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Meet Maxi

Meet Maxi

Life Changing First Dog

Maxi is a star in my neighborhood.  He is a hound of uncertain registry. His owner, Fiona, dotes on him and takes him for walks all over the county.  I know him well. He bays when he sees me and trots over for some treats. Ginger, my hound, is quite smitten with him.  We occasionally join them on walks.

Maxi came into Fiona’s life about twelve years ago when a co-worker asked her if she was still thinking of getting a dog.  She replied with an enthusiastic, “Yes”.  The co-worker then asked if she was interested in a puppy – to which she emphatically answered, “No”.  This small, pathetic looking puppy arrived at the office the next day and stole Fiona’s heart and changed her life. 

On their first day together in Maxi’s new home, they made a special trip to PetSmart where it was discovered that Maxi loved balls.  He chose a little green one and proceeded to carry it everywhere he went.  Over the years his ball collection grew as he found more balls on his trip to the park.  In fact, Fiona’s car is full of balls because Maxi’s philosophy is that every stray ball needs a home with him. 

Maxi is Fiona’s first dog.  It is amazing to me to see the joyful bond between them. True to his “hound” nature, he is a “good dog ambassador” to all of the children in the neighborhood who can’t resist giving him a pat on the head during his daily walk.  He has made a long and successful journey from his pathetic puppy beginning to a charming happy hound.  Woof woof!

What is your proud pet story? Contact us so we can all hear it.

DID YOU KNOW? – We can Walk & Train Your Pet

DID YOU KNOW? – We can Walk & Train Your Pet

Jeanne Walk & Train Gale

Quarantine has been a boon for pet shelters. Many people have found that adding a dog or cat to their household relieves boredom and loneliness during Covid-19. The challenge with having a new pet is that your training options are limited since in person obedience classes for dogs are on hold. And cats, being cats, need special one-on-one training to make them good family pets. While there are lots of books and online tutorials, with everything going on at home, pet training may be necessary but it can be low on the to-do list and that can have negative consequences.

Free Free Dog Behavior Training Professional

If you have a dog that likes to jump up on people, pull on their leash, and misbehave around other canines, Crockett’s Critter Care now offers Walk &Train.  In addition to walking your pooch for exercise, potty breaks, and mental stimulus – we will include Fear Free better behavior training to address common pet concerns.  While you’re taking care of your children, attending to Zoom meetings or conference calls, we can give you a break and your pup the attention it needs to be a charming companion.

Jeanne Crockett recently achieved Fear Free Elite Status which she earned after three years of Fear Free Training. Fear Free promotes awareness of the animal’s emotional welfare.  Fear Free professionals are trained to recognize and alleviate fear, anxiety, and stress in pets. Through calming techniques and gentle guidance things like giving medication, trimming nails, and visiting the vet can become hassle-free happy experiences.

These techniques work with cats as well as dogs. Click the links to learn more about Walk &Train and the Fear Free methods on our website, or call Jeanne at (252) 635-2655 to see how she can help you have a harmonious household.


Happy Pet! Happy Home!

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Meet KitKat by James Mallory

Meet KitKat by James Mallory

~ Submitted to Crockett’s Critter Care by James Mallory.

KitKat, our Ginger boy, came to us unexpectedly about seven years ago.  While we were visiting family out of state, a little kitten ran into their garage and wouldn’t leave. He was all alone and only about four weeks old.  We waited to see if his mother or siblings would join him – but no one did.  That weekend we opened our heart and home to a new furry companion. 

He has remained an indoor kitty but still retains his outdoor instincts which we indulge by taking him for a lot of rides in his outdoor kitty carriage.  A great way to keep him safe and secure while still enjoying the outdoors. 

KitKat loves to play and his orange tunnel with his spinning ball is his favorite toy.  When he is not keeping us company, he likes to hang out in “his” sunroom where he can keep an eye on the backyard birds. 

His small circle of friends outside of family includes our pet sitter – his loyal caretaker since we brought him home. 

What is your proud pet story? Contact us so we can all hear it.

DID YOU KNOW? – K-9 Nibbles

DID YOU KNOW? – K-9 Nibbles

Crockett’s Pet Project for 2020 is the Craven County Sheriff’s K-9 Unit. Our goal is to help raise funds for their needs. We rate them as Five Paws Up.

Police Dogs: “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

  • They identify by scent first, then voice, then by silhouette.
  • A dog’s sense of smell is 200-400 times stronger than a human. A bloodhound can smell a human buried 12 feet underground and can sometimes follow a scent of a missing person weeks later
  • Police Dogs serve from six to nine years.
  • German shepherds can search an area four times faster than a human
  • K-9s can sniff out a car in three minutes.
  • A K-9 is trained to bite and hold – not to chew or release quickly.
  • Potential K-9s don’t start training until they are between 12 and 15 months of age.

Craven County Sheriff’s Unit K-9 Unit

Sheriff Hughes and his department have been resourceful in building this unit and our community has been wonderful in giving donations.  It usually costs around $15,000 to buy and train a police dog. Our police dogs were donated or brought in from other departments.  They are:

K-9 Rhys
  • K-9 Ghost – Belgian Malinois
  • K-9 Ringo – Belgian Malinois
  • K-9 Stihl – Belgian Malinois
  • K-9 Nibbles – Pit Bull
  • K-9 Rhys – Bloodhound

K-9 Nibbles was rescued in 2015 from a suspected dog-fighting ring in Ontario Canada. He came to us by way of an organization in Philadelphia, PA, called Throw Away Dogs who specializes in rehabilitating and training dogs for law enforcement.

K-9 Rhys was donated from a nonprofit organization called Highland Canine Connect from Harmony, NC.

Every month the K-9 Team with the most illegal narcotics taken off the streets is awarded “Top Dog of the Month.”

According to Sheriff Hughes, our K9 program is an essential part of our fight against illegal narcotics being sold and trafficked in our county.

Learn more about our K-9s by viewing their very own FB page: Craven County Sheriff’s Office – K-9 Unit.

Donations in any amount are appreciated. You can mail your check to the Craven County Sheriff’s Office, 1100 Clarks Road, New Bern, NC 28562, and in the memo section, add Sheriff’s K-9 Unit. Your donation will make our county even safer.


For Fear Free professional pet sitting and dog walking, contact Jeanne Crockett, owner of Crockett’s Critter Care.

Happy Pet! Happy Home!

Get more pro tips to take care of your pets by subscribing to our newsletter and blog.

TRUE TALES: Consult with a Cat Behaviorist

TRUE TALES: Consult with a Cat Behaviorist

I was a lucky winner of a raffle drawing at the Pet Sitters International Conference this year.  My prize was a forty-five-minute consult with Marci Kosti, PHD, a well-known cat behaviorist.  I prepared ahead and asked my Facebook friends and colleagues what their most pressing cat concerns were.  Some of the concerns went beyond the scope of an introductory consult but other issues fit easily into a Q & A format.

Here is a summary of the answers to my questions with Dr. Marci:

  1. When pet owners consult with you, what are the topics they want to discuss most often?
    The top concern is from pet owners who have cats that are not getting along and are looking for ways to create cat harmony in their household. The second most frequent topic is house soiling.
  2. How important is early interaction between kittens and humans regarding their friendliness toward their owner and other people throughout their lifetime?
    The sensitive socialization period for kittens is 2 to 8 weeks. Studies have shown that kittens that have been gently handled (even just 15 minutes a day) are more likely to be friendly, more willing to explore, and more able to handle stress as they develop. Exposure to more than one person, other pets, environments, and situations provide kittens with positive associations that will last a lifetime.
  3. As a pet sitter, we often administer medications to cats. What are some of the best methods that you have found for cats to accept this process?
    Less handling is better when giving medicine to a cat. For pilling, the best treat that Dr. Kosti has found is whipped cream cheese because it is sticky and yummy. Place a pea size portion with the medicine tucked inside on the very end of a knife or spoon. When the cat goes to lick it, it sort of sticks to the cat’s tongue and then goes into the mouth to be swallowed. To get the cat to accept this, start with a few portions of the cheese without the pill and then the one with the pill followed by one more lick without the pill. This way the cat doesn’t suspect the medicine each time. Some other good choices are Churu’s, Albacore tuna, marsh mellows, Easy Cheese cheddar and bacon, canned salmon, baby shrimp, Bonita fish flakes, anchovy paste, and Fancy Feast foil packets of any flavor. We also talked about adding medicine to a liquid paste in a syringe and letting the cat lick it off the tip of the syringe. Both of these methods can be completed without any hand holds so the cats aren’t stressed and look forward to medicine time. Dr. Kosti shared a great video by Feline Fundamentals that shows positive ways to medicate your cat which I thoroughly enjoyed watching. You can view it on Youtube.
  4. What are the best ways to deter a cat from scratching the furniture?
    Scratching posts placed near the furniture that the cat is scratching. Make sure it is the right size and is sturdy. If the cat is reaching up then the post should be one that matches the cat’s height preference. The same applies for cats that scratch the carpet. These cats prefer scratchers that lie on the floor. There is a variety of scratchers to chose from. Consider buying several. Initially, you can sprinkle cat nip on the scratcher to get the cat’s attention.
  5. What are your thoughts about cats exploring outdoors in a stroller?
    Dr. Kosti loves it and has tried it with all of her cats. However, only one of them took to it after training. It needs to be properly introduced with gentle training. If a cat doesn’t like it and growls, hisses, trembles, freezes, snaps or swats – then stop. This is not going to be a pleasant experience for that cat.
  6. Feeding stations vary a lot from one house to another. Sometimes food bowls are close together near the litter box and other times they are spread out. What do you advise your clients to do?
    Cats are very fussy about this. They don’t like their food bowl near the water or the litter box. They also don’t have a drive for thirst even though they need water. I have found that the best feeding station is one that has the food apart from the litter box and away from the water bowl. It’s also a good idea to have several water bowls in areas that the cat is near because they may drink more water that way. This is especially important for senior cats.
Dr. Marci Koski with white cat
Dr. Marci Koski

Litter box issues are complex issues that can’t be addressed in this format. Dr. Kosti gave a ninety-minute presentation which I found valuable on litter box issues and house soiling at the Pet Sitters International conference. The first step in resolving these issues is a veterinary check- up to determine that the problem isn’t medical. Then a review of litter box basics (location, design, type of litter, and maintenance) and some simple adjustments may be all that is required for your cat to behave appropriately. As a pet sitter, I have a lot of experience in this area and may be able to help.

When it comes to cats that don’t get along in their multi-cat household – it may be time for you to reach out to a cat behaviorist. Dr. Marci Koski, a Certified Feline Behavior & Training consultant, successfully helps cat owners restore harmony in their homes. The testimonials on her website are from satisfied customers who wish they would have contacted her sooner. I am very impressed with her understanding of cats and her willingness to share her knowledge with me. I highly recommend her to you. She is amazing and will be happy to talk with you.

What is your proud pet story? Contact us so we can all hear it.

Meet and Greet

Meet and Greet

It’s Nice to Meet You!

At Crockett’s Critter Care, our first meeting is a chance for us to get to know your pet and your expectations. Taking the time to introduce your pet to our sitters is the foundation for establishing a positive relationship. Together we’ll talk about your pet’s personality and needs. We will discuss your pet’s health and what we can do to support it. Then together, we’ll create a schedule that will work for you and your pet so that you have a happy home.

Shy Cats and Fearful Dogs

We enter quietly (without ringing doorbells) and usually let your pet come to us with little fanfare. It is a time for us to observe whether your pet is friendly or fearful with strangers. We many not look at your pet or lure it toward us if it is frightened. We respect your pet’s space.

We are concerned with your pet’s physical and emotional well-being. We don’t force ourselves on your pet. We let your pet approach us when it is ready. We are trained to understand your pets’ body language and we adjust our behavior accordingly.

To show we’re friendly and safe, we may toss a few high value treats (the good stuff) to create a positive association with us. We want your dogs to approach us with happy tail wags and your cats with contented purrs when we come to visit.

With patience, gentleness, and the right approach we believe that we will win your pet over. We move slowly, speak softly, and allow your pet to choose us. Some pets love us immediately and some need time and distance to build trust. We don’t rush this introductory phase. We are in it for the long haul and hope that our first meeting is the beginning of a long and happy relationship with each pet and its owner.

Here kitty, kitty…

Shy white cat

If you cat is hiding when we arrive for our client meeting, let it stay where it is. Don’t try to pick it up and bring it out to meet us. It is hiding to avoid us because it is afraid. We are fine with that. Many of these cats will come up to us in their own time. Meanwhile, on our kitty visits, we will make sure your cat is healthy, eating, drinking water, and using the litter box appropriately. We like to do a head count to make sure no one is stuck in a closet.

For shy cats in hiding, we will sit in a safe spot and read out loud or just talk to your cat softly. We may continue to toss a yummy treat its way. We have pheromones that we can spray on your cat’s bedding and a music cube that plays calming music that we can leave behind to alleviate your pet’s anxieties. Many of our clients are amazed at the pictures we send of their scared cat or fearful dog relaxing in close proximity to us.

Surpassing Expectations

Our initial meet and greet is a courtesy visit to determine if we can meet your expectations and your pet’s needs.

Once we’ve determined that Crockett’s Critter Care can provide the care your pet needs on the schedule you require we’ll set up our visit plan. And we take the time to learn where all the pet supplies are so we aren’t perceived as cat burglars by your protective pet. We need to know where the treats, leash, and cleaning supplies are located so that we can safely and confidently care for your pet.

Professional Pet Sitter

Crockett’s Critter Care pet sitters are trained in pet first aid/CPR and receive ongoing education in our field. Our experience, training, and knowledge make us the professional choice for caring for your pet when you need a pet sitter or a dog walker. Jeanne Crockett, the owner of Crockett’s Critter Care, was chosen as Pet Sitter International’s 2020 Pet Sitter of the Year. This honor was judged on providing pet sitting excellence, adherence to superior business ethics and standards, and outstanding contributions to the industry and local community.

Let us introduce ourselves to you and your pet. We’re here to care for finned, feathered, and furry critters as if they were our own.

For Fear Free professional pet sitting and dog walking, contact Jeanne Crockett, owner of Crockett’s Critter Care.

Happy Pet! Happy Home!

Get more pro tips to take care of your pets by subscribing to our newsletter and blog.