When I was recently presented with the opportunity to write a Blog here on Rye Patch I jumped at the chance because I have a lot of good and useful information that I'd like to share with the local pet loving community.
As a Professional Dog Walker/Pet Sitter since 2003, I've logged thousands and thousands of hours doing hands on pet care. I'd say I've seen everything, but just when I think that, something new comes along that I've never encountered before...and thus yet another learning experience. Clients and non-clients alike often come to me with questions and problems or concerns, and because of my extensive background I am often able to help them or steer them in the right direction to find answers and solutions.
In early 2003 I decided that I needed to get out of the Corporate rat race and spend my days at work doing something that brought me joy. I hadn't been able to have a dog of my own for 13 years at that point due to my living situation as an apartment renter. I sorely missed having dogs in my life in a daily basis and when I sat down to ask myself, "What brings me joy?" the immediate response in my heart and head was "DOGS! DOGS bring me joy!" So I set out to explore avenues of employment that would get me closer to dogs. I didn't have the time or funds to go to Vet school or even go through a dog training class, but I found a help wanted ad online posted by a service in White Plains that was looking for dog walkers. "Dog Walkers?" I thought, "You can get paid to walk dogs??" I had been on the cusp of signing up for a Real Estate course, and had even gotten the support of a Broker who felt I had potential and was ready to pay for my course and take me under her wing. But at the last minute, I decided that I really needed to do something I knew I'd love - and that was to be with dogs all day.
Six months into that job I realized that the woman running the service I worked for was not a pleasant boss to have, and that I could branch out on my own in the area closer to where I lived, run my own business and keep all the money for myself rather than hand over to her an enormous percentage of what I earned. So that's what I did. It was the best life decision I have ever made.
I spent the next several years building the local business and quickly realized that in order to do my job well and have it be as safe and easy as possible (and it is never "easy"), I needed to learn as much as I could about dog behavior and training in order to get the dogs behaving well for me. And I made a stern promise to myself that I would allow this divergence into something that seemed like a frivolous pursuit of "loving what you do" only if I used it as a learning opportunity and sought to learn as much as I possibly could from the experience.
To that end, I've spent a lot of personal time reading any number of books on dog behavior, training, health and nutrition, I've attended quite a number of lectures, seminars and workshops and I've worked with any number of clients and their dog trainers in trying to solve problems. I've racked up a solid base of knowledge and experience as well as a great pipeline of informational resources by communicating with other more knowledgeable animal care experts. This is an ongoing quest of mine to continue learning as much as I can. And the more I learn the more it enables me to asssit my clients and other members of the dog loving community.
I look forward to posting informational as well as entertaining entries in the hope that I can be of assistance to pet parents who may be struggling with issues, and especially for people considering making the leap into Pet Parenthood either for the very first time, or for the first time in a long time. It gets tricky, and I can help you navigate it to the best possible, happiest and most successful outcome for you, your family and the dog (or cat!).
Feel free to visit my web site at www.curranspets.com.
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