I was raised on a farm in northern Alberta where I was taught at an early age the value of hard work, taking responsibility for your actions and getting things done in a timely fashion. (Livestock needs to be fed – even if you’d rather be inside hiding from the cold!)
Living on a farm, we always had a variety of animals to care for: cows, horses, chickens, dogs and cats. In addition to our own animals, we helped neighbours with their animals, so I also had the opportunity to care for sheep, goats and gold fish. One of my favourite memories is the 6 months that we cared for "Bonnie The Finch" while her owner was away. She was a little white bird - with THE COOLEST wooden cage - who liked to chirp. A lot.
Another one of my favourite memories is the day that I moved into my first apartment. Besides having a place that was all my own, it was the day that I got my first "all-my-own" pet, a 4 month old male Tuxedo cat named Tiki. Four years later Tiki was joined by an 8 week old male Tuxedo cat I named Kitten. Four or so years later, shortly after I'd bought my first house; our family was joined by a 6 month old female Black Lab Cross dog named Lizzy. Eight years later, a third male Tuxedo kitten that I named Little Cat joined us. (What can I say? I have a type!)
Tiki passed away the summer before last at the age of 20 years old. Kitten passed away this past December at the age of 17 years old. I miss them both.
Being a home owner - and I'm currently in my fourth house in almost 14 years - has come with a bit of a learning curve. I've experienced a break-in. Had to replace 3 out of 4 hot water tanks after they'd started to leak. Had a furnace go out in the middle of winter while I was away from home. (And the person I'd asked to check my house didn't notice it was out. Or that the water in 2 of the 3 pet water bowls was frozen solid.) I've had to make an emergency plumbing call after the main water line into the house sprang a leak (while I was painting the wall behind it and knocked it with the paint brush handle). I've had tree roots in a sewer line that caused the sewer to back up when I had a houseful of company using the bathroom. I've had water in the basement during record amounts of rainfall. And the list can go on. Oh, the joys of being a homeowner!
I UNDERSTAND that things can go awry when you're away from home. In fact, it was the occurrence of my furnace going out while I was away that triggered the decision to start WhisPurring Tails. I was complaining to my sister-in-law about my frustration with the individual I'd asked to check on my house and she said, "That's what you should do! Be a pet sitter. You can check on people's houses; make sure everything is ok, give pets food and water and shovel sidewalks so that it looks like someone is home."
In 2012 I started WhisPurring Tails after I'd mentioned to my realtor (I was moving into house #3) that I was planning to start a pet sitting business. A few weeks later, he referred my first client to me and the rest, as they say, is history...
ADDITIONAL SKILLS AND TRAINING
- Edmonton Humane Society’s Canine Enrichment Centre Training Academy 2012 Clinic Series: Leash Aggression
- Edmonton Humane Society’s Education Centre’s Pet First Aid, 2013