owner may want compensation from you.

In short – yes, all of that is covered.  :-)

Total Cost

Here was the breakdown of the costs for coverage from April 3, 2014 for one year:

  • Basic Insurance – $185
  • Special Property Coverage (that $10,000 property coverage was extra but I’m clutzy sometimes) – $100
  • Processing Fee – $10
  • Listing Fee to be in their search database of pet sitters – $10
  • Total = $305

Totally worth the peace of mind for me and my clients!  And it looks good to be able to show and state that I’m insured.  :-)

Side Hustle SUCCESS – Pet Sitting Rakes in $1000+ in First Month!!!

It’s 2:30am on April 3rd, 2014 and this will be posting in 2.5 hours…THEN:

  • 6am – waking up to take care of two cats
  • 10am – walking and feeding two dogs
  • 11am – drive to my grandparent’s for lunch with my cousins
  • 2pm - the two cats are being picked up thanks to my awesome roommates
  • 9pm – meeting with a client to schedule her Easter weekend pet sitting
  • 10pm – walk the same two dogs again as I did at 10am

Motivated Again

I should be asleep, but I just got in bed 20 minutes ago since I had to walk some dogs at 11pm, take a shower, then answer some urgent emails for my online business, update my records for pet sitting for 2014′s taxes, and finally, I wanted to write this post while I was still buzzing with adrenaline.

Today’s schedule is one of the busiest of the last month or so, but every day has had something.  I’ve been physically exhausted, but mentally, I’m pumped!  I forgot how much I love making new business ideas work!  I’m getting more done online even though I have way less time than for the last year or so.  I’m like that - I’m at my best when I am extremely busy.  Woot!!!

Crystal's Cozy Care Pet Sitting

Proof that Hobby Jobs Can Make Money

For the disbelievers out there, side hustles can make you good money fast (check out my top 10 tips here).  I started Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting by posting on Craigslist and getting my first job on February 27.  I made $1125 by March 27.  Now, a week later, the total is around $1320!

So far, it has cost:

  • $60 in gas so far thanks to making 30mpg and having close gigs
  • $44 in advertising ($20 for business cards and $24 for car magnet signs) – Thanks to my friend, J, for the free, super awesome design below!!!
  • $8 in extras like a poop bag dispenser with bags and a small bag of treats

Crystals Cozy Care Car Magnet Sign

That brings the NET TOTAL to $1208 in about 5 weeks!!!  And I have $120 lined up for the next week.

Right now, I am using a pet sitting release-of-liability contract to cover my butt (along with a healthy dose of common sense), but my pet sitting insurance is going to take a $300 bite out of my earnings next week.  It’ll be worth it to be able to advertise that I’m bonded and insured.

Taxes will also take their bite in April 2015, which is why I am on the ball with recording my mileage, costs, income, etc.  BUT, I’m just really happy that my chosen side hustle is taking off, forces me to exercise, and is helping animals have a less stressful time when their owners are away.  In-their-home pet sitting seems better for everyone involved.

Mushy Stuff

As you may have noticed with my online business, I have turned a side hustle into real money before.  I just wasn’t 100% sure that it wasn’t a one-time thing.  I’m unexplainably exuberant about my successful entrepreneurial spirit…I feel like it’s a family heirloom that has been passed down the generations and I’m just happy it’s in me too.  :-)  My great-grandparents – the bakers, the butchers, and the pelt sellers before them – would all be proud…well, at least that is what I’m feeling right now.  ;-)

Please share all of your side hustle stories below!  Anybody else find a fun way of making $1000+ a month on the side?  Please share!  :-)

Keeping Daisy? Making the Decision on Foster Dogs…

Mr. BFS and I really like our current foster dog, Daisy.  She’s an absolute sweety!  She’s a 34 pound, Beagle mix that we’ve had for 3 weeks, and we can admit that we are becoming attached.   BUT, we might not be ready to train a young dog right now…heck, we might just not want a long-term second dog for a while.  I still wish Miss Doxie were around.


Here is as unbiased as I can get:

Daisy Pros

1.  Super sweet to everyone – old, young, black, white, etc.
2.  Great lap dog.
3.  Learns fast – already knows “sit” and how to play fetch.
4.  Quiet – Rarely barks (this is amazing for a Beagle mix)
5.  Kennel Trained
6.  Loves other dogs – just wants to play, play, and play some more!

Daisy Sleeping

Daisy Kinks to Work Out:

1.  99% Housetrained – has only had a few accidents (3 in the first 5 days and 1 in the last 2 weeks), but I don’t know if it is simply because we are a new environment or not.  She will not go potty in her kennel at all, so yay there!

2.  Still is puppy teething…that habit to want to chew on random stuff and lightly chew on your hand.  No sharp puppy teeth thankfully though.

3.  Escape artist – will try to run by you when you go through doors and she can slip out of gaps in a fence.

4.  Bouncy/jumpy – she likes to jump up excitedly on people or jump into people’s laps when they are in chairs.  Learning “sit” has helped but we are still working on that first 3-4 minutes of crazy excitement with new people.



The first adoption event is this Sunday, and Mr. BFS and I decided to take her to it and see what happens.  But in 2009, while I had foster dogs consistently, we took care of Pug brothers, Tank and Rox.  They were awesome.  We didn’t adopt them since we would have owned 4 dogs total, and we thought that would be too much.  I regret that decision to this day.  They were perfect dogs and Mr. Pug loved them too.

I don’t want to get Daisy adopted and regret it too.  But I also don’t know if we want to keep her…training is stressful since it takes constant supervision.  I’m pooped out and I’ve only really been home two of the last three weeks.

The adoption fee is minimal – $130.  That probably barely covers the fact that they have spayed her, microchipped her, and have caught her up on vaccinations and heartworm preventatives.  So that isn’t a deciding factor for us.

I am leaning towards finding her a great home and continuing to foster.  Mr. BFS is leaning towards keeping her but doesn’t mind the idea of her finding a great home elsewhere either – he’s laid back about it no matter what.

What would you do?  Would you adopt her and just spend the next months training?  Or would you try to find her a great forever home?

More Cute Animal Videos!

One of the best things about pet sitting is playing with the animals.  For 12 straight days, I’ve been spending a big chunk of my days with the sweeties below.  Here are your cute animal videos for the day!

Pendek the Thief Slayer

Pendek is an adorable Jack Russell terrier mix that REALLY enjoys his laser light – he will go bonkers on his doggy pillow or random boxes if he thinks they stole his light.

Zim the Faucet Feline

Zim is a gorgeous, loving kitty that appreciates running water way more than a bowl.  It’s fun to watch her balance to lap up the water.

Mr. Pug and His Lack of Play

We’ve had our new foster puppy, 1 year old Daisy, for more than a week now.  She has some issues like having to be watched outside in order for her to pee, but overall, she’s just a sweet puppy that wants to play and be loved.  The problem is that Mr. Pug don’t wanna play.

Daisy and Mr. Pug

Okay, check out the video below with this context in mind.  She’s one year old and he is 11 years old.  She is being gentle but rambunctious.  He is HIGHLY annoyed.  YET, out of all of the people/animals in our house, Mr. Pug seems to be Daisy’s favorite.  Mr. BFS comes in 2nd and I’m 3rd.  It’s because I’m the one that generally is trying to train the puppy right out of her, hahaha.

We never let her annoy him for too long, but by letting them work it out themselves for a little longer each time (like this little thing was for about a minute), he is actually learning how to play a little.  You won’t see that in this video though, because this was Day 3 and it took about 7 days before he wasn’t making gremlin sounds and running at her angrily, LOL.  Now he will actually instigate play for about a minute or two, then be done with it, and have a heck of a time turning her off.

Working Out the Kinks

I have no idea how long Daisy will be with us as of right now.  It’s been a little more than a week, and she’s already learned “sit”.  And she is 99% house trained and fully kennel trained.  I think Mr. BFS is getting attached, but she definitely needs some more time before I’d really want to keep her long-term (or in order for her to be adopted by anyone).

She needs to learn to go potty whether we are watching or not since I don’t want to have to go outside with her every time.  If you assume she went, she may end up going on the floor instead later.  She also seems to have treat aggression – not with her food bowl or with stuffed animals, but she growls ferociously if you try to take a rawhide away.  That will be worked on first since Crystal doesn’t roll like that.  Lastly, she wants to bolt out of the front door when it is opened…that can’t be good for her future health.  For some reason, it’s just the front door…she doesn’t bolt out of the back the same way…

So we are working out the kinks as we go.  Hopefully within the next month, she will have learned to potty on her own outside, will drop the rawhide on command, and will stop trying to run out of the front door.   We’ll see.

In the meantime, we are enjoying her softness, the way she looks when she’s asleep, and how much she loves Mr. Pug despite the feeling being far from mutual.

Does your dog know how to play?