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TRUE TALES: Meet Grover by Mary Ballard

TRUE TALES: Meet Grover by Mary Ballard

In August, 2002, I was visiting my cousin in Wilmington when we decided to visit PetSmart to see when they would have a pet adoption. Fortunately, they were having one that very night, and had just brought out several crates with new kittens. As soon as I saw two little orange tabby faces in one box, I claimed them for mine, male littermates, two months old, Gus and Grover. For two months I enjoyed being MomCat to two babies. Unhappily, Gus succumbed to FIP at four months old, and Grover became an only cat. He adjusted very well, taught us some games to play with him, and learned to take naps with us.

Grover has been a very sociable, friendly cat, not afraid of strangers, and has always been healthy. Now at age eighteen, he does nap longer but is still active. He claims every chair and bed in the house with a couple of favorites in each room. At his last “well-kitty checkup” the vet pronounced him a fine cat, and said to give him whatever he wants. He is still friendly, likes to cuddle, and sleeps at our feet. I am thankful for each day that he is still with us. 

Submitted to Crockett’s Critter Care by Meet Grover by Mary Ballard

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

DID YOU KNOW? You Need Hurricane Prep for Your Pets

DID YOU KNOW? You Need Hurricane Prep for Your Pets

How prepared are you?  A little, a lot, gone overboard, never crossed your mind?  North Carolina is no stranger to hurricanes so that will be my focus today.

Here are some things to think about:  the internet and tv may go down; power may go out; rain may cause floods; wind may cause damage; evacuations may be ordered.  Everyone is under a lot of stress scrambling to get what they need to survive and protect their belongings.

Make a plan for your pet ahead of time:  decide where they will go, how they will get there, what supplies and records you will take, and know what you can do to help keep them calm.

Prepare an emergency kit for each animal.  Take water, food, can opener, carriers or crates, litter box and litter, puppy pads, plastic bags, pickup bags, medicine, medical records, leash, collar, harness, pet photo, ID tags.  Suggestion:  take paper records and a photo.  While you may have excellent records and pictures on your smartphone, you may not be able to access them.  Store paper reports in a waterproof container (zip lock bags are handy) and take them with you.  You may also scan records and photos to a file and email the file to a friend or family member who lives in a safe area. 

Before the bad weather approaches, bring your pets inside.  Keep them safe.  You don’t want to search for a terrified pet that has escaped from the yard.

Stay calm – your pets are sensitive to your feelings.  You can help them stay relaxed by packing their favorite blanket or toy, bringing a long-lasting chew toy, spraying Feliway (cats) or Adaptil (dogs) on bedding or towels that can be put into their carriers or crates. 

If your pet is not familiar with going into carriers or crates – teach them to love them.  Leave them up in the house, toss treats in them, feed them next to them and gradually move the food inside.  If they have to spend time confined in one, they will be more comfortable if they have a good association with them. 

Stay tuned in to the weather reports and, if you have to leave – don’t dilly dally.  You are your pet’s best guardian so plan to take them with you. 

Good luck and stay safe.

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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TRUE TALES: Canine Car Rides by Nicholas Bailey

TRUE TALES: Canine Car Rides by Nicholas Bailey

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.

Why Your Dog Loves to Walk With You

Why Your Dog Loves to Walk With You

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.

Meet: Dora – The One Eye Love

Meet: Dora – The One Eye Love

A traumatized kitten from a trash can coffee cup finds a home, health, and happiness.

What Was That?

It’s 3:00 am, and five-pound Dora is tearing around the living room, attempting to climb the blinds and curtains and everything else she knows is off-limits during the day. All that can be seen is one little eye glowing with glee as she speeds by. “Having one eye doesn’t slow her down a bit,” says Ben, who found her on the side of a busy road almost six years ago when she was only five weeks old.

A Rough Start

“She was hiding in an empty cup by some trash,” Ben remembers. He noticed her little head poking out and pulled over. “She ran right to me, meeping and crying.” Dora was in a rough shape, weighing only nine ounces and covered in fleas and scratches. She also had significant trauma to her left eye, which couldn’t be saved.

Dora the cat on the couch
Dora on the couch

Happily Ever After

Sweet Dora never seemed to mind the loss of her eye. She even tried to play with her stitches as soon as she came home from the vet after surgery. More recently, Dora’s job has been class mascot as Ben’s wife, Rachel, taught elementary school online. “Dora Zoomed with me every day. She’d walk all over the keyboard, sniff the camera, and twitch her tail when she heard my students talk. The kids loved it. She’d take a nap by the window to supervise.”

Hobbies & Habits

Dora’s hobbies include tackling her 17-pound older cat brother, Fluffy Ed, and napping with her more patient older brother, the Magical Mr. Mistoffolees. She also enjoys listening for the sound of a lid being removed from a rotisserie chicken container so she can roll on her back and beg by showing her fluffy belly.

~ Written by Rachel Donnelly

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TRUE TALES: Polly & Piper

TRUE TALES: Polly & Piper

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.

Recovery Plan

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.