Love Your Pet Day

Love Your Pet

Love Your Pet Today and Every Day

 Love Your Pet Day

For us every day is love your pet day.  We love our three dogs to the moon and back.  And what a joy it is to take care of so many other well loved pets. Have you told your pet that you love her lately?  Check out our nine awesome was to demonstrate that you love your pet.

Nine Awesome Ways to Demonstrate that You Love Your Pet

  • Let your pet know how much you love his species by volunteering with a pet rescue group. You can transport rescued dogs or cats from a shelter to a foster home, be a foster parent, build a fence for a chained dog, rescue a bird, volunteer at a shelter to take photos of homeless pets or share about lost pets on social media.  We bet you have lots more ideas. Share those ideas with us.
Love Your Pet

Foster Brittanys on a transport

 

  • Take your dogs on a hike. You can go on your own trail on your property, visit a state or national park or just take a stroll around your local park.  Your dogs will thank you for the opportunity for a change of scenery and better yet a change of aromas.
Love Your Pet

Luke shows Daisy Mae around our woods on her adoption day.

  • Brush your dogs’ and cats’ teeth every day.  Did you know that one way to show your pet that you love your pet is to assure they have teeth free of pain, plaque and tartar? Just like humans, dental health is important.  Infection in the mouth can get in the bloodstream and lead to serious damage to major organs.  Even more important, our dogs and cats can not tell us their teeth hurt and will probably try to hide their pain. The link at the beginning of this bullet point provides a self test about your knowledge regarding dental health and gives step by step instructions to teach your cat or dog to accept having their teeth brushed.
Love Your Pet

Our pet dental kit includes various styles of toothbrushes, toothpaste made for dogs and dental chews.

 

  • Play with your cats.  Contrary to popular belief cats do enjoy quality time with their humans. You can use flirt poles to get your cats to turn on their prey drives, spray catnip spray on tiny stuffed mice to get them to engage or drop a ping pong ball on the floor for them to bat around.  And what cat does not like to play in a bathroom sink with the water faucet on? Tell us what kind of play your cat most likes.
Love Your Pet

Nibbles loves to play if approached quietly and calmly.

 

  • Plant a cat grass garden for your cats.  This is particularly important for indoor only cats.  The grasses will stimulate their senses, give them something to nibble on, help to prevent hairballs, aid digestion and steer them away from potentially toxic house plants.
Love Your Pet

Tootsie enjoys her kitty garden.

 

  • Feed your pets the best quality food you can afford.  Prices of kibble ranges from very low to very high.  We know that you have to stay within your budget.  Check out an objective resource to learn what your pet needs and what is in the food you are buying. We recommend against buying your food at a big box retail store unless it specializes in pet supplies.  Two great local places to purchase pet food in the Lake Norman area are Village Paws and Claws in Mooresville and Huntersville and the Dog Supplies in Huntersville. You will find knowledgeable staff at these stores.  You will not find low quality food and that’s important. Both stores offer discounts.
    Love Your Pet

    Canned cat food provides necessary water content for your cats.

 

  • Learn about ways to make your home feel safe, comfortable and inviting for your cat.  Remember that cats love vertical spaces and don’t like to be backed into corners.  That’s why cat trees, elevated shelves and tunnels, and sunny windowsills make them so happy.  You can create “Cat TV” for them by placing a bird feeder outside a window they can easily see out of.  Go a few steps further and put a cat grass garden in the enlarged windowsill or bay window.  Add a scratching post nearby so your cat can keep his claws neatly trimmed and avoid shredding your furniture.
Love Your Pet

Cat lounging in window sill. All he needs is a view of a bird feeder!

 

  • Take your dogs on a pet friendly vacation. There are scores of beach and mountain rentals that accept dogs.  Our two favorite places to vacation with our dogs are Duck, NC on the NC Outer Banks and Hot Springs Log Cabins in the mountains of NC.
Love Your Pet

Daisy Mae and Trooper in Duck, NC.

 

  • Provide regular veterinary care for your pets.  Getting them examined yearly while young and more often when they are seniors ensures that you catch little problems before they become big problems. Regular immunizations and preventives for fleas, ticks and heart worm are essential. Those dental cleanings can be lifesavers tool. No one wants their pet to be in pain.  Our sweet senior Luke had his dental cleaning earlier this week. We had no idea that he had cracked a tooth and that infection had set in. Fortunately his tooth infection had not caused damage to his internal organs but sadly he did have to have a tooth extracted.  I shudder to think what would have happened if we had not gotten a routine dental cleaning for him.
Love Your Pet

Luke with Ms Kim at Village Animal Hospital in Mooresville. He was still a little glassy eyed after his extraction.




We would be remiss if we didn’t recommend that you hire a professional pet sitter when you must leave your pets at home.  We provide daily dog walking services and vacation pet sitting services in the Mooresville, Cornelius, Davidson and Mount Ulla communities.  Call us at 704-662-0973 to arrange a free meet and greet consultation.

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)

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 There to do Around Lake Norman This Weekend?

 

Around Lake Norman This Weekend

Are you looking for something to do around Lake Norman this weekend?  Well look no more.  We have found loads to do around Lake Norman this weeekend and every weekend in October!!  Some of the events are specifically for you and your dog to enjoy.  Others are for you to enjoy but require that you leave your pets at home. Please be sure to check the details from the event website to know the rules.  Proceeds from all the events go toward great programs around Lake Norman so you get to have a great time while supporting a worthy cause.




There are 3 Exciting Things to Do Around Lake Norman This Weekend – October 10, 2015

There are three, count ’em 3 great events going on around Lake Norman this weekend. They range from events greated toward the kids at a school in Mooresville, a run and adoption fair for pets in Davidson and a blow out delicious meal in Cornelius.  Proceeds benefit a school tutoring program, the capital campaign for a state of the arts dog and cat adoption facility and wildlife.  Events are free, low priced and expensive. Take your pick and whatever you do have a great time!!

When:  Saturday, October 10, 2015  –  2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

What:    2nd Annual East Mooresville Intermediate School Fall Festival

Where:  1711 Landis Hwy, Mooresville, NC  28115 –  2:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Details:  The  2nd Annual East Mooresville Intermediate School’s Fall Festival! This year will be bigger than ever! They will have multiple food trucks which include Maki Taco, Bebo’s American Bistro, Wingz on Wheelz, Robbinos Concession, Deluxe/Front Porch Ice Creams, Tastebuds Popcorn at the Lake. Face Painting, massage chair vendor, multiple inflatables and bounce houses and games galore. A silent auction with raffle baskets will be onsite! Many games and TONS of vendors! Purchase pre-event wrist bands for unlimited games for just $8.00  or $10.00 at the event. 

Cat Basket

Items for your cat: Value over $130.

Speaking of those raffle baskets, check out this photo to see the cat basket we donated. If you have a cat this is an opportunity to win a basket valued at over $130 for much less money while you have a great time, grab something to eat and support the tutoring program at East Mooresville Intermediate School.  

The cat basket holds a cat bed, two food/water bowls, 3 cans of cat food, 12 toys, 2 Nature’s Miracle products, dental chews, slicker brush, nail clippers, collar and even a lint brush for the humans.

We will be at the event with a booth and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about our pet sitting and dog walking services. 



When:  Saturday, October 10 –  9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

What:  5th Annual Pawz Too Run

Where:  The Green in Downtown Davidson, 119 S. Main Street, Davidson, NC

Details:  The event includes the Celebrated Dog Walk  3K (1.8 miles) or 1.5K (.9 miles); Dog Contests with Prizes, Individual and Team Awards; Vendor Fair on Health & Wellness for People and Pets; Animal Rescue Agencies with Dogs to Adopt; Live Music in the afternoon; Kid’s Inflatable Bounce House; Dog Washing Station courtesy of Davidson College Pre-Vet Society; Dog Bandanas for Participants and Opportunity Drawings.

Friends of the Animals

Architectural Rendering of Friends of the Animals State of the Art Facility

 

 

 

Funds raised will help Friends of the Animals build a state-of-the-art facility to save more homeless dogs, cats, puppies and kittens in the greater Lake Norman region. Your support will help them to start construction.

 

 

 

 



When:  Saturday, October 10, 2015 – 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM

What:  Lake Norman Wildlife Oyster & Shrimp Festival

Where: LangTree Lake Norman

Details: The seventh annual event kicks off at 5 o’clock on the evening of Saturday, October 10th, 2015 at LangTree Lake Norman. Come out and support local wildlife conservation efforts while enjoying live music, wine and local craft beer from D9 Brewing, auctions, and tons of family fun! As always, Big Daddy’s of Lake Norman will be serving up some of the best oysters, shrimp and BBQ in the Carolinas!

Ticket price is $50 per person. Stayed tuned to Facebook for more announcements in the coming week to learn more about how to purchase tickets, receive member discounts, volunteer for the fest, and much more!

Oyster & Shrimp Festival

Oyster & Shrimp Festival

DON’T BE SHELLFISH – please come out and show your support for LNWC at the 2015 Lake Norman Wildlife Oyster & Shrimp Fest!

 

 




We Found Two Things to do Around Lake Norman This Weekend  –  October 16-18, 2015

These two events include an opportunity to visit Cornelius, listen to msuic while tasting beer and eating from one of the many food trucks that service the area around Lake Norman.  It’s a great example of beautiful local flavor.  The other option ranges over three days and is a spectacular event in Statesville with national renown.



When: Saturday, October 17, 2015   –   4:00 PM – 9:00 PM

What:  3rd Annual LaketoberFest Music & Brewfest

Where: Bailey Road Park, 11536 Bailey Road, Cornelius, NC

Details:  The Cornelius PARC Department and Bella Love  host this community event, featuring Live music from The Glass Hammers, Ben Gatlin Band and Pluto for Planet.  Six of Lake Norman’s top breweries and bottle shops including D9 Brewing Co., The Clown, Primal Brewing, Bayne, Cork and Cask and Old Town Public House and  15 great food trucks will be on hand, There will be a Cornhole tournament along with a Kid’s zone with crafts and games Admission and parking are free.  

Things to Do Around Lake Norman

Laketoberfest

Event proceeds benefit the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists. LNWC is a chapter of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) – a community based organization established for the purposes of environmental education, appreciation of wildlife and natural history, and conservation of wildlife habitat and natural resources. The Vision of the Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists is to protect and enhance the natural resources and wildlife habitats of the greater Lake Norman area, for all to enjoy.



When:  16-18, 2015  –  10:00 AM – 5:30 PM

What:  21st Carolina BalloonFest

Where:   Statesville Regional Airport, 260 Hangar Drive, Statesville, NC 28677

Details: This popular event is held annually the third weekend of October.  Last year National Balloon Rally Charities, Inc donated over $82,000 to 25 local charities!

Be prepared with cash for your purchases and plan to arrive early as traffic will be heavy. There will be 10+ music groups of various music genres; hot air balloon launches and hot air balloon rides;  Kids Zone with Inflatables*, Bungee Jump, Climb Wall, Walk-in Balloon & Magic Shows; Wine & Craft Beer Tasting Garden; Canine Agility Exhibition and lots of food and beverage vendors!
* inflatables & walk-in balloon are weather dependent


If you have never witnessed a hot air balloon mass launch this is a must see.  If you have been before you know how much fun it will be. Check out Carolina Balloon Fest for all the details.

balloonfest




When:  Saturday, October 25, 2015  (Actually October 4 –  November 22, 2015)

What:  Carolina Renaissance Festival

Where:  16445 Poplar Tent Road, Huntersville, NC 28078

The Renaissance Festival is a 16th century European style art and entertainment festival combining outdoor theater, circus entertainment, arts and crafts marketplace, a jousting tournament, a feast fit for royalty, and much much more.

The Carolina Renaissance Festival was introduced in 1994 with six acres of exhibits, attractions and entertainment. The event has grown into a twenty acre theme park filled with charming cottages and castles, kitchens and pubs, and a most unusual collection of people powered rides and games of skill – all nestled in 325 acres of pristine woodlands just north of Charlotte, NC.

The Carolina event has grown to be one of the largest of the Renaissance fairs nationwide. Tree lined lanes are filled with over 100 purveyors of crafts and food, and non-stop music and comedy shows are presented on 11 stages every event day.

This is one of the most interactive entertainment shows ever created with wonderful amusements and antics ongoing all around you! You can sit back and watch, or you can become a part of the action, surrounded by over 500 costumed characters roaming the festival village. The village lanes are full of peasants singing sea-faring songs and street entertainers surprising you with tall tales and tricks, each with a role to play.

You can experience the clashing of armor and the thundering of hooves daily with full combat jousts at the King’s Tournament Arena.




When:  Saturday, October 31, 2015  –  Noon- 4:00 PM

What:  The Great Chili Cookoff

Where:  Mooresville Town Square, 279 Williamson Road, Mooresville, NC

Details: Sponsored by The Rotary Clubs of Mooresville-Lake Norman, Mooresville, Top of the Lake and Troutman.

Drenching rains have postponed this event three times but it’s always a hit. There will of course be loads of chili but lots of other food and craft vendors as well. Entertainment will be provided by Back Road. Back Road is a collection of 5 talented musicians with years of experience playing Country Rock Music in front of major recording artists across a variety of genera. Back Road has been the house band at the Frontier Bar in Gastonia for nearly two years.

Great Chilli Cook-Off

Great Chilli Cook-Off

All proceeds from this event benefit local programs such as Health Reach, Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), The School Backpack Project AKA Food for Days, and other charities supported by the four Rotary clubs hosting the event. The 2014 event attracted over 4,000 people and $50,000 for charities supported by Rotary.

 

 



When: Saturday, October 10, Saturday, October 17, Saturday, October 24, Saturday, October 31 –  11:00 AM – 4:00 PM

What:  Rescue Ranch Fall Fun Days

Where:  Rescue Ranch  –  1424 Turnersburg Highway Statesville, NC 28625

Fall Fun Days events include arts & crafts, hay art, hay rides, a scarecrow contest, a straw maze and more!  Be sure to get in touch ahead of time to learn how to enter a Scarecrow in the Scarecrow Contest, be a vendor and to learn about  sponsorship opportunities!


$5.00 per person, not including pumpkin painting or food and beverage.

 

Fall Fun Days

Fall Fun Days




 

 

Enjoy the Fall around Lake Norman!!

Where Can You Take Your Dog on the Outer Banks?

Dog Friendly Duck

Recently we took a week off and and visited the Outer Banks with Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper. We highly recommend the town of Duck, NC for being “dog friendly.”   Luke, Trooper and Daisy Mae all enjoyed chasing after OBX Trooper & Daisy on beachPSX_20150603_200449seagulls on the beach.  Duck allows dogs to be unleashed on the beach so this was a highlight of the trip for the dogs and the reason we chose Duck as our destination.

Daisy Mae and I enjoyed a morning stroll along the Duck Trail and the Boardwalk on the Sound side.  The Duck Trail is tree shaded and offers a nice bench for weary humans along with a three tiered water fountain: one fountain for adults, one fountain for children and one fountain for dogs!

The boardwalk along the sound is wide and offers astounding views.  Most of the shops located along the boardwalk allow well behaved and properly leashed dogs to come in the stores.  Many of them had water bowls outside their premises for those thirsty canines.  There are multiple doggy waste stations located along the boardwalk so no one has to step in the “business” of any dogs.

By far, Daisy Mae’s favorite shop was Outer Barks aka “the dog store in Duck.”  The shopping is to howl and meow for and their Thursday afternoon “Yappy Hour” was a hit with both of us.  Yappy Hour is free and the dogs get cool frozen treats, OBX yappy hour PSX_20150514_225307pup-cakes and other goodies.  There are agility courses to try out for the dogs and comfy chairs for the humans.  For a $5.00 donation to the shelter that Outer Barks  supports,  your dog can make a paw painting. Daisy Mae, as usual was up for her painting. She keeps wanting to know when I will frame it! While in the store we bought way too much. But my favorite purchase was the Water Rover.  It’s the best designed water bottle for a dog I have ever used.

 

What About Food?

Restaurants abound, but we particularly enjoyed Aqua Restaurant and Spa. Yes,  you read that right. The restaurant is located downstairs and the spa is located upstairs. If you show your restaurant receipt within a week you can get a discount on your spa services! The inside of the restaurant is nicely appointed and they allow dogs on the deck or in the yard bar.  Billy and I chose to eat there without the dogs along (they enjoyed a quiet rest time in their crates back at the house we rented).  But one morning Daisy Mae and I took a long walk that we had not properly prepared for. We stopped at Aqua Restaurant and Spa before they opened for the day and they kindly put out a bowl of water for Daisy Mae to get a drink.

If you want to cook your own, try out the Dockside ‘N Duck for great fresh seafood.  We enjoyed swordfish and also bought one of their homemade tomato pies.  Think layers of tomato, spinach and cheese in a pie crust.  It was delicious.

Dockside 'N Duck

Dockside ‘N Duck

 

What Else is There to Do?

For Billy no trip to the Outer Banks would be complete without a drive on the 4-Wheel Beaches.  The dogs went along for the ride but we didn’t let them on the beach there.  We feared for their safety from wayward fishing gear, wild horses and tourists diving recklessly.

OBX Wild Horse

OBX Wild Horse

Although Luke, Trooper and Daisy Mae all enjoyed chasing after seagulls on the beach we do offer one word of caution.  Due to all the storm erosion in recent years there has been a significant beach re-nourishment project to build the dunes and add sand back to the beach. Consequently, one is forced to walk at a difficult angle and even close to the water the sand is more soft packed than hard packed. That made walking on the beach a little difficult for the humans but did not deter the canines. If you choose Duck for your destination consider staying sound side and enjoy the ambiance of the old world south.  We surely had a great time but it’s wonderful to be back home.

On another note, we don’t usually take our dogs on vacation, but wanted Trooper and Daisy Mae to experience the Outer Banks.  Several years ago we took Luke and Beau and it was a blast.  We had forgotten how demanding it is to take our dogs out on leash for potty breaks.  When we are at home we can let them out in our safely e-fenced yard for potty breaks and play time.  We are in and out all through the day as we make pet sitting and dog walking visits for our clients and then return home. We have several places for longer sniffing walks for our three dogs.  If you are planning on vacation you may want to consider using our pet sitting services so you can take a break from the daily tasks that accompany responsible dog ownership.

Take a Hike with Your Dogs in North Carolina

Take a Hike with Your Dogs

Did you make New Year’s resolutions to get fit?  Did you resolve to spend more quality time with your dog?  If so, have we ever got a host of recommendations to help you fulfill both resolutions!  Whether you call it hiking, or walking, there is an abundance of trails all over North Carolina that are dog friendly.  So, get ready to take a hike with your dog.

 

NC State Parks

Our all time favorite place to hike with our dogs is Lake Norman State Park  (http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/lano/activities.php).  We are fortunate to live near the park and often hike there with our dogs. We enjoy the Lake Shore Trail because of the frequent views of the lake.  There are several sandy beach-like areas where we can take the dogs off leash and let them fetch the tennis balls out of the water.  Just be prepared for a smelly wet dog on the ride home. We are offering true confession here that we do let our very well behaved dogs off leash briefly, but always with our leashes in hand.  When park visitors approach us on the trail, we leash our dogs and cue them to sit until the other hikers have gone past us.  We get lots of positive comments about our sweet beautiful well behaved dogs.  We heartily recommend you take a hike with your dogs at Lake Norman State Park.

Hiking at Lake Norman State Park

Hiking at Lake Norman State Park

 

Our 2nd most favorite hiking spot is Stone Mountain State Park (http://www.ncparks.gov/Visit/parks/stmo/activities.php).  When hiking with our dogs we enjoy the Widow’s Creek Trail.  The trail runs along the side of a stream for much of the way.  This trail is not heavily populated with other hikers and that enhances the serenity and peace.  That makes it a great trail for hiking with your dogs.

Tell us your favorite places to take a hie with your dog!

 

Our Own Backwoods

We are fortunate to have a wooded area on our property. Billy has created our very own hiking trails in the woods.  Our three dogs love exploring the woods off leash with us. All dogs benefit from daily walks.  Walking or hiking with your dogs increases the bond between you and your dogs. If your schedule or health does not permit walking with your dogs on a daily basis we are available to take them on a daily outing.  We will walk in your neighborhood on leash.  We are available to give your dog his needed potty break and outdoor exploration time.  Having an opportunity to get out of his own yard and sniff all the smells a few blocks away does wonders for your dog’s disposition. Call us today to arrange your free meet and greet.

 

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.

New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

Those Pesky New Year’s Resolutions

Yes, you know what we’re talking about.  The resolve to lose weight, get more organized, exercise more, get on a regular sleep schedule and so on. All those self improvement resolutions.  How’s that been working out for you?  Not so well you say.  Maybe it’s time to incorporate your pets’ needs into your New Year’s resolutions for a new twist. Here are our top 10 New Year’s resolutions for pet parents.

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents

  1. Walk with your dog every day. Play games with your cat.
  2. Brush your teeth twice a day…..and brush Fido and Fluffy’s’s teeth once a day.
  3. Measure your food…..and measure your pets’ portions too.
  4. Play with your dog and cat every day.
  5. Go to bed at a similar time every night and get up at a similar time every morning.  Your dog will happily serve as your lights out monitor every night and alarm clock every morning.
  6. Keep Spot’s brain active with training a few minutes every day. Keep your own brain active by learning how to positively train your cat and dog.
  7. Practice relaxation habits while brushing your pets’ coats every day.
  8. Disengage from electronics for at least one hour every evening.  That’s a great time to walk with your dog, train your cat or brush their coat or teeth.
  9. A place for everything and everything in its place.  That applies to your “stuff” as well as your pets’ blankets, toys, food bowls and beds. Heck, maybe you can train your dog to put his toys in the toy basket every evening.
  10. Laugh every day at the antics of your pets.

 How These New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Parents Benefit You and Your Pets

If you follow New Year’s resolutions for pet parents,  you and your pets will be more relaxed, healthier and happier.  Exercise benefits all species. Walking your dog (or cat too) provides benefits for physical and mental health, reduces negative behavior and helps with sleep. (http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/general_health/top-ten-health-benefits-walking-your-pet-provides) There is nothing better for bonding with your dog than a daily walk.  You will both release endorphins, get your blood flowing, increase strength, burn calories and enhance your brain power. ( http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20048389 )

Our general health overall health is affected by our dental health. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475 ).  Just as we need to brush our teeth regularly, out pets need good dental care too. (http://www.petmd.com/cat/slideshows/grooming/top-ten-tips-on-how-to-keep-your-cats-teeth-clean)

It does take practice and patience to introduce teeth brushing, but you will be rewarded with a healthier pet.  Never use human toothpaste, instead purchase toothpaste made for cats and dogs. There are substances in human toothpaste that are harmful to pets if swallowed and our pets don’t know to spit out the toothpaste.

dog-toothpaste

cat-toothpaste

When introducing teeth brushing to your pet, start slow.  Put some pet toothpaste on your finger and allow your pet to lick it off.  The next day put some pet toothpaste on a piece of gauze or pet toothbrush and allow your pet to lick the toothpaste.  Continue with this until your pet appears eager to get a taste of toothpaste.  Then you can introduce placing the toothbrush with toothpaste on the outside of your pet’s teeth. Be sure to go at a pace that is comfortable for your pet.

The best exercise is to use our fingers to push back from the table. That’s far easier if we measure our portions and stick to a nutritionally appropriate and balanced diet. The same thing applies to our pets.  It’s up to us to prevent or treat pet obesity because our pets can’t make these decisions on their own. (http://www.ideas4ag-ed.com/uploads/3/7/0/4/3704787/craig_kohn_treating_and_preventing_pet_obesity.pdf)

In our connected, go go go world, relaxation and appreciation of nature become even more important.  Take that break from the television, computer or smart phone and truly engage with your dog or cat.  Taking a walk, brushing your pet, playing an active game of fetch or engaging your cat in mind games indoors will rejuvenate all of you. This is an ideal time to incorporate a few minutes of training into your daily routine with your pets. Just be sure to make it fun and positive.  We especially like clickers for the training activities. (https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/clicker-training-your-pet)

Be sure to laugh every day.  We never tire of watching Luke, Daisy Mae and Trooper’s antics.  We are especially blessed to be able to take care of lots of pets in our pet sitting business and have lots of opportunities for laughter in our daily work.

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Luke is obsessed with tennis balls

Jade loves her walks

Jade loves her walks

 

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.

How to Transition Your Outdoor Cat to an Indoor Cat

outdorcar_tumblr_mckgddhtL81r8drkso1_500

Outdoor Cat

Are you ready to bring your outdoor cat inside to live? Great because outdoor cats, on average, live to age 5 while indoor cats may live into their late teens or early twenties. While you may not be able to transition a feral or barn cat, most cats can successfully make the adjustments. It will take patience and time but can be successfully done.

 

Indoor Cat

Be sure to provide scratching posts and pads for your kitty. To attract the kitty to the scratching post you may want to sprinkle some fresh catnip on it. Cat furniture that is sturdy and stable and has vertical and horizontal angles will be most appealing. Be sure your kitty has some perches where she can survey the outdoors.

 

 

cat scratching posy

cat scratching posy

Cat gets comfortable in litter box

Cat gets comfortable in litter box

Locate her litter boxes away from her food and water bowls because cats are known for not wanting to eat in or near their own bathroom.  You need a litter box on every floor of your house the cat has access to and at least one more litter box than the number of cats you have.
Cats love to play no matter their age so provide safe and fun toys. Furry little mice toys and ping pong balls are great options. Avoid string though because it’s a choking hazard. When you are available to play with the kitty use laser pointers or feathers on a wand to engage your cat. Be sure to put out some paper bags or boxes because most cats love them. And be prepared to share your sink.

 

 

For more information consult The Cat Behavior Answer Book by Arden Moore Catbehaviorcover

or Indoor Pet Initiative of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State University.

http://indoorpet.osu.edu/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author:  Beth Leatherman Harwell

www.coddlecreekpetservices.com

 

Treats…Treats…We Love Treats

 Who doesn’t love feeding their dogs treats?

Yummy in my Tummy!

Yummy in my Tummy!

Pup-sickles

32 oz plain yogurt
1 mashed ripe banana
2 T peanut butter
2 T honey

 

Blend all together and spoon into ice-cube trays (who remembers those?!?) or Dixie cups or egg cartons. Freeze until solid. Serve individually to your pups.

 

For those remaining hot days of summer plan on serving these out-of-doors (they are messy) for your pups to enjoy.
Human Foods

Carrots are tasty!

Carrots are tasty!

Your dogs may enjoy small bites of watermelon, berries, carrots, apples or cheese. Your cats might like zucchini, cantaloupe or leafy green veggies.

Is it my turn yet Mommy?

Is it my turn yet Mommy?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our three dogs sit at attention politely waiting on a spoonful of plain fat-free Greek yogurt or cottage cheese.

 

Just remember that portion size matters and calories do count. Think 1/8 inch square for a cat or small dog and 1/4 inch square for a larger dog.

 

 
Author:  Beth Leatherman Harwell

 

 

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.

Ricochet’s New Book

Ricochet

Ricochet

Ride a Wave of Hope with the Surf Dog Who Inspires Millions

 
In her new book, Ricochet: Riding a Wave of Hope with the Dog Who Inspires Millions, Judy Fridono shares the emotionally-moving story of Ricochet, the beloved golden retriever who went from puppy prodigy to service-dog dropout before becoming an inspirational phenomenon and Internet sensation.  It wasn’t long before Ricochet became the world’s only SURFice dog™, participating in numerous charity events that changed the lives of a sea of very grateful people. Through her extraordinary gift of surfing, Ricochet has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities and those in need. With every wave she rides, she heals hearts and transforms lives by teaching people to believe in themselves and follow their heart. The story of Ricochet is one of purity, synchronicity, our interconnectedness and opening ourselves to life’s ‘paw’sibilities. It will motivate your spirit to make the most of the gifts hidden within you—so you can shine your light on the world and paw it forward!  Click here to learn more about the book, bonus gifts and ordering. http://ricochetthesurfdog.com
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Spring Time Around Lake Norman with Dogs in Tow

For the first weekend in a very long time we did not have any pet sitting assignments so we enjoyed a stay-cation with our three fur babies.  Living near Lake Norman is a blessing…and the weather this weekend was perfect.

On Saturday Luke and I dropped in at the Open House at Main Street Veterinary Hospital in Cornelius.  What a nice place that is.  We saw lots of evidence of teddy bear surgery and teddy bear dental work.  It was my first time in the surgical suite of a veterinary hospital and I was impressed.  Luke is an old hand at dental cleanings so he did not flinch at all.

After we left “surgery” we meandered down to Davidson and caught the tail end of Davidson Town Day. Luke took a few snapshots of the giant stacks of books outside the library.

Gives new meaning to going in the stacks

Gives new meaning to going in the stacks

While Luke and I were out and about Trooper and Daisy Mae helped Daddy with yard work.

Sunday was another great day so the humans took Trooper and Daisy Mae to Lake Norman State Park for a hike.

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?

Luke stayed home to guard the homestead.  We love the 3 mile trail along the lake shore but we were all worn out by the time we returned home. Hiking with these two is different from our hikes with Luke and our late Beau.  Daisy Mae and Trooper were well behaved but clearly need a little more trail certification training!

Trooper shows us he knows how to swim.

Trooper shows us he knows how to swim.

All in all we enjoyed our stay-cation.  Now we are ready to get back to pet sitting and dog walks on a little more even terrain (and shorter routes than 3 miles).

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View from Grilles at Lake Norman

image

One of the multiple reasons we love living near Lake Norman.
They allow dogs on the deck and even supply water bowls.

Pack Walk to Celebrate 1st Day of Spring

image

Just a walk in the park.

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.