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MEET: Duffy – Small but Mighty

MEET: Duffy – Small but Mighty

Despite his small stature, Duffy, a Yorkshire Terrier has a big personality and an abundance of love for all things human! Duffy has become a beloved staple within a New Bern retirement-home. As the pet of a resident, he puts a smile on the faces of many in the community. 

The positivity garnered by keeping seniors and their beloved animals together is more than tangible in Duffy’s case. He provides heightened social activity and a loyal, familiar companionship for his owner. When he’s not on an adventure with Crockett’s Critter Care, he can be found practicing the arts of bone burying & lap sitting. 

This furry friend overflows with enthusiasm while exploring the retirement-home grounds. He sniffs until his heart is content and hones in on anything we may encounter. Though Duffy is a passionate outdoors-man, he always leads the way back to his room & best friend – A strong reminder of the bond between pet and owner. Duffy exemplifies the bold, courageous, and affectionate traits of a Yorkie.  By Nicholas Bailey.

Other Crockett’s Critters

Your pet could be featured in our monthly newsletter. Reach out to Jeanne via email and tell her what makes your buddy so special. If you enjoy reading our blog, please join our mailing list to receive pet caring tips.

TRUE TALES: Clark Kent – Horsing Around

TRUE TALES: Clark Kent – Horsing Around

As a kid I dreamed of owning a horse. In high school and college I was able to take weekly riding lessons but it wasn’t until well after graduation when I moved to California as an adult, my dream came true and I found my first horse!

His name was Clark Kent- a retired racehorse with knobby knees, a shaggy coat, and a tongue that hung over the bit. He was being used as a school horse but he wasn’t anyone’s favorite mount because he was hard to ride.

I turned him into an athlete again. We rode the hills every day and his condition improved, we took lessons, entered shows – even got some ribbons. His coat gleamed from all the carrots I fed him and his daily brushing. From the day that I got him, he was never “just a school horse” again. We continued training and competing in hunter/jumper shows and then on to dressage.

We were best buddies. After riding for hours, my dog and I would visit him again at supper time to give him some attention and a few treats. Clark brought me so many wonderful experiences, friendships and memories. It was a happy time in my life. I will always be grateful that I took my passion as far as I could. When I had to leave Clark behind, I found him the perfect place to live out the rest of his life.

I donated him to the Elk’s Rehabilitation Clinic where he was able to be the mount in a therapeutic riding program. True to his name, his mild manners made him a top choice among many other riders for years to come. As for me, I am still a crazy horse lady. 

JULY IS NATIONAL LOST PET PREVENTION MONTH

JULY IS NATIONAL LOST PET PREVENTION MONTH

A family pet is lost every 2 seconds in North America

I am that person who hangs up signs in my neighborhood for lost and found pets, posts photos on NextDoor of strange dogs that I see wandering around, and share posts on my Facebook page for local pets whose owners are looking for them. 

I have joined in pet search parties, have helped owners get kitties in distress down from high perches in trees, and have placed white erase boards with other people’s missing pet information on my front lawn.  July has the distinction of having the largest number of pets go missing because of the Independence Day celebrations.

Fireworks are very scary for pets.  Some tremble in fear even when they are safe in the house, some escape from their yard in terror, and some bolt right out the front door into the thick of it.  All have been petrified. Some are picked up by animal control.  Some come home injured. Unfortunately, some never come home.  My research reveals that a family pet is lost every 2 seconds in North America, 10 million pets are lost every year, 1 out of 3 pets will be lost in their lifetime and not just due to fireworks. 

BE PROACTIVE

Original artwork by Kate Goodman

You must be proactive to keep your furry friends safe at home. Start by microchipping. In case you get separated from your pet, the chip will connect them back to you. Be sure to pet-proof your house and property so that they don’t wander without you.  That means walking your yard to look for holes that have been dug under fences or gaps in the fence that your critter can scoot through. Also be sure the gate latches and closes securely.  

Inside the house, check doors, screens, and windows to ensure that they don’t provide an accidental escape route. Cats can be very dexterous about pulling at screens to open them up just enough to slip outside. Windows are better closed so curious cats aren’t given the chance to try out their hunting skills. 

USE A LEASH

Crockett’s Critter Care team members always check the fit of the collar or to ensure the pet can’t slip out or back out of it.  As a rule, extension leashes are not used as they don’t allow for proper control of the pet and they don’t protect them from sniffing out hidden dangers like snakes.  If a dog pulls or lunges after squirrels, birds, rabbits, or other perceived prey, we suggest using two leashes, just to be safe.

Original artwork by Kate Goodman

CRATED PETS

Remove your dog’s collar before they are placed in the crate.  It is a standard practice in the veterinarian’s office as a dog can be injured or worse if their collar is caught and they struggled to get free.  When your pet is crated, secure all the latches so they can’t escape.

TRAVEL SAFELY

Secure your pet while riding in the car, just as you would any other passenger. Crating your pet allows them their own space while traveling and provides assurance if you are in an accident that they won’t be ejected or run off in fright.   

Following these simple tips, staying aware of your pet, and being proactive is the best way to keep your pet safely with you and not a statistic or featured on a lost pet poster. If you need other suggestions for pet safety whether they are furry, feathered, or finned give me a call or send me an email.  I am ready to help!

PET’S MASK REACTIONS –

PET’S MASK REACTIONS –

You don’t look like you and it’s scary.

We expect that a Halloween mask can set off a pet’s defense mechanism. Dogs may growl and cats may hiss at the site of something they perceive as scary.  Imagine how we must look to them now that our new protocol is to wear a face mask? 

Our pets may get anxious when they can’t see our full face whether we are with them daily or just showing up on occasion.  They don’t know if, behind the mask is a smile or a scowl.  They hear us speak, but they don’t see our mouths move. 

Peek-a-Boo without the BOO!

Make it easier for your pets, especially your canine companion, by getting them accustomed to seeing a mask on their household members. To get started at home, go slow and make sure your dog is relaxed. 

First cover your mouth and nose with your hand and give your pet a treat.  Repeat this several times until they expect the treat and look forward to the training exercise.  Your pet is creating a good association with having your face covered and getting a treat.  Now try it with your mask of choice and repeat the exercise (and reward) while wearing the covering for longer intervals. 

Get Everyone Involved

Walk around your house, wearing a mask while talking to your pet and offering treats.  Also have the other members of your household do the same.  This will help your pet get used to seeing a mask on people in general.  Once your pet is comfortable in the house, you are ready to do the exercise outside.

When someone walks by with a mask give your dog a treat.  The treat is now a reward for learning how to take masks in stride.  The key to success is keeping your pet undisturbed at each phase of learning.  If your pet starts to get anxious – go back to the last step where it was calm.  There is no hurry.  Masks are going to be around for a while.  

Big Benefits

After this training, your pet should be a little more comfortable to the visit the veterinarian, unconcerned about walking past other people wearing masks, and happy to see their favorite pet sitter and dog walker. 

Let me know how the training goes or contact me if you have any questions about keeping your pets happy and relaxed as we start to venture out into our new world.

WHO’S THAT STRANGER IN THE HOUSE?

WHO’S THAT STRANGER IN THE HOUSE?

Pets respond to their humans being home.

My dogs, Davy and Ginger, and I have been spending a lot of time together since mid-March when COVID-19 rocked our world.  I’ve been free to walk them more often and hang out with them. They have been great companions throughout and are practicing their obedience training and learning some fun new tricks while I catch up on a lot of reading. 

I’ve also noticed some subtle differences in their behavior.  Davy, my German Shepherd is more content to stay in the yard without me.  Ginger, my Walker Hound, is more nervous on her walks because of all the extra people enjoying the outside.  To lessen her stress, our walks have been shortened.

Nice to see you, now go away.

I did an informal survey of my friends with pets to see how their households are holding up. Many reported that their pets are confused about the humans being home so much. One cat servant noted their pet gives them a look that says, “Don’t you have someplace to be?” Other fur babies are clingy, and since pets are tuned in to our emotions, that could be because they are picking up our distress along with the change of routine.

Another pet owner reported, “My dogs DEMAND a long walk every day now.  They’ve had more walks in the last 7 weeks than they have had their whole lives.  My cats can’t get enough of us.  I am grateful for this time with all of them.”

What do you mean you’re leaving?

In every case the pets and their humans have had to make adjustments from the dogs becoming personal trainers to cats who yowl when left alone in a room. And there will be readjustments when we’re allowed to go back to business as almost normal. This is especially problematic if your dog is a puppy, a young dog, or one that you recently adopted.  It will be easier if you start preparing your pets now instead of letting them work it out on their own. 

If your pets are already having separation anxiety just when you step out to get the mail, it is time to start retraining them to have confidence that you will return.  Other forms of misbehavior like busting through the baby gates or taking over your bed and furniture need to be addressed before they get to be bigger problems with tougher solutions.

Need help?

Go back to their basic training, change up your routine, and start to desensitize your pets to separation. If you find this retraining to be challenging, give me a call 252-635-2655 or drop me an email and I might be able to suggest some options for you. After all, we are all in this together!