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…
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.
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!
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I’ve laced up my sneakers & jingled my car keys, lining my pockets with necessary items for a quick outing. As I head towards the door, there she is, my eager & loyal canine companion wanting to join in on the travels. The repeated & habitual motions have sounded the ‘car ride alarm.’ She knows what’s in my future – and she wants in!
Whether it’s the idea of being with her pack leader or the excitement offered by a traveling box on wheels, she is always up for a car ride. Being mindful of vet visits & other necessity destinations, I encourage her fondness for accompanying me. By exposing her to low stress, simple neighborhood rides, positivity is associated with the experience. I’ve practiced this with Sam since she was a puppy & as a result, she is happy to be my co-pilot. She absorbs it all; with ears that adorably perk up at the painted New Bern ‘Bear’ statues.
With 3 million olfactory nose senses, our dogs gather exposure to a variety of smells offered by travel. In addition to bonding, we feed into the animalistic desire for exploration. When traveling, safety always comes first. As tempting as it is, keeping all sniffers and paws inside the vehicle deter incident. A well ventilated backseat harness, crate or carrier are always the safest ways for a dog to ride. A casual, safe and frequent cruise through the neighborhood keeps my precious pup ready to roll!
Submitted to Crockett’s Critter Care by Nicholas Bailey
What is your proud pet story? Contact us so we can all hear it.
Dogs love your companionship so it is a great way to strengthen your dog-human relationship. It’s an easy thing that you can do together. Do you notice how many times your dog looks pleadingly at its leash and back at you? It’s waiting for you to attach his leash and spend some quality time with each other. Most of the time, all you have to do is step out the front door.
Sometimes a vigorous walk is great for exercise but not always what your dog wants. A slow and steady walk gives your dog a great chance to read the environment. Their sense of smell is so powerful that they know who was here, which way they came from, where they went, and how long ago they passed through. Let them read the stories that the environment offers them.
Dogs would love to have more control over where they go. After all, we control every aspect of their life so why not let them pick and chose the direction they want to go? We just need to make sure the direction they are selecting is safe and allow them to lead the way.
Slow down and listen to what your dog is saying to you. Sometimes you can just stop and observe what they are doing. Give them a moment to do what they are interested in. We don’t need to pull them away from something they are attracted to every time. How would you feel if you were reading the newspaper and were constantly interrupted before you finished the article?
They want to explore different surfaces so vary your location. When it’s convenient, walk them on a sidewalk, at the park, on a hiking trail in the woods, down a path by the river, or on a sandy beach. Many dogs love to take in new experiences.
Dogs love a routine. Walking them at the same time every day calms them. Just like our morning routine gets us off to a good start – the same is true for your dog. Consistency is calming.
My Davy cues me when he wants to walk. He looks at his leash and back at me until I oblige. He loves tracking and looking for squirrels, bunnies, deer, and reading who else was visiting his world. He knows where the neighborhood cats are hiding and which trees the birds are perched in. He stops to look down along the common grounds to see if any other critters are in sight. He is alert and interested in everything. He reminds me to live in the moment.
Ginger, on the other hand, is content to meander on the front yard and across the street and back. She can sniff the same spot for five minutes and then walk a few feet away and then back where she was. She is excited to meet up with her friend, Max, but ignores the other critters that are around.
I walk Davy and Ginger separately. They have different styles of walking and I want to spoil them both on their walk. They trust me and enjoy our relationship. Each one is special and different. Both are allowed to be dogs and are happy pets.
I would be happy to walk your dog too. Contact me to get started.
Early this summer I received a call from Polly, a worried pet owner with a specific concern. Her little beagle, Piper, needed to have surgery on her leg and Polly needed help with post-surgical care. This care included bringing Piper in from the car on their trip home from the hospital and helping Piper go outside three times a day until she was able to walk on her own.
Piper had had surgery on the other leg two years before so Polly already knew what to expect and how to plan for Piper’s comfort. After discussing the details, I said, “Sure, we will be happy to help.” Polly was so relieved that she scheduled the surgery after our phone call and called me back with the dates.
Fortunately, Piper proved to be a cooperative patient. She was always happy to see us and did her business right on schedule. The Crockett’s Critter Care team gently moved her from her resting area to the yard and back on each visit. Initially, we carried Piper up and down the long ramp off of the deck and placed her gingerly on the ground. She remained leashed to protect her from doing anything that might jeopardize her recovery. As she healed, she was able to maneuver the distance from the house to the yard and back on her own.
We checked Piper’s incision regularly to make sure it was healing well. When it was time for the bandage to be removed, we were able to do so without any fuss. Piper’s progress was steady and uneventful – just what the doctor ordered! It was gratifying and rewarding for us to be a part of Piper’s recovery and to see her walking on all fours. We love getting calls that are out of the ordinary.
Happy pet, happy home.
Polly was appreciative of our help saying, “Cannot begin to express how grateful I am to Jeanne and her staff for the help they are to Piper and me. Wonderful.”
We believe that Piper will have a full recovery so she can return to the Beagle lifestyle that she was born into – sniff, stop, smell, roll, wag her tail, enjoy some treats, and gaze adoringly at her doting master.
One thing I love about summertime – the days are longer. That means I can take my dogs out for an early morning and late evening walk when the temperatures may be a little cooler and the daylight is stretched to the limit. It’s good for them and for me. There are more hours to explore new places. I know people who take their dogs to the beach or the river on a nice day.
I have found a new place close by to explore. It’s the Martin Marietta Park in New Bern. It’s still being developed and, sometimes, Davy and I have the park all to ourselves. Progress is being made with the boat ramp, restrooms and more. When this park is complete, it will have about 850 acres with activities for adults, children, and pets with forest, lake and river views. For now, even in the early phase of its development, it is pet-approved by Davy.
There is a 3.2 mile park loop that allows dogs on leash. Davy loves the exercise and the opportunities to sniff and smell. I love a good outing and the chance to see birds that I don’t get in my backyard. I can’t wait to see the birding activity that the fall migration will bring.
Short Leash = Safe Dog
When we are walking in the neighborhood, we spot a lot of squirrels, bunny rabbits, baby birds, and an occasional possum, or deer. I keep Davy’s leash short so he doesn’t have a snake encounter (they are out now too); I want to see exactly what is in front of his nose. My neighbor’s dog was frolicking in the park when she heard a yelp followed by her dog limping toward her. It turned out to be from a snake bite. If you have ever seen a dog swollen and whining in pain from a snake bite, you will think twice about letting your pup get too far ahead of you on the trails. A vet visit, pain meds, antibiotics, and time allowed her pup to fully recover.
On the Road…
Car rides are fun – now that they don’t always end up in the vet parking lot. Davy is happy to jump into his crate in the back of the SUV. An interesting side note: He knows by the direction I turn the car where he is likely to end up. When I drive him to school, he faces the back window; when we go to the park, he faces the front window. I can tell that he is happier going to the park!
Cats enjoy the summer too. They gravitate to their perch to watch the birds come to the feeder. Many of my clients have their feeders lined up with their cat trees by a window so the cats can get a bird’s eye view. Cats also love to find a sunny spot to snooze and summer provides them with comfy rays of sunshine almost every day. Kitties love to climb on the screen by the open window to get as close as they can to the flowers, animals, and scents on the other side.
Bird’s Eye View
I have a few clients who place their bird’s cage on the porch or patio on nice days so their birds can enjoy the scenery and the sun. I imagine that it feels good to a parrot, cockatiel, parakeet, and conure to have some wind under their wings and to hear our yard birds up close.
Your caged pets like bunnies, hamsters, gerbils, lizards, and your indoor cats are best left inside to stay out of harm’s way. They can have a fully enriched indoor space with toys, perches, hiding places, boxes and games where they can play in a safe and healthy environment.
Summer affords us a lot of extra daylight and nice warm temperatures to enjoy with our pets both inside and outside.
Here are the essential things that you can do to keep your pet safe during the heat of the summer.
1. Learn the early signs of heat exhaustion:
- Excessive panting
- Excessive or thick drool
- Reddened tongue, inside ears
- Red or pale gums
- Glassy and/or red eyes
- Anxiousness or restlessness
- Reluctance or refusal to go on
2. Shorter, slow outings at cooler times of the day are safer!
Exercise in small doses in the early morning or as the sun sets.
3. Test the surface of the asphalt for three seconds:
It’s too hot to touch with your hand, it’s too hot for paws.
4. Provide room temperature water for your dog to drink
- Bring it with you when you go outdoors
- Give your dog plenty of chances to quench his thirst
- Be sure the water bowl is always fresh and full at home, too
6. Minimize sun exposure
Apply sunscreen made for dogs if needed.
7. High humidity = Low Activity
- Find some shade, take a seat, and relax
- High humidity makes it harder to keep cool
We believe that dogs need to get their paws on the ground for an adventure outside of the house. When you are unable to walk your pet yourself, our trained team of professionals is ready to step in and stroll. Let us help keep your pets happier and healthier.
For Fear Free professional pet sitting and dog walking, contact Jeanne Crockett, owner of Crockett’s Critter Care.
Happy Pet! Happy Home!