Older Pets Make Great Picks

Older Pets | Senior Pet Care | Paws on Pine | FiDi | NYCPets over the age of five face a serious threat in this country. If their owner’s can no longer care for them and surrender them to a shelter, their chances of finding a new family are slim. This means that the shelter will inevitably euthanize them before all of the younger animals.  In order for our country to move toward a “no kill” policy in shelters, we need to prove that senior pets are valuable, too. The best way to do this is to open our minds to the benefits of adopting pets 5 years of age or older.

There is a common misconception that older pets land in shelters because of behavioral problems, but this is simply untrue. The majority of seniors are given over to shelters because their owner’s circumstances have changed. These changes include death of a guardian, change in work schedule, birth of a baby, need to move to a place where pets are not allowed, kids going off to college, or a prospective spouse disliking animals. Therefore, it is not uncommon for very expensive, well-bred, well-trained animals to end up in a shelter.

In many ways, senior pets are easier to care for than younger pets, too. For starters, they are already housebroken and know at least the basic commands. They are also calmer and less energetic, allowing you to maintain a relaxed pace on your walks and have a lazy Sunday every once in a while. We all know the old adage, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but older pets have a longer attention span and are able to focus on you for longer periods of time. They will learn any limit or command that you consistently enforce. Also, older pets who have been in shelters for a while are more grateful to be in your home and, as a result, are more willing to bond with you and please you.

Finally, older dogs are open books—from the start, you’ll know important things like their full-grown size, personality, and grooming requirements. All this information makes it easier to pick the right dog and forge that instant love connection that will last a lifetime.

 

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The little things….

I lost my sweet French Bulldog Bebop Tuesday morning.   She let my husband Andrew and me know it was time for her to go to heaven.  The last time I felt this much pain was when my grandfather passed away three years ago (actually- almost three years to the day).  It has been a rough few days.

The hardest thing for me is being home so I’m trying to get out as much as possible- seeing my furry and human clients makes me happy and reminds me of Bebop when she was younger.  My other dog, Doxy, the 16 year old Dachshund is getting quadruple love- I’m so lucky to still have her in my life.

Bebop was unable to walk the last three months except when we took her out on her wheels or in her stroller with Doxy.  At home, she was always laying in one of her three beds in my living room.  Of course Doxy was by her side.  In between dog walks, I would come home and do what I called the “Beebs” rotation.  I would move her from bed to bed and massage her legs and sing to her (really badly I might add).  Coming home Tuesday and seeing Doxy alone, surrounded by 3 of Bebop’s beds was tough.  I left one bed for Doxy and moved the other three into a pile in the other room to be donated to one of my favorite charities- the French Bulldog Rescue Network.

Losing a Pet |Dog Walking and Pet Sitting | FiDi | NYC

My mini make-shift memorial for Bebop

So many things make me sad-

  • Every time I see Bebop’s hair on my clothing or the floor (of course my floors are black).
  • We have a night light in our bedroom we always put on for Bebop when it was time for bed (believe it or not, she wouldn’t sleep without it).  We called it Beebs light.  It’s hard sleeping in the dark.
  • Opening my hall closet and seeing Bebop’s leash.
  • Signing cards for 12 years from Heather, Andrew, Doxy and Bebop- it’s hard excluding her.
  • Getting mad at Andrew and threatening to leave and taking Bebop with me (I would take Doxy too but Bebop rolled off my tongue better when I was mad).
  • Having new client meetings and saying I am owned by 2 dogs…. now there is only one.
  • The diapers I ordered Bebop weeks ago arrived Tuesday, the day she passed.
  • Getting out the holiday stuff and finding Bebop’s Xmas stocking.
  • Walking into my apartment and yelling “Heyyy BEEEE” every time.  I’ve accidentally done it a few times since Tuesday.
  • I talk to my grandma every morning and for the last 12 years she tells me to say hi to Bebop, Andrew and Frank-a-furter (Doxy).  It’s hard not hearing Bebop’s name anymore.

Whenever one of these things gets me down, I think about the INCREDIBLE AMAZING times I had with her.  When she would run in our yard in Brooklyn and eat our tulip bulbs or bark at the bottom of the stairs to be carried or jumping in the snow outside our building….  So many great memories with her.  She was such a special dog.

When Bebop could walk, she would look up at me (for a treat of course).  Now she’s looking down.  I love and miss her so much.

Thank you Bebop for making my life so much better these last 12 years and huge love to Andrew, Doxy, my friends and clients for being there for me during this difficult time.  I love you!  XXXOOO

-HJC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Caught on Canine Camera

I believe that human beings are essentially good, but when it comes to letting someone such as a dog walker into my home, seeing is believing. I use a handy little app to turn my laptop’s webcam into a motion-detecting surveillance camera. I consider myself lucky to have never seen a trace of treachery in my footage, but a quick Google search will uncover hundreds of horror stories caught on tape. There’s the pill-popper who emptied a couple’s medicine cabinet, the grazer who stuck his finger in every jar in the pantry, the transvestite who modeled and muddied dozens of expensive gowns, and, worst of all, the dope who let the dog out for ten minutes and napped on the couch, directly in front of the camera, for the rest of the “walk.”

Canine Camera | Dog Walking & Pet Sitting | Financial District | NYC

Mary used a canine camera to find out what was really going on.

One of Paws on Pine’s newest clients (let’s call her Mary) came to us after experiencing a similar incident. Mary paid for private walks with another company in the area, and shortly after the walks began, she noticed her dog acting strangely. She installed a puppy cam and saw her walker escort several other dogs into her apartment and leash her pup alongside them. Unaccustomed to such raucousness, Mary’s dog became nervous and agitated, both on and off of the walks. To add insult to injury, the company’s owner emailed Mary to tell her that her dog was maladjusted and “belongs on Prozac.”

The moral of the story is that the quality of dog walking services varies greatly from company to company. Take your time and choose a company that vets all of their walkers and holds them accountable for stellar performance. All of the walkers at Paws on Pine, for example, provide extensive personal and professional references and go through a rigorous background check and interview process before they set foot through your door. We also monitor them and give bonuses (often!) for great work. Also, don’t be shy about asking your dog walking service for client references. Here are some of ours: http://pawsonpine.com/what-people-are-saying

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Ms. Bunnyweather

Paws on Pine has its first rabbit client. Her name is Ms. Bunnyweather (MBW for short- you know I love initials).  She is a six year old Chinchilla rabbit. I must confess, when I got the call for a bunny and cat sitting job (MBW has a feline sister named Immi), I started sweating. The last time I held a rabbit was in middle school and it wasn’t the most fun experience. I got bit pretty bad and swore off anything rabbit like (guinea pigs, rats, mice, chinchillas, ferrets… you get the drift). I told the human client I didn’t have much experience with rabbits- he didn’t mind.

Rabbit Sitter | Paws on Pine | Financial District

By the end of the bunny sitting job, MBW was eating out of my hands- literally!!

I went over to the consultation (I always meet my human and furry clients prior to first visit). He showed me the lay of the land with MBW.  MBW has a pretty sweet setup. She has a big cage and pen where she can run freely. The instructions were pretty simple- clean the cage, feed her hay and give her fresh water daily (while the client was showing me where the food and supplies were, I was thinking in my head “I CAN DO THIS”!

Two days later, the job began. I can’t lie- I was sweating when I arrived at the apartment. I decided to start with MBW’s cat sister Immi first; played with her, fed her, gave her fresh water, cleaned her litter and of course gave her a treat. Once I was done, I slowly walked over to MBW (Jaws theme playing).  I decided to start with giving her fresh water. I figured I could tackle cleaning the cage, then feeding her hay and then attempting to play with her and/or give her some love. Cleaning a rabbit cage is similar to cleaning cat litter. There is a large scooper and instead of litter, there is this foam looking material. They made sure to leave tons of that and hay for the week. I stepped into the pen- MBW was giving me the stink eye. She didn’t want to get out of her cage. I said “MBW, I need to clean that” and she wouldn’t move. So I decided to clean the cage around her- big mistake. Ends up MBW really doesn’t like the scooper. She bit me- it wasn’t bad. Lesson one, do not clean a rabbit cage with the rabbit in it. Luckily, she has these yogurt treats she goes bonkers for. I shook the bag, got her over to the other side of the pen, and quickly cleaned her cage and fed her hay.

By day two, I was petting her and by day three, I was holding her and giving her treats from my hand. Ok- so I might have overreacted about MBW but so happy I put my fear aside. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t be adopting a rabbit anytime soon but I love pet sitting her and so happy I got this opportunity!

Big thanks to MBW and Immi’s human parents and to all of you who support Paws everyday! Means so much to me!!  XXXOOO

-HJC

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Losing a furry friend…

I lost a friend yesterday- our client Pyapya the 16 year old Whippet. We started walking him recently- late August, and of course, fell in love with him immediately. I obviously have an affinity for senior dogs- my two girls Doxy and Bebop are 16 and 12 respectively.  Pyapya was in pretty good shape for being 16 and a cancer survivor. We walked him four times a day. We carried him every walk from his apartment to the street because he started having accidents. Even though Pya was frail, he was still a whopping 22 pounds. I loved hugging him and telling him I was thankful for the extra workout he gave me each walk!  🙂

Losing a Pet | Paws on Pine

This was Pyapya on our last walk together. I wish I knew it was our last walk. I miss him so much already!

I saw him for his 9am walk Friday and he didn’t seem right. Once I got him outside, he was very unsteady. After our walk, I let his owners know his condition. When Melissa went to walk him at 12n, he couldn’t stand. One of his owners rushed home to take him to the vet. The vet said Pya might have experienced a vascular event and they were going to watch him overnight. The next morning, I texted his owners to see how Pya was doing. They responded by letting me know they were going to put him to sleep.  I cried all morning, for so many reasons. Pya was my first consistent client who passed away. I loved him and didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. Even though Pya was old, I thought there was still time….

Pyapya, I loved you like my own. You made me smile every time I walked you- even when you peed on me. Now, in heaven you can run around and have fun! I hope they have a sweater for you with a turtleneck to keep your neck warm!! I will never forget you. RIP my sweet Pyapya.

Please give your pets extra love today and huge love to Tim and Michael for bringing Pyapya into our Paws on Pine family- we are eternally grateful to have met all of you and of course, big love to my clients, friends, fans and family.  Thank you for letting me do what I love everyday!!!  🙂

-HJC

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