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Pet Sitters and Dog Walkers Paying it Forward

Athena - Renal DiseasePaying it forward: what pet sitters and dog walkers of PPP do. When Athena came on schedule, she’d just been diagnosed with renal disease and knowing fluids would be coming, we offered to help in advance. We’ve got scads of experience with pointy things, scared pets and terrified owners. We got the call yesterday, Athena’s mom had been given fluids by her vet to help her girl through renal disease, and it hadn’t gone well. This is a very common scenario. We’ve lived through it ourselves with our own pets.

Imagine: You’re in the vet’s office learning how to give subcutaneous fluids. You hate needles, and you’re petrified to hurt your beloved pet. The vet tech or techs come in, assuring you that you can do this, but you’re fixated on that giant needle. You miss how they insert the line kit into the bag. You don’t hear them tell you to make sure the bag is high in the air. You never notice them squeezing the bulb on the line kit to get the fluids moving, because they’re smooth and calm in their work, not giving the cat time to get nervous. You, on the other hand, are nearly shaking to pieces in fright. Quick as a wink, they insert the needle, start the flow and before you know it, they’re finished. Your cat feels fantastic! You can’t remember a word they said. Once home, you struggle to remember. You’re scared, what if you do it wrong?

I was greeted by Athena’s mom and dad at their home this morning, both wearing stressed but hopeful expressions. Mama was so worried, didn’t want her baby to cry like that again. Dad was worried about both mama and Athena. Pet sitter Carolyn was happy, happy, happy. I’m always honored when an owner calls on us for help, and love to be able to pay it forward. I showed them how to warm the fluids, set up a “fluids station” for continuity, and insert the needle the most pain-free way possible. Showed them how to mark the bag for easy viewing, drain the line of cold fluids and wrap the kitty to provide comfort and prevent escape or squirming. It went very well. Mama did it all by herself, and dad was stoic and supportive of both mama and the kitty. On my way out, mama looked at me uncertainly and wondered if she could reimburse me for my time. No, mama, this is on the house. We pay it forward, and one day, you may pay it forward too.

We do these sorts of things all the time. Our clients know it’s an all-inclusive package: if your vet sends you home and you suddenly find you’ve forgotten how to do it, you can call us at any time and we’ll be there, no charge. We can show you blood glucose testing, insulin injections, subcutaneous fluids, various methods of pilling, different ways to encourage eating and many other things.

hunterHunter gets a smorgasbord of pills every day, with occasional injections and even medicated baths. We keep all these straight and ensure that there are no incidents with our unique methods of organization and our online client database. Helping mama to relax her fears and enjoy herself while she’s away is what we do. Helping Hunter to adjust to the recent loss of his soulmate brother, Willis, is also what we do – sometimes popping in an extra time a day, or making a very long visit hole in our schedule to take him to the beach.

tallyOne of our most emotional experiences this year was taking Tally into our fold as a daily walk assignment. Tally was already in renal failure when we started with her, and she was not given long to live. When we met her, we were not sure she would make it through a couple of months, as she was a bit weakened. Lo and behold, Tally wanted to live, and live she did! On our very first day, Tally didn’t want to just hang out in the yard, she took off for a walk, surprising both her mom and her pet sitter. Every subsequent day, Tally continued to surprise all who knew her with hikes around the neighborhood and even to the beach. Tally was driven to enjoy every day, and even though that meant many times we far exceeded a normal amount of time during a visit, we couldn’t help but enjoy every moment of those walks with her. We don’t like to boast, but we have an idea that letting Tally be a dog is what prolonged her joyous final months. Sometimes letting a dog be a dog means making unscheduled “just checking on ya” visits, buying special delicious treats to encourage appetite and working very closely with mom to help find information and answers and ensure excellent across the board care. We were there the day Tally wanted to let go. We called her mom home, we helped her make that last phone call and we stayed, sharing tears, until we were absolutely certain we’d helped in every way we could. It’s what we do.

francis IMG_20130222_131315-1 oscar

We’ve helped many clients with advice and expertise including digestive upsets, veterinarian recommendations, diet, long and short term illnesses, hospice care to home care assistance. We have experience with many types of medicines, homeopathy, supplements and injections. We are able to work with veterinarians, rather than against them and we’re proud to be able to offer this to our clients.

To the pet sitters and dog walkers of Pawsitively Priceless Petsitting, paying it forward means never letting an owner handle something alone that we can help with. It means never letting an animal suffer if we know there’s something out there that can help them. And it means working very closely with owners, vets, friends, neighbors and each other to ensure the absolute best care possible. It means everything to us that moms and dads let us help them. If you need advice or guidance, please don’t hesitate to write to us:


Rescue Work

Pet Guardian Pet Service
Pet Guardian is a local rescue organization specializing in saving domestic animals in crisis.

Diabetic Cats In Need
Diabetic Cats in Need is a national organization dedicated to helping diabetic cats live wonderful lives.

GO Rescue
GO Rescue is a local group rescuing dogs from imminent death and rehoming them.

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