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Favor Regret and Hope for a Better Week

In my world, I’ve been dog walking a set of awesome pups in the 95 degree weather.  I’m also currently doing my first pet sitting job only for guinea pigs.  And we are pet sitting a few dogs for friends this week…not doing well there…

Pure Frustration

The two Dachshunds that we are watching for a friend right this second until Sunday night are driving me crazy though.  I’m so sad and a little angry.  I don’t want to be angry at a good friend, but these dogs are…well, crappy.  The little lady keeps trying to chew up anything she can find.  The little dude had back surgery a little while ago that was basically successful, but now he apparently can’t feel it when he is pooping.  So he just walks around my house pooping and then trying to EAT it before I can get to it!  EWWWW!!!  They also start howling if they feel like they are missing anything while kenneled, but someone is always awake in our house, so now I can’t ever sleep well.  This is just sucking.  :-(

Naughty Dog

http://holykaw.alltop.com/35-very-naughty-dogs-cop-to-their-crimes

Mr. BFS is doing his best to keep me from blowing up.  He is trying to take care of them for me, but he and I aren’t home at the same times most of the day.  And technically I was the one who agreed to this favor, so I feel like this whole debacle could have been avoided if I just said that we were booked.  That isn’t a very friendly thought, but I didn’t know what I was signing up for at all.

I don’t think my Dachshund friend ever reads my blog, but if he does, I am sorry but I hate your dogs.  They have sweet personalities in spurts but that doesn’t cover for everything else.  This may be sleeplessness talking a bit as well.

Hopefulness

We’ll be taking on one more dog, a border collie mix, from another friend at about 10am for a little more than a week.  But she’s stayed with us before and is awesome.  I hope she hasn’t changed from last year or that the little Dachshunds don’t rub off on her.  I also am glad that they only overlap for 4 days…

Have you ever volunteered to help someone out and totally regretted it after the fact?  Share, please!  I rather not feel like the only whiny one today, LOL.

How Do You Concentrate with Kids or Loud Pets?

I’m dog sitting two Dachshunds right now for a friend of ours.  These dogs are LOUD!  Tiny bodies but huge barks and they bark or howl frequently when they are in their kennel and think they are missing something.  I secluded them into an upstairs guest bedroom right now.

But it did get me to thinking – how do you concentrate in a situation like this?  I can’t concentrate at all when I am being stressed out. How do you accomplish anything with kids gabbing or dogs barking?  I froze up completely before I moved the pups upstairs.  Now I am wondering how parents can finish anything…

Barking

 

 

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?