Archives for December 2016

That Hard to Buy for Gift Recipient

Gift Solutions for That Hard to Buy for Loved One

Do you have friends and family members on your list who seem to have everything? Can your friends and family members be hard to buy for? If so we have some suggestions.  

Make a Donation to an Organization They Support

hard to buy for

Courtesy of Lake Norman Lucky Cats

For starters consider making a donation in their honor to a charity that you know they like to support. There is no higher good than that. If your friend or family member is an animal lover remember there are no shortages of good causes right here in our own community.  Take a look at Iredell County Animal Services and Control, Lake Norman Animal Rescue, Cornelius Animal Shelter, Lake Norman Lucky Cats, Catering to Cats and Dogs and Lake Norman Humane.  






Shop Local for That Hard to Buy for Friend

hard to buy for

Photo by Beth Leatherman Harwell

Shopping at Made in Mooresville supports local businesses and services. They offer home decor, gifts and local products. Everything sold at Made in Mooresville comes from within about ten miles! They have a really cool Christmas Tree Coffee and Paint scheduled for December 17.  That’s a calm easy way for you to relax for yourself. Here’s a photo of their books for sale.  All the books are written by local authors or published locally. I really like the “Jack” books.  They are written for the early reader and the protagonist is a cute dog named Jack.

Speaking of painting, Karen Rosenthal Dortschy with Haute Dauge Portraits   creates beautiful paintings of your pet from photographs that you provide.  She has all the commissioned work she can complete before Christmas but you could certainly purchase a gift certificate so the recipient could choose his or her own photo later in the year.

If your friend or family member is owned by pets he or she may benefit from having their floors cleaned. Todd Kofoed with Bigg Time Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning will make the odors and stains of dirty dogs and cats disappear.

Maybe your friend or family member could use some stress relief.  If so check out gift certificates from Your Karma Center for Yoga and Wellness or Bikram Yoga Lake Norman.

Your Karma offers a range of yoga classes and massages.  How many ways can we spell r-e-l-a-x-a-t-i-o-n?LKN Bikram offers yoga and pilates classes and loads of workshops. You can’t go wrong with either option. 

Food for the Hard to Buy For Friend

For the hungry barbecue lover give a gift certificate from Big Tiny’s BBQ.  Those Texans know how to smoke some brisket. The green bean casserole is my favorite side.  How about a tin of cheese rings or gourmet chocolates from Gourmet Plantation? If you hurry you probably still have time today to sample some goodies at Daveste Vineyard at the wine, chocolate and cheese event.  The Celebration continues until 5:00 PM.

Reading is One of Life’s Greatest Pleasures

We offer great reading suggestions for cat lovers and dog lovers.  Scroll down the linked pages to see our recommendations about books and other useful products. 

If your hard to buy for person has an established relationship with a local professional pet sitting business they would probably appreciate a gift certificate for cat or dog sitting or dog walking. Just remember to check to see which company your friend or relative uses use because pet sitting is a very personal choice. 


May all your shopping be easy, your holidays be bright and your Christmas be Merry!!

What Happens in Vegas…Comes Home to Coddle Creek

What Happens in Vegas…Comes Home to Coddle Creek Pet Services

Episode I

Despite popular opinion some things that happen in Las Vegas are designed to be shared. The PetSittingOlogy Conference is one of those happenings. In October 2014 Billy and I were privileged to attend the 3rd Annual PetSittingOlogy Conference. We were delighted to attend the 5th Annual PetSittingOlogy Conference this past October.

PSO Pet Sitters 2016


Arden Moore

Over the next several months we will share the highlights from the conference with you. Today we start with the incomparable Arden Moore. You may have been fortunate enough to listen to her radio show, Oh Behave! on Pet Life Radio. Several years ago I bought her book, The Cat Behavior Answer Book and  have found the tips invaluable when working with, shall we say, less than enthusiastic cats!!

While at the conference Billy and I had the privilege of spending some one on one time with Arden and got to know her on a personal level. Arden’s sense of humor is delightful.  We also had the opportunity to purchase two more of her books, Fit Dog and Fit Cat.  We heartily recommend Arden’s books.

Just this week Billy passed along recommendations for medicating a cat to one of our clients that was distressed about her cat’s needs for medication. Said cat is independent and does not like to be messed with. 

Arden’s cat Casey assists her with teaching Pet First Aid 4U. Pet Safety Cat Casey endorses the The Explorer Adventure First Aid Kit. The kit contains the items you might need in an emergency (for your pet or you). Billy and I previously created our own first aid kits for carrying in our cars but needed something compact enough to carry on hikes with our dogs. This kit is the perfect addition to our backpacks for those so beloved hikes.

Stay tuned next month for Episode Two of What Happens in Vegas…Comes Home to Coddle Creek Pet Services.

Watch Out for Counter Surfers During the Holidays

Counter Surfers

counter surfers


Do counter surfers live in your home? We have learned that we are owned by one dog and two goats.  Or at least Trooper and Luke act like goats sometimes.  Back when Beau was still living he won the prize for counter surfers. Beau routinely counter surfed and managed to snag sandwiches, rotisserie chicken, bread and freshly baked blueberry muffins!

Trooper, our English Springer Spaniel “Goat” prefers toilet tissue, Kleenex and paper towels.  His favorite game of all time is to steal a washcloth, hand towel or sock and run to his crate where he waits on a treat to entice him to drop the stolen bounty.  

We would love to hear from you what your dog chooses to take for ransom.  Post your answers on our Facebook page please.  

But in all seriousness we do want to offer a reminder about year round and holiday dangers to your cats, dogs, birds and guinea pigs.


counter surfers

Pet Poison Helpline (855) 886-7965 offers this information about routine pet poisons.

Based on our Pet Poison Helpline call volume and extensive database, here are the top 10 most common toxins that Pet Poison Helpline gets called about. Now keep in mind that some of these listed are very toxic, while some are minimally toxic (like ant baits and silica packs). When in doubt, call your vet or Pet Poison Helpline to make sure there won’t be a problem. Take special care to keep these toxins out of your pet’s reach and pet-proof your house!




Dog Poisonscounter surfers

  1. Chocolate
  2. Mouse and Rat Poisons (rodenticides)
  3. Vitamins and Minerals (e.g., Vitamin D3, iron, etc.)
  4. NSA
  5. IDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.)
  6. Cardiac Medications (e.g., calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, etc.)
  7. Cold and Allergy Medications (e.g., pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine, etc.)
  8. Antidepressants (e.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  9. Xylitol
  10. Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol)
  11. Caffeine Pills

Cat Poisons

  1. Topical spot-on insecticides
  2. Household Cleaners
  3. Antidepressants
  4. Lilies
  5. Insoluble Oxalate Plants (e.g., Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, etc.)
  6. Human and Veterinary NSAIDs
  7. Cold and Flu Medication (e.g., Tylenol)
  8. Glow Sticks
  9. ADD/ADHD Medications/Amphetamines
  10. Mouse and Rat Poison


If you suspect your pet has ingested any of these items or any other questionable substance, call Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian for assistance. Accurate and timely identification of the suspected substance is very important. Having the container, package, or label in hand will save valuable time and may save the life of your pet.

Here’s a common language interpretation on the names above

NSAIDs (e.g. Advil, Aleve and Motrin)

Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol)

Antidepressants (e.g. Effexor, Cymbalta, Prozac, Lexapro)

ADD/ADHD medications (e.g. Concerta, Adderall, Ritalin)

Benzodiazepines and sleep aids (e.g. Xanax, Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta)

Birth control (e.g. estrogen, estradiol, progesterone)

ACE Inhibitors (e.g. Zestril, Altace)

Beta-blockers (e.g. Tenormin, Toprol, Coreg)

Thyroid hormones (e.g. Armour desiccated thyroid, Synthroid)

Cholesterol lowering agents (e.g. Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor)

The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline recommend keeping these fall items away from all pets

  • mushrooms
  • mothballs
  • antifreeze
  • mouse and rat poisons
  • compost bins or piles
  • Maple tree leaves


They recommend keeping these seasonal holiday items away from all pets

  • tinsel
  • lilies, holly, mistletoe and poinsettia
  • alcohol
  • grapes, raisins and currants
  • chocolate
  • Xylitol (artificial sweetener often found in sugarless gum and candy)
  • leftover fatty meat scraps (can lead to pancreatitis)
  • imported snow globes
  • liquid potpourri


Other Items to Protect From Counter Surfers

We also recommend you keep wrapping paper, ribbon and the Christmas tree water out of reach of your cats and dogs.  You may want to consider installing a gate or closing the door to the room with the tree.  When you are doing your holiday baking remember that if pets ingest uncooked dough it will “rise” in their bellies and can cause an obstruction.  Those other Christmas decorations are also items that can break or splinter or create an obstruction that requires surgery.
A few other food items to avoid allowing your cats and dogs to eat include caffeine found in coffee or tea, under cooked or raw turkey, cake batter, sage (often included in stuffing), candy and candy wrappers, wrappings (foil, waxed paper, plastic wrap, plastic silverware, toothpicks, skewers, etc).

The ASPCA provides a list of plants that are toxic to cats, dogs and horses.

Here’s wishing you a Thankful Thanksgiving, Joyous Christmas and Happy New Year all in SAFETY!!