MY SPECIALTY: TIMID, ANXIOUS DOGGIES
As the owner of a timid dog who has anxiety issues, one of the biggest struggles I've had is finding a pet service that knows what it's doing for dogs with her needs, someone who can manage her anxiety and provide her with a loving, calm, knowledgeable presence.
So that's one of my key motivations in providing a dog walking and home visit service - plus, I LOVE dogs, 'speak' fluent canine, and have a wealth of skills in enrichment play and safe walking etiquette, learned from expert trainers whilst raising our cavoodle Annie from an 8-week old pup.
* dog walking in urban, park and beach settings
* administering medication (pills or orally)
* working around dietary requirements and allergies
* enrichment play that exercises a dog's mind as well as his or her body
* safe dog walking practices with careful attention to dog body language, and constant awareness of surroundings and the presence of other people and dogs. I do NOT use my phone; my attention is completely on your dog and their surroundings.
BEFORE OUR FIRST WALK OR HOME VISIT:
* Before our first walk or home visit, I like to do an obligation-free meet and greet, just to make sure your dog will be happy and you'll get to know me a bit. Then I'm not a complete stranger to your dog, which is always a good thing!
* I'll have some questions about your doggy and their preferences, and please, ask me questions too!
* If there is a bit of time between our first meet and greet and the booking, I like to do a second meet with a quick walk closer to the booking time so the dog is reacquainted with me.
FOR WALKS: (about 30 minutes)
* I research safe, enjoyable walks around your home that will ensure your dog has lots of sniffy time (brilliant for brain work), gentle encouragement and praise, some reinforcement of training commands (sit, stay etc.) as well as physical exercise.
* I use compostable eco-friendly poo bags from Jerry Bags on our walks. I also carry a well-stocked pouch of treats - with food allergies always taken into consideration :)
* After the walk, your dog will enjoy not just a long, well-deserved drink, but also a brief little spell of enrichment play (if they want to) and to wind down into rest mode, lots of cuddles, pats, doggy massage (as tolerated) and a little chat about our adventures.
* If your dog is timid or anxious, I am very careful to walk him or her along known routes.
* I have honed my skills at interpreting not just your own dog's state of mind about the environment they are in, but also that of other dogs who may be approaching. Ever cautious, and because I mistrust strange dogs, I will create distance between us and any approaching doggies that should happen along. Better safe than sorry.
* I bring my own little kit of a soft fluffy towel, treats, poo bags etc. so if we get wet on our walk and pup is going to be home on his own for a bit afterwards, I can dry them off and make sure they're not going to be cold.
FOR HOME VISITS: (generally between 30-45 minutes)
All home visits include:
* checking drinking water and food / feeding as necessary
* time for toileting
* play time - enrichment activities to exercise mind and body - AND/OR walkies. All home visits include a 20 minute walk (minimum)
* cuddles and pats and scratches in all the favourite places
* administering medication if needed
* before I leave, some relaxation massage and gentle pats to get pup ready for a snooze.
* I am an ex-high school teacher so pride myself on my professionalism, organisation, preparation, and forward thinking.
* I have a current Working With Children card.
* I have just completed a Police Screening for the Education Department which is valid for three years, in addition to the one completed for Pawshake.
I can not thank Mel enough for looking after and loving our little man enough! From the start Mel was super conscientious and wanted to make sure she has everything correct and that our dog would be happy and comfortable with her. Mel updated us through our trip which really helped knowing he was ok and being loved on. I can’t recommend Mel enough! If you have any doubt or worries or concerns then you need to book Mel and they will all disappear!
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