Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Abbie's fine...but another client not so good

Abbie is good and not getting any treats.

Can you tell? Shhhhhh, Abbie, don't tell Mama.

We have been fine and have enjoyed quite a bit of time together. I rarely leave but today was a little bit different.

I have a client who lives very close to Abbie. She was away on a business meeting in Orlando. She has the four dogs you can see WAYYYY back on my older posts on my blog. She built an add-on to her home for her dogs to live until she brings them in the house. Her house sits on about 5 acres and is very remote. I go there early morning and late night to put her dogs to bed and wake them up. I enter her house to get medication and never thought about the possibility of someone being in the house. Today, I picked her up at the airport at 12:30. We went straight to her house and then I returned to check on Abbie before going to WalMart. My client wanted to ride along to WalMart with me as she needed to pick up a few things. We dropped her suitcase in her living room and she joined me in the truck and we left. After grabbing a bite to eat and going to WalMart (90 minutes) we returned to her house where I dropped her off. I was on my way back to Abbie when she called me frantic and crying. Someone had robbed her home and she was afraid they were still in the house. I made it back to her at lightening speed to find her a nervous mess! The back french doors and the front door were unlocked and the french doors were broken where they forced their way in. When she entered she noticed the suitcase was not where she left it and a bad feeling came over her before realizing something wasn't right. I did my best to calm her down and we called the police. It took them 90 minutes to respond. They checked the entire house and found no one. But, it was obvious they were frightened off as they left evidence that they were not done stealing the laptop, the printer, the DVD player, stereo, etc. It appeared they loaded her suitcase with jewelry and other small items, took a painting off the wall and ransacked some drawer.

After speaking with the police, we suspect that she and I frightened them off when we stopped to drop her suitcase. She did not enter except to drop it off, change pants in her living room and leave. The upstairs bedrooms were ransacked and we believe they were up there when we were there. This was a very scarey ordeal and we were both left a little shaken. I called a friend to go to her house and stay with her tonight as I am pet sitting with Abbie and would never leave her alone.

So, you see, the life of a pet-sitter is seldom mundane! Between unknown critters and robbers....I think it is time I write a book called 'Pet Sitting Ain't Easy'!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Earry Sound.......

We are keeping our ears open for any new rustling in the closet. The pest control technician came out yesterday to investigate our noise in the closet. Just as it happens when you have a 'noise' in your car and take it to the mechanic, only to find that the noise didn't happen when the mechanic was driving it.....this was the case with pest control. He opened the closet door and looked where I told him the noise was coming from. There were shelves there and no sign of pest droppings. We looked in the adjoining Water Heater closet to find no droppings in that closet either. However, he did say there was a hold that something could get through. He placed two adhesive traps in each of the two closets and said 'Well...we will see what turns up'. With that said, he turned and left. So, Abbie and I are keeping our ears open (as you can see) and if I hear it again, I'm going in with my camera!!! It was pretty quiet last night but we did hear noises the night before.
Other than our adventures in the closet, everything is quite peaceful. Abbie gets her daily walk and I just learned yesterday that she is trained to carry a package to the door. And, if she is NOT trained, er, uhhhh....I trained her to carry the package to the door. She amazes me everytime I sit with her. She has got to be the brightest of all my fur children. Well, besides all my other client's fur children :-)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Me, Abbie and an Unknown Culprit!

I am back at Abbie's and she loved seeing me. She always wags her tail and lets me know that I am a welcome member to her household. However, I didn't realize the household had grown. Abbie lives in one of the nicest homes I stay in. Always organized, immaculate and very well appointed inside and out.
We decided to settle in and watch some television tonight. We typically stay in the master bedroom as Abbie is used to sleeping in this room. We were busy putting some last minute things away when both of us heard something. No kidding, she perked her head up at the same time I perked my head up. We listened intently for a moment and then looked at each other as if to say 'What was that?'
Now all kind of things are racing through my mind. We followed the noise. It was a rustling noise as if someone or something was going through clothing. We approached the bathroom and soon discovered the noise was coming from the closet in the Master bathroom. We both stood by the door listening and what noise had once stopped, it was now beginning to get louder. My heart was racing and I kept thinking whatever was in there was big enough to make all this noise. Naturally, my first thought was that there was a person hiding in the closet. Of course, I wasn't being very logical at this point as nerves had taken over. Abbie and I went to the kitchen and got a knife and then I promptly went back to the closet door and said 'Whoever is in there better come out because I have a knife'. Yeah, right! I pride myself with having a good sense about me, but in retrospect, this was probably the dumbest move I've made to date!
When I realized a person could not have gotten into the house without breaking a door or setting off the alarm, I decided I was safe, but kept the knife anyway. We continued to listen to this relentless noise. It was not frightened by our presence. It was large enough to make rustling noise through the clothes in that closet. AND....we could hear it knawing on the inside of the wall.
We left the bathroom after spending a LOT of time talking to whatever is in there. We left, closed the door and refuse to use that bathroom at all!
I don't want to alarm Abbie's Mom and Dad, but I thought you should know that your family has grown! Stay tuned for an update on our friend!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

One Elk of a scare!

By the looks of these two, you would think it is always calm at their house. Usually, it is! But, last night around dusk, we decided to go for a walk. I opened the door and Ursa (black lab) took off with me on the other end of her lead. Ben was a little slower getting out the door, but once I got my bearings to see what Ursa was chasing, I was face to face with two large Elk. They were grazing the lawn and Ursa was about to let then know she was large and in charge. I managed to restrain her and we headed right back in the house. The Elk grazed for another 30 minutes before disappearing into the trees that line the road to their house.
When I knew the coast was clear, we mounted up again and went out side. This time Ben (the senior) took off after a flash that ran through the bushes behind their house. All I know is that it was bigger than a rabbit, but not as big as a, I'm still left to wonder what that anmal was. I've never seen Ben move that fast as he usually walks with a lumber and doesn't hurry to do anything! I turned around and he was gone....I called out to him several times and couldn't see hide nor hair of him. I quickly took Ursa back into the house and went outside to find Ben. I called and called and no sight of him. I was really starting to worry and was probably looking only 15 minutes when I caught a flash of his red fur behind a bush. It took him some time to find a spot between the bushes that he could fit between, but eventually, he found his way to his property and we were back in the safe comfort of their home.
Each time something like this happens to me, it teaches me a new lesson.

First: Avoid going out at Dusk
Second: Look out the door before exiting!
The rest of the evening was uneventful. All the animals are doing well. Ben has had a problem with his bowels since I arrived, so I cooked him some brown rice and I have been adding it to his kibble. He's digesting it well and he has improved. Of course, Ursa gets some too as it wouldn't be fair to see those big brown eyes looking up at me wondering where her treat was. Ursa's chest is healing very nicely and there haven't been any incidents with it so far.
To more days here and their Mommy and Daddy will be home. I'll be back here in September and will look forward to that visit as well.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Awwwww Relaxation

You can see that these animals are not well-adjusted...just look how timid she is, she is on the edge of her seat....can't seem to sit still....YEAH, Right! This is Ursa. She is the comedienne. When she sleeps.....she SLEEPS! She's also a bed hog. I wake up with a paw in my back or worse...her butt in my face! Yesterday she displayed a little bit of bad behaviour. First of all, she got the bag of treats I brought them and ate the whole bag. Poor Ben probably didn't get any. Then, last night she wanted to eat Mia! She truly scared me as she was seriously after that cat. By the looks of the picture above, you would think they were forever friends, but apparently Mia did something to tick her off.

All are doing well. I don't think Ben is feeling spiffy and he has had problems (the runs) since I arrived. I will make him some rice today to try and get his stomach back in shape. If I remember, this is a constant with him as I think he had the same problem last time I was here. Ricky the kitty has not gotten past me the last couple of days! HA....I WIN!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy Ending...

My day was full of fear that I had lost my client's beloved cat. I worried when she/he did not come home after an hour. I went outside every two hours looking for her/him. After 12 hours, I was sure something had happened to her/him. I went to the door at 9pm and found her waiting to come in the house. As fast as she ran out the door, she ran in the door. That's it! This is one cat that won't see the light of day as long as I am here! What a relief!

Spring White!

Well, it has been snowing here since yesterday morning. The dogs are nestled in their beds and don't seem to care because I am here with them and they have all they need.
The little black cat, on the other hand, is determined to give me a heart attack. We have never talked about them being indoor or outdoor cats, but as far as I am concerned they are all indoor when I am on watch! LOL.
Well, she darted out the door again this morning. She has yet to come back and I am beginning to worry. I wonder if this is something she does all the time? I would hate to think anything would happen to her, but she seems to think this is normal for her. I check the door every ten minutes waiting on her return. I will not relax until I see her little black face come back through the door.
Another thing I didn't discuss with the fur children's parents is Ben. He seems to be in quite a bit of joint discomfort. He has also had the runs since I got here. We are going outdoors in the middle of the night and he does his business every time we go out. Other than that, everything is fine. I am fortunate that I am not working elsewhere and I can spend a whole lot of time with them. They will be sick of me by the time I leave!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Peaceful Paws.....

If you have read one of my first blogs, you will know that I have a great client in North Bend, Wa. These babies live on a large lot of land nestled in the base of Snoqualmie Mountain. It is always peaceful here as you cannot see a neighbor and it is surrounded by big green Evergreens. This also means there is a lot of wildlife in the area. Washington is famous for their Elk and they sometimes can be seen running the property.

Ursa, the black Lab, went out one day and came back with her chest ripped and wounded. I don't know the details, but this must have been frightening to her owners as these fur children are just that....'Children'. They rushed her to the Vet Hospital and the vets assured them it was only a superficial wound and no arteries or bones were compromised. She is recouperating and recently had the drains removed. She is doing very well and in fact, has been 'hounding' Ben to play. She is feeling her Cheerios today!

Ben is the gentle giant. He moves slow and deliberately and sometimes seems to forget where he is at. He is sweet as sugar, but I am sure the age is catching up with him as it is with all of us! He slept at the foot of the bed last night as Ursa jumped up to sleep right by my side. Pretty soon, Ricky the cat joined us and wanted to sleep on my head. Hey, its their house...they can sleep anywhere they want.

The other cat, Mia gave me a scare this morning. She darted out the door when we were going out for a walk. She took off into the woods and all I could think of was how I was going to get her back in. I walked around the property calling her name, but she didn't appear. I would go to the door every 15 minutes and after several trips, I noticed it started snowing. Just then, she came running around the corner and darted back into the house as quickly as she darted out.

I now leave the front door backwards to make sure she doesn't do this to me again.

Everyone is sleeping in their perspective beds. They are enjoying the fact that they get a treat like clockwork, never have to wait for their meal and they have a warm body to sleep with. Doesn't get any better than that!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Dynamic Duo......

Meet Oscar and Otis. I don't get to see these two very often, but when I do, they greet me as if I were a long-lost friend. They hear my car pull up and begin barking. Once I have reached the garage, they run up to the deck and wait patiently (okay, IMpatiently) until I open the slider to let them in. And, even though they are in for a short time, they are always grateful that I have come to visit. They have sweet dispositions although they each have their own personality. As most of my fur friends know....I always come equipped with treats for them. Oscar is sweet and he is the talker. He talks from the time I arrive until the time I leave. Otis is much less talkative, but one look from those big brown eyes and he "had me at hello!"

Today was my last day to take care of them and I will miss them until the next time. They were perfect little dog angels!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Coming to an end.....

Ginger and I have had fun. She is full of P. an V. (if you know what I mean). She runs to the door when I come in and jumps and barks as if to say 'Its about time'! We have gotten into a rhythm and I visit with all the nurses that work at Ginger's house. She is used to my coming and going and knows when I am going to feed her. She also knows I never leave the house without treats first! I sometimes wonder who is alpha person.

We like to roam the back grounds and talk to Mr. Ed. That is what I have named the gray horse behind their property. The first day I was walking Ginger, the horse came over to the fence and I swear he said 'Hi'......I called him Mr. Ed and he didn't mind. Anyone reading this blog under the age of 50 has no idea what I am referring to when I call him Mr. Ed.....for you youngins'...he was a talking horse on T.V. All the cats are used to me now as well. They come to eat, ask to go outside. In fact, I am so special that Pumpkin decided to bring me a mouse. This is a sign that they like you and they are bringing you a prize. Not as bad as some presents I have received, but we opted to leave it outside. All in all, everything went quite smoothly. It was a pleasure taking care of Ginger. I got to see her walking buddy, Kira today too. I can see Kira and Ginger being great friends. Tomorrow morning is my last visit. I will miss them until next time.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mach One!

Its my third day with Ginger and the feline gang. We have gotten used to the routine.....up at 7am, out to do our business and then eat. Mid-day walk at 1:30 - 2:00 pm and a snack. Walk and eat at 8:30pm and off to bed by 9pm. Until today, Ginger has had no problems going outside with me. We have had rain and hail today and maybe even a thunder shower at one point. I took my umbrella to my mid-day visit and Ginger was spooked by it. I laid it on the counter in the kitchen, but she was not coming anywhere near it. I finally took it to my car and re-entered hoping that would soothe her ruffled feathers. She eventually came to me but not before checking out the kitchen and that intruding umbrella. She is very cute.
After we established it was just Ginger, Me and the Lead, she led me outside and we began a walk around the grounds. It was raining and she didn't enjoy the droplets at first, but soon began sniffing all the spots she usually does her business. After a good long while, it appeared she was ready to rejoin the felines in the house. I turned around and all of a sudden, she performed what I have deemed as 'Mach One'! This is when an animal, dog or cat, decides out of no where to get a burst of energy and run like hell! I had Ginger on the 9 ft. lead so she had a lot of room to run. She began running in circles so fast I couldn't keep up and soon was literally dragging me around the property. Her mommy has a technique with Binaca, but I think you have to get NEAR her to use it! I finally manage to wrangle her towards the house and just as quickly as she had that burst of energy, she became calm and looked at me like 'Whaaat?'. Seriously, I looked around for the hidden camera because it had to be hysterical to anyone that watched!
We went back into the house and I gave her treats. When I left, she was in the window looking out and I could hear her let out a little whimper as if to say...."Don't go...I really LIKE dragging you around"......The cats? .... They could care less!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Ginger and the Gang!

Meet newest companion! She is a retriever with personality! She's lean and wirey and has a very sweet personality. Ginger is buddies with Kira. You can see Kira by looking back at my older posts. Like Kira, she loves to walk and play and jump on you if she catches you off guard. I have learned over the years of taking care of dogs, its like having freckles...some do and some don't. Same with dogs who like to greet you by jumping on you. Most can be trained...but for some, it is just their personality. Ginger and I have bonded and she actually watches out the window when I leave. But, yesterday was our first day and we needed to learn each other's boundaries. We went for a walk on her beautiful woodsy street and by the end of our walk, she was excited and wanted to play. She lunged at me and I put my arm up as she was jumping. Unfortunately, and not because she did anything wrong, it caught my arm and caused two open gashes. I woke up this morning with an arm and hand swollen to about twice its size. Poor little Ginger....all she wanted to do was play and it was not her fault that I got my arm in the way!So, I took a little trip to Urgent Care. They fixed me up, gave me some antibiotics and I was back in business. We probably won't be able to walk for a day or two, but we do enjoy going out onto the property behind her house. In fact, I truly think Ginger prefers this as she is much calmer in those surroundings. All in all, I think we have bonded and Ginger already knows the drill. She hears me opening the door and comes to greet me wagging her little tail. She is adorable.Ginger lives with four cats as well. Three of them are very friendly, but the fourth is no where to be seen. At least - not by me. I've been told that she is very much her mommy's cat and usually stays upstairs. The other three are already used to me coming in and giving food. They have no problem eating and I really have to watch because all of them, including Ginger like to eat each other's food. Everyone is doing great and we are all getting used to each other. That doesn't mean they don't miss their family though.....I'm sure they do.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Patience My Friends......

I haven't posted recently as I have had a break from the business to pursue some travel. But, never fear, the busy days are here. Beginning this weekend, (April 5th), I will begin a busy schedule taking me all the way through September. So, be patient and check often to see the new and old faces that I love to care for!