Ha! It's not easy to gather up your dogs to pose for a picture, but we did it!
I love animals! Presently my husband, Mike, and I have 5 dogs. We've had cats, dogs, turtle, fish, birds, gerbils, mice, and even a squirrel. We even make sure all outside critters such as deer and birds are well fed. So what better job for me than to take care of other people's creatures. For too many years I worked in an office until that fateful day when I was told my job was being eliminated. After I said my tearful goodbyes, I realized that I was free from a job I just couldn't imagine doing until I retired, or until I flopped over dead on my desk.
So what to do to reinvent myself? Since I loved animals, I had an epiphany. I decided to become a dog walker/pet sitter. With 30 years of business experience and my later years as a graphic designer the skills I needed to start this company came in very handy. So with my severance money, I started Watch Dawg Pet Services, had cards printed, purchased insurance and developed this website. The first week I distributed cards in various local businesses, the calls started coming. I was on my way. I absolutely love what I do now; I don't even consider it a job.
My husband and I live on a couple of acres, some wooded, plenty of room for my dogs to run free. Mike also helps out with pet clients when I'm busy. A plumber by trade, he loves walking client dogs too!
You'll see all of my beloved dogs on the Pet Buddies page. Libby, Maxine, and Rosco are pictured above (and below) with me.
A little about our "kids":
Rosco, black Cocker Spaniel, approx. 14 years (rescue dog). He's our food thief and is especially fond of chocolate--a no no for dogs. One time he jumped onto the dining room table (via a chair) and lifted the lid of a Russell Stover's box of chocolates and ate 22 pieces. He became very sick all over the carpet but was better the next day. UPDATE: It is with a grieving heart I have to report that Rosco passed away due to liver failure on 9/19/13. He was in great health till the very end and we love and miss him.
Maxine, white and red Cocker Spaniel, approx. 9 years (rescue dog). Maxine started to lose her site around the age of 5 due to a genetic defect. But she manages and plays ball in our basement! Maxine suffered a stroke in 2012 but is still getting around and in excellent health.
Libby, a liver and white English Springer Spaniel, 9 years, raised from puppyhood. Libby is our most devoted dog and we charge her with the Alpha position. A beautiful, dutiful dog, she has a fear of cameras and other hand-held items. A true hunter, she has brought me a few fresh kills as gifts. I found a dead baby chipmunk in my bed and just the other day brought me in a still warm, but dead, morning dove. I thanked her--what could I do? That's their nature. She's even brought me live a live bird tucked neatly into her big snout one time. Have I mentioned the dead sunny (fish) set by me easy chair?
Sophie, Blenheim and white Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, 5 years, also raised from puppyhood. She's a pure lap dog--pretty much a slug who loves to sleep. She does like to tease little Duchess, the 7 lb. terrier, and chase her around the yard.
Duchess, black Yorkie mix, 4 years, raised from puppyhood, too. Duch is very much a terrier and likes to rule the roost. She loves to antagonize Sophie just to start trouble. It's all harmless play. A 7 lb. terror who loves to boss and bark. She loves to get under the covers with me at night. Another favorite pasttime is stalking squirrels. She'll lay under a tree for hours.
Then there is a 6 year old white and sable Papillon named Missy. Her former caregiver who is also a friend, was unable to care for her anymore since she works very long hours. Plus her new husband doesn't like dogs. Missy is a very sweet dog who used to live in a town home and now has lots of space to run free on our property. It took a while, but the pack has accepted her.
And what would our lives be without a new puppy! In late November 2013 we added a 3 month old female Miniature Schnauzer we named Pepper. We've been having lots of fun with her and Libby, our Springer has taken her over as her new toy. They play fight many times a day, but Libby is also her teacher and looks out for her and the entire pack. This is Libby's 4th puppy she's "raised." She is a terrific surrogate Mom.
That's our 6 dogs. I cannot imagine a life without my without them. They're kinda like potato chips--you can't have just one!
I have learned so much about life and love from our dogs. Plus the experience (trying at times but also a lot of fun an laughs) of raising 5 puppies in a few years gave me the knowledge and expertise to help other people raise their puppies.
Yup, that's Libby as a baby.
Here too is baby Libby before becoming camera shy.