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!!

Fireworks and Pets

Fireworks and Pets Mix Like Oil and Water.

fireworks and pets

Fireworks and pets

No doubt any pet owner who did not already know that fireworks scare the heck out of pets has learned that fact the last few days.

We have three dogs of our own and are also professional pet sitters.  During the last few days we have seen far too many anxious dogs and cats.  I am distressed that the thoughtless illegal actions of others have troubled so many pets and people. It’s truly distressing to be taking care of pets in a house that sits on a thumbnail sized lot with houses so close you could practically touch them if you stretched your arms out. In one instance I had taken a dog out to “do her business.” Just as she squatted a huge BOOM went off. The poor dog stopped in her tracks and did not relieve herself out of fear.

A neighbor had left his dog tied up outside. The pitiful sounds of the dog whimpering and whining broke my heart. The cats inside the house went into hiding.

Certainly we don’t want to destroy anyone’s fun. But apparently many people have differing definitions of fun. However; I cannot define “fun” as an activity that causes extreme anxiety and fear in pets and also causes severe trauma for those who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). For someone to define this action as “fun” demonstrates their level of immaturity.

More about those issues later in this post, but for now I want to focus on what we as pet owners can do to reduce the fear and stress our pets feel over the sound and sight of fireworks.

Fireworks and Pets:  How Can we Help Our Pets On July 4 and New Year’s Eve

Let’s face it, we most likely will not be able to get our neighbors to refrain from setting off fireworks.  There’s no point in banging our heads against the wall.  Instead, let’s get prepared for dealing with fireworks and pets.  Here are my top ten ideas.

  1. Talk with your neighbors in a friendly manner.  Find out what their plans are and when they plan to set off their fireworks. Tell them you need to know so that you can prepare your pets or plan on being away from home for awhile.
  2. Ask your neighborhood association to send out a notice suggesting that celebrations be confined to one night only each season….ideally on July 4 and New Year’s Eve. Approach this in a solution focused manner to reduce the need for anyone to fee defensive.
  3. Speak up at neighborhood meetings and discuss the realities of the issues around fireworks and pets. Let people know that some pets shake and drool uncontrollably, some pets try to escape their crates or even their homes. Dogs have been known to escape fences if outside when fireworks start. Any human who has ever experienced an anxiety attack is sure to be able to relate to how horrible that feels to the pet. Maybe I’m still just a little hopeful that folks will change their ways!
  4. If your dogs like car rides consider driving around in the country side where there are less likely to be fireworks displays.  Make sure you have the car radio on and bring along some chew toys for your dogs.
  5. Research camp grounds and find out where dogs are allowed and where traditionally fireworks have not been set off.  Once you know, take off on that camping trip. fireworks and pets
  6. For those of you that don’t like to go camping and for those of you with pets that don’t travel well (cats, birds, fish) learn how to make your home a fortress from loud noises. If you have a basement, that’s probably the best spot.  Turn on window air conditioners and fans to generate noise. Invest in a “white noise” machine.  Turn on the TV or stereo with the kind of music you already know is helpful to your pets. Use heavy curtains to help block noise and flashes of light.
  7. Give your dog something to occupy himself.  For food motivated dogs a frozen stuffed kong is ideal. We really like these ideas from Lynnette Walczak. Engage your cat in play. Pull out that laser light or play with a flirt pole to occupy his attention.
  8. Check out calming products for your cats and dogs. Not all products will be effective on all pets so you will need a little trial and error. Some of our favorites include the Thundershirt (they make them for cats too), Adaptil collars and diffusers (for dogs), Sentry Calming Collars (for dogs and cats), Feliway diffusers for cats, Music Through a Dog’s Ear/Cat’s Ear, Bach’s Flower Rescue Remedy and Nature’s Miracle Cat Calming Spray.
  9. If the environmental efforts you made and the calming products you tried did not work, consult your veterinarian for a prescription medication to calm and sedate your pet during the most stressful events
  10. Remember, this too shall pass.  Try to stay as calm as you can because we know that our pets respond to our moods also.

 

Fireworks and Military Combat Veterans

We promised to address the issue of combat veterans and fireworks too.  Here are our thoughts.

fireworks and pets

Combat Veteran Lives Here

Imagine my horror when I read a post in Next Door from someone who apparently had a large fireworks display in their yard.  The individual defended their actions as being patriotic due to her husband’s past military service. I am proud of my father, uncles and even one aunt who served in the military during WWII, another uncle who served in the US Army during the Korean conflict and my husband who served in the US Air Force for 22 years.

However; service in the military truly does not justify distressing others with illegal actions.  Far too many of our former and retired service members served in combat and continue to suffer from the ill effects many years later.  My own father was traumatized and I know many more were also.

The little things truly can make a difference.  Most veterans with PTSD are happy for you to celebrate with fireworks on July 4. To be courteous, please confine the celebrations to one night, July 4.  Please don’t make a week long celebration out of it.  Also know that many combat veterans prefer not to place a sign in their yard.  If they do place a sign be sure to honor it and warn them of your plans. That way the veteran can either leave home for the evening, take anti anxiety medication, turn up the music or do what ever he or she needs to do to ward off the crippling anxiety attack.

For those who think they are honoring military veterans with fireworks, perhaps it’s time to consider a different way to honor our veterans.  The thoughts expressed by many veterans regarding Memorial Day on the Task & Purpose web page are a good start.  One comment in particular rang true with me.

I understand the sentiment and the desire to convey appreciation. Rather than thank me, however, I would prefer people to take moment and think about the original November 11, in 1918. After a horrific campaign, the endless shelling, gassing, and gunfire ceased at 11 am, replaced with the first silence that the battlefields of World War I had heard in four years. Think of the shock and limitless thankfulness the soldiers felt as they heard birds chirping, something we hear and take for granted every day. They had survived hell, and could be reunited with their families. These men carried the scars of war with them forever, as do veterans of all conflicts. —Angry Staff Officer, U.S. Army National Guardsman

Another statement addressed the issue of service as follows.

With regards to being thanked for my service, no one should be under any obligation to do so. If they want to, that’s fine, although ask about my experiences, the people, the conditions. The real, honest stories we share truly help people understand a concept so foreign (literally and figuratively) to them. If they truly feel the need to thank and support service members, I would encourage them to find a veteran’s group or organization and help them out however they can. —Kyle Dykstra, U.S. Army veteran

Common Courtesy

Common courtesy goes a long way in addressing the concerns. For those of you who enjoy setting off fireworks in your yard, please consider the issues and needs of your neighbors (humans, dogs, cats and birds). For those of us who love and care for pets and humans suffering from PTSD, think proactively about how to approach your neighbors in a non confrontational manner. Be prepared with the actions and products that can most help your pets and you get through these difficult holidays. For me, July 4 will always be difficult because my father took his own life 16 years ago on July 4.  Little did we know that he had always hated July 4. Only after his death did we learn that he had taken out an entire company of men one July 4 during WWII.  I make sure not to knowingly engage in anything stressful on July 4 and simply take care of myself and my family the best way I can. May you do the same.

 

 

January Pet Holidays

January Pet Holidays

The January Pet Holidays jump start 2016 for us.  Read all about the zany holidays and some more practical and useful January pet holidays in 2016.

January is designated as National Train Your Dog Month, Walk Your Pet Month and Adopt a Rescued Bird Month. Notice it is Walk your Pet, not just walk your dog month.  Sure enough, some cats can be trained to walk on a leash, but it is not recommend for every cat.  Click here to read a great article on the subject.

January Pet Holidays

Luke and Beth on a snowy hike

We know it’s cold outside in January, but that does not give us a “bye” for giving our dogs the exercise they crave and need.  If it’s too cold for you to walk your dog every day or if it’s dark by the time you arrive home, consider having us walk your dog from one to five days every week. Check out our doggy care page to learn about the services we provide for your dogs.

January 2 was National Pet Travel Safety Day.  We strongly advocate that when you are transporting your pet that you secure them with a pet safety belt and harness or inside a crate. Airline approved crates are the most sturdy for this purpose.

January 14 is National Dress Up Your Pet Day.  It’s one of those zany holidays just because it’s fun.  Pet MD even offers 10 reasons it’s a good idea. Be sure that your pet enjoys dressing up, that the clothing is not too tight and restrictive and and that nothing dangles off that could cause your pet to choke.

National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (January 22) was designed to remind us to pay attention to what our cats are trying to tell us in the only language they have. Rather than simply being annoyed when your cat pees outside the litter box, scratches your sofa or scratches and bites you, think about the issue from your cat’s perspective.  If your cat’s behavior is perplexing you consider booking a consultation with Charlotte based Rita Reimers the Cat Analyst. Rita is a trusted colleague who also offers cat sitting services in the Charlotte area.

Change a Pet’s Life Day is celebrated on January 24. The ASPCA is sponsoring a contest to tell how you have changed a pet’s life. Check out this link to enter the contest.

January 21 is the day that Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper are most looking forward to. On that monumental day they get to appreciate squirrels!

January pet holidays

Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper (front to back)

How to Keep Your Cats and Dogs Safe During the Holidays

How To Keep Your Cats and Dogs Safe During the Holidays

Pet Safety is important year round. The extra decorations, rich foods and company in and out of the house make the holidays a time to be extra vigilant to keep your cats and dogs safe. With that in mind we offer these seasonal tips to keep your cats and dogs safe during the holidays.

cats and dogs safe

  • Stabilize your Christmas tree so it’s not easily tipped over
  • Don’t decorate with plants that are poisonous to cats and dogs including lillies, holly, mistletoe and poinsettia
  • Don’t use tinsel on your tree…it can cause an intestinal blockage
  • Don’t leave lights on the bottom branches of your tree…pets can be burned and can also bite through the electrical wires
  • Keep ornaments out of your pets’ reach…they can cause an intestinal blockage, choking and cuts on paws
  • Don’t let your pet drink from the Christmas tree water…the preservatives can harm your pets
  • Use lighted candles only on shelves high enough your pets cannot knock them over
  • Don’t use edible decorations on your tree
  • Keep ribbons and strings on your packages out of your pets’ reach
  • Consider putting a baby gate or pet gate around your tree
  • Don’t feed your pets rich and fatty goodies…they can cause pancreatitis
  • Don’t give your pets uncooked dough…it can expand in their stomachs and create bloat
  • Grapes, raisins and macadamia nuts can lead to organ failure
  • Alcohol, chocolate and foods sweetened with xylitol are poisonous to pets
  • When entertaining guests caution them not to feed your pets tidbits from the holiday table and to keep their plates and glasses out of reach of your pets
  • Consider confining your pets in another room when guests are present
  • At New Year’s remember that most pets are frightened by loud noises such as fireworks
  • Perhaps most important, don’t give pets as gifts…instead give the bowls, beds and toys needed and adopt your pet after the holidays

We wish you a safe and joyous holiday season!

xylitol your cats and dogs safe

December Happenings around Lake Norman

These December Happenings Around Lake Norman are Making it Look a Lot Like Christmas

December Happenings Around Lake Norman

We are never without fun things to do around Lake Norman in December or any other time.  There’s something for the entire family, just for the kids and just for the pets. Enjoy!!

We hope you enjoy all the December Happenings Around Lake Norman!

Christmas Happenings Around Lake Norman

Pet Celebration Days in October

October Rocks for Pet Celebration Days

Here’s the rundown.  Celebrate these pet celebration days where celebration is called for and take heed where action is needed.

Month Long October Celebrations

National Animal Safety and Prevention Month

With all the rain we have had lately, now is a good time to go on a search and destroy mission for wild mushrooms anywhere your dogs walk and play.  A former co-worker’s dog spent the night at an emergency animal hospital last night after eating wild mushrooms.  The dog had seizures as a result.  The same thing happened to the dog of a Facebook friend a week or so ago.  Sadly, Actor Dwayne Johnson’s puppy had to be put down after suffering extensive liver damage from eating wild mushrooms.

Adopt a Shelter Dog Month

The ASPCA urges us to adopt a dog from a shelter.  We think that’s a great idea. We adopted our sweet Daisy Mae from National Brittany Adoption and Rescue Network (NBRAN) after they rescued her from Caldwell County Animal Shelter.

Sweet Daisy Mae

Sweet Daisy Mae

The ASPCA offers lots of tips about pet adoption.

The ASPCA tells us that approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats. Of the dogs entering shelters, approximately 35% are adopted, 31% are euthanized and 26% of dogs who came in as strays are returned to their owner.

Of the cats entering shelters, approximately 37% are adopted, 41% are euthanized, and less than 5% of cats who came in as strays are returned to their owners.  About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.  That’s why we support spay and neutering your pets and adoption instead of buying a pet.

Adopt a Dog Month

The American Human Association declares October as Adopt a Dog Month.  They urge us to take the pledge to make our next dog addition an adoption either from a local shelter or a rescue organization.  The Amerian Humane Association recommends Pet Finder as a great place to start.  They remind us that nearly 3.7 million animals are euthznized every year in shelters. That’s a heart breaking statistic that we can all do something about.  Adopt, rescue, spay & neuter.

Dogs bring so much to our lives. They love us unconditionally, encorage us to exercise and bring us lots of laughs. For that matter, cats bring us lots of laughs too…they just don’t show their love in quite the same way.  Here are some of the dogs and cats we have known and loved during the early days of our pet sitting business (along with a photo of our three).

PSX_20140816_193829 PSX_20150901_144043 Billy and pets PSX_20150319_123846 PSX_20150601_001749 PSX_20150901_143740 PSX_20150901_145841 PSX_20150901_145308dozer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special Weeks in October

October 1 – 7  –  National Walk Your Dog Week

National Walk Your Dog Week was founded by  Pet Lifestyle Expert & Animal Behaviorist “Colleen Paige” October is usually a great month for walking out of doors. What better way to get the exercise you and your dog need while strenthening the bond between you and your dog! Let this be a habit that starts you on daily walks with your dog.  For those days that you cannot walk your dog due to work and family obligations consider hiring a dog walker.  National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) and Pet Sitters International (PSI) both offer free professional pet sitter/professional dog walker locater services.

October 11- 17  –  National Veterinary Technician Week

Just as nurses and others in the human medical field are indispensable, so are veterinary technicians indispensable to the field of veterinary medicine.  Checck them out on FaceBook and remember to thank them the next time you take your pet to the vet!

vet techs

Special Days in October

We have four special pet celebration days in October.

October 4     World Animal Day

On their website the fouders of World Animal Day tell us about their mission:

To raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals.  It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.  Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.

world animal day

 

October 14    National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Did you know that 28% of all cats studied in 2014 were obese? Did you know that 17% of all dogs studied in 2014 were obese?  Another 30% of cats were overweight and another 35% of all dogs were overweght.

Excess weight in pets leads to Osteoarthritis, Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Heart and Respiratory Disease, Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury, Kidney Disease, Many Forms of Cancer and Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years).

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention offers these tools to help you help your dog or cat get back to a healthy weight. It takes conscious effort on our parts to accomplish these goals. You can start with simple steps such as feeding your pets on a schedule instead of free feeding them.  Measure the amount of food you provide.  Remember the calories in treats count too.  Perhaps your dog could achieve a sense of satisfaction with a half cup of green beans added to his half cup of kibble instead of a full cup of kibble.

Get active with your pet. You can play chase games with your cat and provide climbing towers for him.  Remember earlier we talked about walking with your dog? That’s a win win for both of you.

Dr. Nancy Kay, on her blog, Speaking for Spot, offers sage advice.

 

October 16    National Feral Cat Day

NFCD_3Sections_Join

On their website, Alley Cat Allies provides sobering facts.

  • Cats have lived alongside humans for more than 10,000 years. They are part of the natural landscape. Feral cats are the same species as pet cats. Feral cats, also called community or outdoor cats, live in groups called colonies and can thrive in every landscape. They are just as healthy as pet cats, but they are not socialized to humans and are therefore unadoptable.
  • Trap-Neuter-Return—a humane approach to managing and caring for community cats—is the only effective method of stabilizing cat colonies. In the last decade, the number of local governments with official policies endorsing TNR has increased tenfold, with hundreds of cities and towns successfully carrying out TNR programs.
  • However, in the majority of cities, cats are still caught and brought to animal pounds and shelters where they are killed. The shelter system is the number one cause of death for cats in the United States. About 70% of cats who enter shelters are killed there, including virtually 100% of feral cats. That’s why it’s so important for people like you to join us for National Feral Cat Day®, and every day, to help change society and create compassionate communities for cats.

You can help change this by working locally to reduce the feral cat population.  Get involved with Lake Norman Lucky Cat Program to help.

 

October 29    National Cat Day

On their website, the folks at National Cat Day suggest 20 ways to celebrate the day.  If you decide to commission the portrait of your cat, we recommend Karen Dorchesty at Haute Dauge Portraits.  1908369_434803663311547_3989341091501783072_nhautedaugue

 

 

 

 

 

 

We agree with their recommendation to write your congressional representative urging the banning of euthnasia by gas chamber throughout the United States.  And, if you decide to try the idea of donating needed items to a shelter or rescue organization please consider donating to our Presents 4 Pets 2015 campaign.


There you have it folks.  Enjoy those special Pet Celebration Days in October!

 

What is Happening In and Around Mooresville During March?

Are you curious about how we celebrate with our pets in and around Mooresville during March? 

For those of us who live with pets, here are the celebrations, special days and weeks we are paying attention to in around Mooresville during March that you just might want to know about.

  • March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month
  • March 15 – 21 is Poison Prevention Week
Pet Poison Helpline

Pet Poison Helpline

We hope you never have a need to call the Pet Poison Helpline, but if you do have a need we want you to know about the resource.

Sadly, guinea pigs are at risk of neglect, abuse and abandonment too.  If you are considering getting a guinea pig for a pet please visit the local shelter.  And yes, we happily provide pet sitting services for guinea pigs too.

Did you know that pigs can learn tricks?!?

  • March 1 – 7 is Professional Pet Sitters Week
Did you hire a professional pet sitter?

Did you hire a professional pet sitter?

For those of you who live in nearby areas of Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius, we are available to meet your pet sitting and dog walking needs.  Visit our website here.

While you are preparing your house and getting items ready for the humans, please be sure to gather together the items your pets need too in the event you have to evacuate. I’m sure we all remember the tragedy of people who refused to evacuate during Hurricane Hugo because they would not leave their pets behind.  Make a list of pet friendly shelters and lodging where you and your pets can go.

pet evacuation

 

  • March 8 brings us Daylight Savings Time

Yippee skippy!!!  We are ready.

  •  March 17 is St. Patrick’s Day

We’re all a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day.

  • March 20 is the first day of Spring

….and not a minute too soon!!!

Who doesn’t love a puppy? The goal on this wonderful day is:

to celebrate the magic and unconditional love that puppies bring to our lives. But more importantly, it’s a day to help save orphaned puppies across the globe and educate the public about the horrors of puppy mills, as well as further our mission for a nation of puppy-free pet stores. Our goal is to have 10,000 puppies adopted across the US on National Puppy Day!

Of course if you plan to adopt a puppy you will need someone to help give the puppy potty breaks while you are at work.  Yes, we happily provide that service too.

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

Make Up Your Own Holiday Day

 

  • March 30 is Take a Walk in the Park Day

What could be better than taking a walk in the park with that puppy you adopted earlier this month?

 

Local Events In and Around Mooresville During March

  • March 10                              6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
    Iredell County Animal Services Rabies Vaccination Clinic
    430 Bristol Drive, Statesville

 

  • March 10                              6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
  • Friends of the Animals Pet Loss Support Meeting      Call 704-235-5300 to register
    181 North Main Street, Mooresville

 

  • March 15                                1:00 PM
    The Lake Norman 5K-9    North Mecklenburg Park,  Huntersville
    www.hffa.com

 

  • March 21                                9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
    Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR Class
    email:   info@coddlecreekpetservices.com  or call 704-662-0973 for information
    Click here to register

We hope you have a wonderful experience in and around mooresville during March.

 

How Are You Celebrating Valentine’s Day?

Valentine’s Day is Just Around the Corner

Do you realize that Valentine’s Day is on a weekend this year?  Yes indeed, so it’s the perfect time to celebrate with the one you love and get away from your day to day activities for a mini vacation. Folks who live in Mooresville, Cornelius or Davidson have great proximity to the mountains for a wine tasting tour or something a bit more eclectic.  We’ve got some recommendations too.

What’s that you say?  You would love to, but what about the dogs, cats, birds and hamsters?  Not to worry.  Give us a call and we can set up a free consultation to meet you and your pets and get prepared to look after them while you’re gone.  Now, what to do about the human kids…..sorry, we’ve got nothing for you!!

Great Wineries to Visit on Valentine’s Day Weekend

A few years ago Billy and I visited Shelton Vineyards and had a great time. We happened to go during the time of year that we could take a tour of the vineyards, but the best part was the wine tasting, so who cares if it’s too cold to tour the vineyards? They are offering a special Cupid’s Package for Valentine’s Day weekend that is sure to please. When we last attended a wine tasting at Shelton Vineyards, the hotel was under construction but it has been open for several years now.  Located in Dobson, NC the trip from Mooresville is only 64 miles so you can easily get there in just a little over an hour.

If hotels are not your style there are bed and breakfast options available in the area. You better hurry though because those quaint lodgings are nearly all booked already.

Stony Knoll Vineyards offers a special Valentine’s Day wine tasting. They even have a sweet little cabin wine lodge.

Want Something a Little Different for Valentine’s Day Weekend?

Maybe you want a unique experience to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend.  Well, head on to Asheville and explore the not so common offerings.  I lived there for many years and can assure you the variety of activities is mesmerizing. Pottery making with your love, a 5k, a different kind of city tour or a “trip to Argentina?”

Valentine's Day pottery

Getting a little dirty

Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts offers an opportunity to get dirty.

LaZoom Tours offers a funny twist on city tours.  The Let Your Love Roll Ride departs from the Asheville Brewing Company.

The Wedlock 5k run is a unique way to renew your commitment to each other and to running while also benefitting Helpmate, one of my favorite Asheville charities.  Helpmate has been advocating, supporting and assisting victims of domestic violence for decades.

Tango

Tango

If romance is intriguing, how about a “trip to Argentina?”  Lex 18 Supper Club is offering a 1920’s candlelit dinner, music and tango revue.

 

Relax and Enjoy You Time Away

Relax and enjoy your time away.  We’ll take care of your pets just as you would.  You will receive email updates to assure you those four legged family members are well cared for in your absence.

 

 

 

How Are You Celebrating National Dress Up Your Pet Day?

National Dress Up Your Pet Day 2015

Yep, it’s here today, January 14, 2015 is national dress up your pet day.  Are you going to dress up your pet today? We see so many cute outfits on lots of pets.  We always think we should dress up our dogs and then seldom seem to get around to it. But here is one picture from Luke and mom getting ready for the Mooresville Christmas parade.

PSX_20150113_203524

 

We have the pleasure of providing pet sitting services for lots of pets, but rarely see them costumed either.  But here is one of three Pugs we know all ready for Santa to visit.  Max, Sophie and Gizmo are cute any way you slice it.

IMG_5081 (1)

 

Moose models her raincoat nicely too.

PSX_20141110_141034

 

Who Thinks Dress Up Your Pet Day is a Great Idea?

Pet MD  for one.  Go check out their blog post on the idea.  Way cool.

The Animal Rescue Site offers some recommendations on keeping it safe.

Vet Street offers some cute, albeit hilarious photos.

Many of our Facebook friends dress up their pets on a regular basis.  We are sharing a sampling of them.

Princess Ava Bisou and her sister Mia Bryant Beddard are fashion divas.

Lil Olive and her sisters were rescued from puppy mills. They rock clothes every day to keep warm because they are Italian greyhounds and don’t have much fat.

Muppie’s Rescued usually goes au naturelle but sometimes wears her fine jewels from The Dollar Store.  She is so funny.

 

We can hardly wait to see your pictures for Dress Up Your Pet Day!

 

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Here is to you and yours in 2015. We hope you have a happy new year and that the start you get in January lasts all year long. We want to see at least one good snow for an opportunity to walk with our dogs through a winter wonderland. We trust all your hopes, dreams and wishes will come true.

January is National Train Your Dog Month (http://www.trainyourdogmonth.com). To celebrate, Daisy Mae and Beth are looking forward to participating in a training course. We bet Beth is the one who will be trained!

Good Dog!

Good Dog!

January is also  National Walk Your Pet Month. Do you walk your dog or cat on a regular basis?  Yes, cats can be taught to walk on a leash, believe it or not. The ASPCA (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/cat-behavior/teaching-your-cat-walk-leash) has great tips for getting your cat accustomed to a harness and leash. You would be amazed at how well you can train a cat if done in a positive fashion.

 

 

Bird Adoption

Bird Adoption

 

Have you considered acquiring a pet bird? January is Adopt a Rescued Bird Month so there is no better time. A great place to start is Companion Parrots Re-homed (http://www.companionparrots.org/) in Pineville. Another wonderful place to learn about bird care is Parrot University (http://www.parrotu.com/) in Pineville. They even offer boarding for your parrot when you must go away. Please be sure to educate yourself on the intricacies of bird care and the issues facing captive birds (http://www.avianwelfare.org/links/organizations.htm).

 

Here’s what else January offers. January 2 –  National Pet Travel Safety Day; January 5 – National Bird Day; January 14 – National Dress Up Your Pet Day; January 16 – National Penguin Awareness Day; January 21 – Squirrel Appreciation Day (our dogs are ready for this one Sealed); January 22 – National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day; January 24 – Change a Pet’s Life Day and January 29 – Seeing Eye Guide Dog Birthday.

 

Happy New Year to you and your pet family.

There is a lot going on in October!!

There is no shortage of dates to celebrate this month.

  • Adopt a Shelter Dog Month      dog-adoption
  • Adopt a Dog Month
  • National Service Dog Month
  • National Pet Wellness Month
  • National Animal Safety & Protection Month
  • dog-walkerOctober 1 – 7        National Walk Your Dog Week
  •  October 12 – 18    National Veterinary Technician Week  veterinary-technician
  • October 1              National Fire Pup Day
  • October 2             World Farm Animal Day
  • October 4             World Animal Day
  • October 8              National Pet Obesity                                             Awareness Day
  • October 16            National Feral Cat Day
  • October 29            National Cat Day
  • October 31             Halloween

We are aware of three opportunities on October 5 to participate in a Blessing of the Animals in honor of the Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi. Dogs must be leashed and cats and other small animals must be in carriers.

  • St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Mooresville will hold a special service in their outdoor worship area at 10:30 AM.
  • St. Peter Catholic Church in Mooresville will hold a special service at 11:00 AM.
  • Davidson College Presbyterian Church will hold a special service at 3:00 PM on the lawn in front of Lingle Chapel.  They are requesting that you bring an offering of pet food to be shared with the Loaves & Fishes pantry at the Ada Jenkins Center.

Presents 4 Pets

English: dog in a wire crate strapped into a c...

English: dog in a wire crate strapped into a car for safe traveling Taken by Elf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Presents 4 Pets in Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius

 

We are getting ready to start our first annual collection drive for Presents 4 Pets in Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius.  We invite you to a be a part of this gift giving opportunity.

 

 

 

 

 

Starting November 1 and running through December 15, we will be coordinating a collection of items needed for dogs and cats in foster care or in local shelters. Presents 4 Pets is an annual project sponsored by members of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS).We have contacted the organizations that we have selected to be the beneficiaries but need to finalize details before listing them by name.  Later this month we will reach out to local veterinary hospitals, groomers, pet supply stores and other interested businesses regarding serving as a collection location.We will collect the items the rescues and shelter identify as most needed.   As a general rule the most needed items include canned and dry dog and cat food, stainless steel cat and dog food and water bowls, kitty litter, pet sized fleece blankets, towels, dog and cat toys, Nylabones, dog and cat collars, dog leashes, dog and cat flea and tick preventatives, Kongs, baby food (for the sick or injured little ones), formula for newborn kittens and puppies (when mommas are weak, sick or injured), cat towers, cat carriers, dog crates, puppy training pads, dog beds, cat nappers,and cleaning supplies.

If you happen to see these items on sale it would be a great time to buy some for donations. Stay tuned for further details in our October newsletter and on our social media sites.

 

 

Presents 4 Pets in Mooresville, Davidson and Cornelius

Christmas Giving Opportunity

 

We have a wonderful Christmas giving opportunity right here in our community to benefit homeless pets!! From November 1 through  December 15, 2014 Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC is coordinating a collection of needed items for dogs and cats housed at the animal shelter operated by Iredell County and animals in foster care with two local rescue organizations. Presents 4 Pets is an annual project sponsored by members of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS). http://www.petsitters.org/


combined-01cat toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipients of our local Presents 4 Pets campaign for 2014 are:

 

We are currently contacting local veterinary hospitals, groomers, pet supply stores and other interested businesses regarding serving as a collection location.  Stay tuned to our social media sites and be on the lookout for press releases to find out where the collection sites will be located.

 

The recipients have identified their most needed items.  Now is the time to stock up if you see these items on sale.  Go_Pet_Food

  • Dry or canned (pate´consistency) dog/cat/puppy/kitten food
  • Collars, harnesses and leashes (any size)
  • Kong toys of any kind
  • Kong toys that unscrew
  • Rope toys, tennis balls, Nylabones, rawhides
  • Dog & cat treats
  • Cat toys & catnip
  • Kitty litter (scented is awesome in a shelter setting)
  • Disposable kitty litter pans
  • Dog & cat shampoo
  • Wire crates (any size)
  • Playpens (new or clean used)
  • Puppy pads
  • Dog and cat beds
  • Towels and blankets (new or clean used)
  • Chicken stock or broth (used as a medium in frozen stuffed Kongs)
  • Bleach, laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets
  • Lysol or Clorox wipes
  • Paper towels
  • Adams Flea Spray
  • Nature’s Miracle products
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Petco or Petsmart gift cards

Iredell County Animal Services also has some special needs for their surgery room.

  • Digital baby scale              SpayandNeuter
  • Small double sided crock-pot (to warm surgical scrub)
  • Twin size electric blanket (to warm the pets after their spay/neuter)
  • Twin size waterproof mattress cover for electric blanket
  • Pill Pockets
  • Advantage Multi for Cats
  • Ophthalmoscope
  • Otoscope
  • Lint rollers (to prepare surgical draping prior to laundering)
  • Home-made rice socks to warm the pets during & after spay/neuter surgery

 

Your participation in this  Christmas Giving Opportunity will add to the safety, health and comfort of our homeless animals and enhance their chances at finding their perfect forever homes.

Speaking of forever homes and such……foster or adoptive homes are always needed.  If you cannot foster or adopt find out if you can help with transport.  If you cannot transport, can you play with pets at the shelter?  Can you share their pictures on your social media sites?  Have you had your pets spayed or neutered??

On behalf of NAPPS Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC thanks you for contributing to Presents 4 Pets 2014.

PresentsForPets_logo_12_11

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Special Pet Days and Weeks in August

August is steaming hot.  Let’s celebrate the special pet days and weeks in August for a little relief.

dog days of summerdownload
We’ve all experienced the dog days of summer.  We have no idea where the term came from.  Maybe it was because the heat and humidity makes us feel dog tired.  At any rate, we believe every day with our pets is special, but here are more reasons to celebrate those special pet days and weeks in August.  While you are at it, be sure to make some cooling pupsickles for your pets.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month.

This a great time to be sure our pets’ shots are up to date and to consult the the veterinarian about titers.

 Special Pet Days and Weeks in August

August 3 – 9        International Assistance Dog Week

August 15            National Check the Chip Day

August 15            International Homeless Animals Day

August 22           National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

August 26           National Dog Day

 

Assistance dogs provide a necessary service for children in schools, wounded warriors and folks with hearing or vision impairments.  Without these highly trained dogs, the lives of many people would be barren and bleak.  Micro chipping our pets is a great way to improve the chances of a lost or stolen dog being returned home. That helps to reduce the likelihood of more homeless animals.

Cats are not known for liking to travel. Consider leaving your cat’s carrier out so she can go in and out of it at will.  that will make her trips to the vet a lot less traumatic.  You may also want to consider using a vet office that has separate entrances for cats and dogs or seeking the services of a mobile vet.

So, let’s enjoy the dog days of summer.

Vacation Ideas When You Have the Cold Weather Blues

Vacation Ideas When You Have the Cold Weather Blues

 

These single digit temps are for the birds….as in the ones who have flown south or west. We are not accustomed to these frigid temps.   Are you thinking of flying the coop? Ah, vacation here we come.  These are some of our favorite things to do and some of our favorite places to go. We have more vacation ideas when you have the cold weather blues.

We love Key West

We love Key West

 

 

The Southernmost Point in the Continental US makes for a great photo-op.

 

A cruise makes for some romantic dinners.

Romantic dining

Romantic dining

Water is not your thing? How about the hot desert sands of Arizona?  Just be careful around those ‘ole cacti!

No Touchie Cactus

No Touchie Cactus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No matter where you jet off to, be sure to make arrangements for the care of your fur babies. Even if it is frigid here we will take great care of them while you are gone. They will have great tales to share with you.

Beth & Luke playing in the snow

Beth & Luke playing in the snow

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10 Plans for Black Friday: Anything but Shopping

Not this.  We have 10 Plans for Black Friday: Anything but Shopping!

Black Friday shopping fight

Black Friday shopping fight

 

 

We have some great alternatives instead.

  1. Hiking with the dogs at Stone Mtn, NC State Park.
  2. Transporting a rescue dog from the shelter to his or her foster home.
  3. Playing fetch with Luke.
  4. Teaching Trooper how to lay down on command.
    Trail walk at home

    Trail walk at home

  5. Trimming Luke’s nails.
  6. Putting up the red flags to begin Trooper’s electronic fence training.
  7. Working with Daisy Mae on the “give it” command.
  8. Playing “find it” individually with Trooper & Daisy Mae. (Luke is a lost cause because he is so well mannered. LOL)
  9. Hiking at Lake Norman (LKN) State Park.
  10. Loving on all three dogs.

I have not gone shopping on Black Friday in many years.  Billy thinks he has never gone shopping on Black Friday.  These are some ideas to get you started.  We know we will be far from any malls.

 

Pet Safety at Halloween

cute-halloween-dog               With smart planning, Halloween can be a barrel full of fun and safe treats for pets and humans.

Halloween is loads of fun. However, joy can turn to tragedy if simple precautions are not taken to ensure the safety of your pets.

“Pets are curious by nature,” said Dr. Steve Hansen, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist and senior vice president of The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Hansen, whose department also includes the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center, asks pet parents to be mindful of their pets this fall.

“Thinking about your home from your pet’s point of view will help ensure everyone has happy and safe holidays,” Hansen said. “Pets have the ability to get into everything, especially during the holidays when there is more to see and do.”

To ensure a happy and safe Halloween for you and your pets, Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC recommends that pet owners be cautious of the following:

Ringing door bells and scary costumes  The constant chatter and squeals are upsetting to some pets.  If your dog or cat is skittish, confine them to a bedroom with the door shut and provide an interactive toy to keep them occupied.

Pet Costumes  Chances are Snoopy and Snuggles will not think a costume is very cute.  You know your pet better than anyone else so assess his comfort level.  You may need to take the costume off after the photo opportunity.  Be sure your pet will not overheat, the costume doesn’t have any dangly pieces that can easily be chewed off, and your pet can still breathe, meow and bark.

Escape artists Sometimes our best efforts are not enough and a pet gets out the door.  Make sure Fluffy and Rover are always wearing collars with identification.  If you have a microchip (we heartily recommend this) be certain you have registered with the microchip company and keep the information up to date.

Tricksters  Keep your pets indoors on Halloween even if that is not your normal custom.  Some adolescent tricksters think it is funny to scare your pet.  Funky costumes can freak out your pet even if not intentional.  Black cats are especially at risk on the weekends before and after Halloween as well as the actual day.

Candles  The glow of candles inside pumpkins is festive. But curious cats and dogs can easily be injured or create a fire hazard.  Be sure to keep a barrier between your pets and lighted decorations or use battery powered lights instead.

Dark and baker’s chocolate While milk chocolate is not poisonous, it will cause your pet to have an upset stomach.  On the other hand, dark chocolate and baker’s chocolate contain high levels of theobromine and caffeine.  Animals are extremely sensitive to both and ingesting either type of chocolate could be fatal.

Xylitol This sugar substitute causes a dog’s blood sugar to drop quickly.  This poisoning can be treated, but causes liver failure if not treated properly.

“Healthy treats” Some people choose to hand out grapes and raisins as an alternative to all the candy.  But be aware that grapes and raisins are extremely toxic to cats and dogs. Ingestion of these substances can lead to kidney failure for your dog or cat.  We don’t even want to think about what could happen with chocolate covered raisins!

Candy wrappers Your pets will not unwrap treats first and those foil and cellophane wrappers can cause an intestinal blockage.

It pays to plan ahead. Remind your children that pets’ digestive systems are easily upset or   compromised by food items humans can safely ingest. Be sure to have a ready supply of the treats your cats and dogs like and are accustomed to eating.  Remember to meet the needs of your cats and dogs for interactive play, attention, brushing and loads of walks for your dogs so they will be calm before the potentially frightful night begins

If your pet ingests any potentially harmful product, call your vet or a local emergency animal  hospital immediately. Other alternatives include the ASPCA Animal Poison Control (888) 426- 4435 for a fee of $65.00 or the Pet Poison Helpline 1-800-213-6680 for a fee of $39.00.

Dog Walkers & More at Coddle Creek, LLC offers pet owners these helpful hints to keep pets out of danger, while still enjoying the food, fun and festivities that accompany Halloween.