WaggleBlog #5: Fall & Winter Dog Walking Safety

Leaves are falling and so too are the temperatures.  Days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer.  When it comes to walking dogs in the dark, it’s time for flashlights, warm layers and reflective clothing, for you and your canine family.  Just do a search on Amazon for “Reflective dog gear” to discover a world of options.  Also, check out your local pet store for readily available dog walking safety gear.  Make sure the oncoming driver sees you and comes to a complete stop before you proceed across the roadway.  We can never be to careful on this point, as drivers are more distracted than ever, thanks to mobile devices.  Have fun and be safe out there!

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WaggleBlog #4: Keep Them Safe and Cool!

The majority of my WaggleZen time is spent caring for dogs outdoors, mainly in the form of walking.  I schedule those walks, throughout the day, during the Winter and Spring.  However,  those walks have to be shifted to early morning and evening, in the Summer and Fall, due to hot midday temperatures.  I encourage folks to do the same or their canine family members could come away with burnt paws and possibly suffer a heat stroke.  Recently I purchased a laser temperature gauge.  It helps me quickly determine whether my fur clients will be doing an outdoor walk or some indoor, air conditioned playtime.  You simply aim the laser toward the sidewalk and/or asphalt, press the trigger and a temperature is displayed.  On this particular afternoon, it was 90 degrees F outside.  The sidewalk reading was 127 degrees F and asphalt was at 139 degrees F.  Way too hot for a dog walk!  A great general rule of thumb is, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your canine family member.  Keep them safe, hydrated, and cool this Summer and Fall!

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WaggleBlog # 3: Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays, my fellow pet loving friends!  Hope you are all enjoying your holidays so far.  We are!  Lots of pet sitting from October through December!  This is such a joy filled career.  I am grateful beyond words for each and everyone of my clients, both animal and human!  May you all have a very happy holiday season and an awesome new year!

Warmest Regards,

Elizabeth, Tracey, Pepper and Sebastian

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WaggleBlog #2: A Canine Sense of Calm

Upon arrival at a potential client’s home, we say “hello” and make our introductions.  I then let them know that I will be delaying my greeting of their dog/s for the first 10-15 minutes of our visit and I explain why.  Sound mean?  Well, no, I’m not being mean at all…quite the opposite, actually.  In the canine world, when a new dog is introduced to the pack and that new dog plays it cool, that behavior calms the rest of the pack.  They don’t perceive this new dog as a threat.  The same principle applies to humans who approach the pack.  Ever notice how your dog/s react when a person appears at the door and approaches them with a high-pitched voice, looking them right in the eyes and petting their head right away?  In most cases this won’t get a positive reaction from Fido!  On the other hand, notice what happens when your guest has a calm voice and demeanor, spends a few minutes talking with the dog’s owner.  Most dogs will go about their business and then later approach the stranger for some TLC.

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I have two beautiful, loving, male dachshunds, Pepper and Sebastian (pictured below).  Like many of their breed, they think they are very large dogs.  They bark like they’re a couple of guard dogs when the doorbell rings!  When opening the door, I simply ask my guest/s to please ignore the dogs for the first few minutes, until they calm down.  Eventually my guests will find that one or both of my dogs is snuggling warmly on their laps!  This method works like magic for friendly but vocal dogs.  If you too have dogs that get overly excited and make lots of noise when guests arrive, give this calming method a try.

Please note:  This methodology is to be used for non-violent, non-aggressive dogs only!

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WaggleBlog – Very First!

Hello everyone!  My name is Elizabeth Locker and I am the primary owner and pet care provider here at WaggleZen, where our motto is, “Happier, Healthier Dogs through Love, Movement and Training.”

To say I am intimidated by this whole blog writing exercise is to completely understate the situation! I’ve been avoiding this aspect of 21st century business operation for many months now.  What do I have to say, of value, that anyone would want to read?  Well, looks like we shall see over time!

Before I started this business, almost one year ago, I had been out of the high tech world for several months.  During that time, I was searching for the same type of work (Executive Assistant) in the same industry that had been my career for over 14 years.  After all, it was what I excelled at and enjoyed doing, for the most part.  Then inspiration struck!  A good friend, in Seattle, had started her own dog walking business and was doing exceedingly well at it.  I adore dogs and have cared for, trained and nurtured many of them throughout the years.  With the skills honed as a senior level Executive Assistant, along with the canine care skills, why couldn’t I be successful running my own pet services business? My answer was a resounding, “There is absolutely no reason why I wouldn’t do well!”  Then came the discussions with my spouse, industry research, training and working with a mentor.

In April of this year we will celebrate one year in business.  It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience so far.  When I’m out walking or training a dog, there is a feeling of joy and fulfilment that I’ve never known before!  Our clients, both human and canine, are second to none!  I feel such gratitude for all of them and for being able to do this true labor of love!

In the upcoming blogs, I will share on-the-job observations, experiences and some helpful canine care tips and tricks.  Stay tuned!

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