Fall 2017

          Hi Fluffy Buddies!!  

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     Alas, summer has gone. Time for EVERYTHING pumpkin spice…..
     I am so NOT ready for cold, snow, ice and the long winter ahead.  I am just now resigning myself to the fact that pumpkin spice everything has taken over once again.  But this brings me to something vitally important to all my Fluffy Buddies and their families.
     I have been in business for a long time now.  FluffyPaws Pet Luv is my passion and my full-time job. I am not giving that up. I love it too much. But as I get older, I have to cut back in several ways, because this job is more like a 60 hour work week, not a 40 hour. I don’t get lunch breaks. I don’t take vacations, and I don’t take sick time!  I work seven days a week, and from very early morning until sometimes very late in the evening.  It IS hard work, and I love it with all my soul.  But my body is reminding me that I am not 30 anymore. I have to cut back a bit….I have to slow down or I will hurt myself.  SO, with that in mind, I have decided to make a few changes.  First major change is that I WILL be taking breaks. To do that, I have to schedule more carefully. So if you know you will be needing my services, please contact me as soon as you possibly can. I have tried throughout my career to never say “no” to a client, but that may change as I adjust my days.  To ensure your pet gets on my calendar, call early!  I have found a wonderful person who is willing to help me in a crunch, and that will help.
     I am already booking up fast for the holiday season, believe it or not!  So if you have plans to go away at any time during the busy months ahead, please call me now.  In order to provide quality time with all my clients, I make sure to schedule a set amount of time with them.  
     This brings me to the other change I am forced to make.  My policy has always been that I charge for a certain amount of time (which we have previously agreed upon), to spend with your pet.  I charge for my TIME, not the number of pets that I care for in your home.   When circumstances require additional time – like extra care for a suddenly ill pet, or shoveling your driveway and walkway to get to your pets – I never included that in your invoice.  I have always been grateful for those of you who have generously acknowledged that extra time, because I was uncomfortable billing for a service you had not previously authorized.   However, discrepancies in time spent and compensation received are not matching up during those situations, and I have been advised I must keep a better accounting of my schedule. In light of that, I must include extra charges as they are incurred. If you have questions about this, please get in touch with me.
     Got that stuff out of the way, let’s talk about happier things, like…HALLOWEEN!!!!!
Remember that Halloween is fun for most humans, but can be scary and weird for our pets. If you are going to be hosting a party – or just handing out candy to little monsters and goblins, please be sure that your pets are secured in another room.  Your dog may love kids, but scary masks, flashing lights, squeals of laughter and general noise can cause any dog to act unpredictably.  Some cats are extreme escape artists, and could use the opportunity to bolt.  Remember to keep all candy out of the reach of pets!  Not only can some be deadly – like chocolate, or anything with xylitol in it, but small pieces can pose a choking hazard.
     There are always so many things to consider when thinking about the safety of our pets.  For instance:
 * After all the disasters in the news this year, with floods, hurricanes, fires and earthquakes, have you considered what you would do in any of those instances?  Knowing you’d never leave behind a member of your family, have you made a plan of how you’d implement the evacuation if it was ever necessary?  While we are not routinely subject to such dramatic weather, thankfully, there are circumstances that could mean we have to flee.  A tornado, a severe weather event, a fire; there are a number of things that could require us to leave quickly.  Planning ahead and having the necessary items to implement an emergency evacuation will bring you peace of mind.  Remember to have at easy reach the following items.  
 * Collar and leash, for dogs
 * Food and water, and the bowls to put them in.
 * Crates or carriers for cats, and a leash if they are trained to it.
 * Their personal papers (like proof of rabies shot) in case they need medical care, medications if they take any, and a list of what they take.  
 * A clear photo of your pet – and a description already written up as to special markings, colors and identifying information in case that pet goes missing.
 * A personal item that brings comfort to your pet, such as a toy, blanket, or another item that is familiar.
     Hopefully you will never need these things, but just knowing what to grab and being prepared will bring you peace of mind.
     Samson wants me to update you all on the most important member of the FluffyPaw Gang.  He is STILL the ramp king, and is proud to prove it, but his right rear leg repair seems to be a bit…shall we say…unique. He sits awkwardly, and walks sort of like a penguin on one side, but doesn’t seem to feel pain anymore.  He’s SO happy to be doing his job, riding along with me as I make my rounds!  He leaps gleefully OUT of the car, but does use his ramp to get in.  He hated being left home with the cats and Sweetie. While they kept him company, his mission is to be my co-pilot and protector.  Now that he is able to go with me again, he’s much happier. We haven’t been able to go running, but we take nice long and brisk walks, and discover the feathered wildlife that surrounds our property.  He is always interested in new things.  His latest vet visit declared him FREE from vet visits, and he is able to walk two miles a day with me again, without pain!  What a guy!  Now if we could just get him accustomed to the sounds of the owls at night, he’d be very content!  Their hooting spooks him. Hopefully he won’t hear any ghosts at Halloween.
     Spike was indignant when I opted to have him shaved this summer, saving him from the agony of me pulling mats out of his fur, and helping me get a better grip on the cottony coat he has. While he’s good about my grooming him, his patience is limited.  He seems much more comfortable now.  In order to keep the coat in good condition, I am grooming him daily to accustom him to it.  He sighs and moves away when he’s had enough.  
     Scout is a happy guy, hiding from visitors when they come to see us, but playful and friendly with his housemates and me, of course.  I am the bringer of food and treats and cuddles and pets.  What’s not to like?
     Blossom has a family of her own. She adopted Blue Guy shortly after coming to live with me, and she carries him everywhere.  Blue Guy is not a catnip toy, just a lightweight stuffed critter with two short arms and two stubby legs, and a body with no neck.  Sometimes, I find Blue Guy in bed with me in the morning. Sometimes he is apparently too tired to make it all the way, and he’s on the stairs, or in the hallway.  Once in a while, he has taken to swimming laps in the water dish, and apparently can’t get out on his own, so I rescue him, perform CPR while Blossom watches with interest, and then he air-dries.  
Because Blossom is so fond of him, I went in search of Blue Guy’s potential family – and I FOUND them!  Pink Gal and Blue Boy have come to live here.  When I introduced them to Blossom, she was delighted. I thought she may not take to them, having such a close bond with Blue Guy, but no, she adopted them immediately, bringing them close to her body, rubbing her face on them, and rolling around in greeting as if she had been waiting for their visit!  Pink Gal travels now, too, and all three have taken up swimming.  I routinely do CPR because often, I find them floating face down.
Sweetie has learned to make fun of me – I cannot whistle. I never could. So when he whistles at me, I try to copy him, and all I do is make a soft blowing sound.  So lately, he has taken to whistling or tweeting at me, then he puts his head down, blowing out and looking back up at me, starts dancing. The little bugger is LAUGHING AT ME!
     No, I do not spoil my pets. Why would you think that?!


Jill and the FluffyPaw gang