See Spot Sit Blog

Getting to Know Us // Ashley

June 14th, 2016 02:21 PM

(Ashley walking Tiggy & Boo)

I like to do watercolor illustrations.
I hope to travel the world some day.
I love my 3 dogs more than anything.
I am originally from Missouri.
I love horror movies and books.
I am obsessed with Game of Thrones.
I am very easy going.
I love going to baseball games just for the food.
I am terrified of crickets and all jumpy bugs.
I love Amazon.


See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

Gaining Entry With Shy Dogs

November 24th, 2015 09:20 AM

     When I step back and think about this wonderful job, it amazes me how many homes with dogs we enter on a daily basis.  This week alone, 6 dog walkers entered over 70 different houses.  Granted, many of these pups are confident and out going and ALL have been introduced by either their human or a dog walker they already know well.  However, sometimes we encounter a pup who is a little more reserved or shy.  During the 15 years I've been dog walking and pet sitting in San Diego, I've learned some techniques to help identify the shy dogs as well as ways to put them at ease so they look forward to their walks with us.

     I met Penelope a couple of weeks ago.  She is a very sweet but shy Chihuahua who we get to walk once a week.  She exhibited some typical shy behaviors and was visibly uncomfortable when I stood and walked around her home (getting the "tour") at our initial consultation.  There was no aggression exhibited but I thought it might be a good idea to schedule one introduction walk with her human prior to our regular walk on her own.  I've found this is a great way to reassure nervous pups that we are there for fun and food and it gives them a little more time to get to know us.

     And then there is Bella.  Bella showed no signs of shyness during our initial consultation, in fact she was a burst of loving energy.  However, she was a little unsure when I showed up for our first walk.  This is a great example of why I ask all new clients to hang the leash on the door for our initial walk, regardless of behavior during our consultation.  When we enter the home holding their leash (with their smell) it automatically communicates to the pup what we are doing there, and since most dogs LOVE going for walks, the leash equals fun and helps ease their nervousness.

    During our first walk, we work hard to win over those shy dogs.  Sometimes it means walking close to home so they don't think they're being taken away, but there is always a lot of praise, reassurance and play while out and then they are excited to see us next time!


See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com 

A Bit About Resource Guarding

February 25th, 2015 10:53 AM

     Recently, I met Lucky.  His human rescued him from the Humane Society a year ago.  He was 1 year old, she is his 3rd home and he clearly had a rough start.   Normally, we see resource guarding of food, treats, toys, beds and even favorite humans.  I find Lucky's resource guarding particularly interesting (it seems to be solely based on anxiety and not protecting a resource).  One of which is a mess on the floor (any mess), he will guard it and not let you clean it up.  Another one is the cracks of the couch, between the cushions.  I really hope you don't need to search for spare change or the television remote while he is around.


     There are many articles written on resource guarding and Lucky's human is working diligently with a trainer to help ease his anxiety.  Of course some resource guarding amongst dogs is a necessary survival technique.  But of course many people write of the problems that occur when resource guarding between pups escalates.  A great number of the articles are written on trying to avoid this behavior being established with a new puppy towards humans.   Ideas such as hand feeding at least one meal a day as well as approaching a puppy's food bowl while they're eating to add a special treat (such as a piece of chicken).  This helps your puppy attribute humans approaching her food bowl with an extra delicious treat.

     Here is an article on the subject written by one of my favorite animal behaviorists, Patricia McConnell:  Resource Guarding Treatment and Prevention

     We are pleased Lucky's human trusts us to assist her in providing excellent pet care of her sweet boy!  He seems to have hit the adoption lottery, with someone so dedicated to helping him overcome his insecurities created during that first year.

 See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

Dog tag alternative

January 6th, 2015 10:58 AM


     About a year ago I ordered my first Mimi Green collars for the pups.  I saw one on a client and LOVED the idea of identification without the jingling noise.  For Jenna, I ordered the pink martingale and Monkey received a different cloth one.

     Over the year, Monkey's faired well and even held up to the washing machine (she's a boxer, they get stinky).  About a month ago I saw a new style on their site and decided it was time to replace Monkey's first collar.  It is the laminated cotton, and we just think it is super cute, bright and cheery!  Since it is somewhat of a slippery surface, it wipes down easily (keeping it less stinky).  I also love that since I only need a phone number, I can add something funny about each of them.  Yes, Jenna does like to consume feces and Monkey is a brat when meeting other pups on leash.

Is it time for your pup to get a new collar?  Mimi Green is giving all of our clients a discount code to use: SeeSpotSit15







See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

Photo Contest

December 4th, 2014 12:21 PM

     Recently, we held a contest for the dog walkers to generate some photo taking creativity.  The winner of the contest won $100 Amazon gift card and second place won $25 Amazon gift card.  We received some great photos, our clients are a good looking group!  I appreciate everyone participating, taking photos of pets is not as easy as it looks.


     Our first place winner was Victoria, here are a couple of the reasons she was picked...

(Dudley)

(Knuckles)

     Danielle was our second place winner with these adorable photos...

(Carmen)

(Mochi)

(Rusty)

     And just to share a few others that were still amazing but just didn't get as many votes, the honorable mentions...

(Brixton taken by Plover)

(Wiley taken by Tara)

(Scout taken by Tara)

See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com



Getting to Know Us || Erica

November 25th, 2014 01:27 PM


(Erica walking Madison & Roxy)

I could eat Sushi everyday for the rest of my life.
I lived in Guadalajara Mexico, but I can not speak spanish.
I am the girliest of girls, but I love camping, hiking and most things outdoors and dirty.
I collect hearts…glass ones, ribbon, paper mache, stone, metal, fabric…anything.  
I have a sweet tooth, my favorite indulgence is sour patch kids or dark chocolate.
I love to travel to tropical beach destinations.
I have a dog named Guinness...named after the beer.
I don't know how to ride a bike.
I love to attend to outdoor festivals, concerts and events.
I am addicted to caffeine.


See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

Getting to Know Us || Danielle

October 7th, 2014 10:28 AM

(Danielle walking Belle)


I love the rain.
I don't have any tattoos.
I prefer the company of animals rather than people. 
I can make ravioli from scratch. 
I don't like carbonated drinks like soda.
I love exotic animals. 
I am a rescue, ha! I mean adopted.
I used to have an Emperor Scorpion as a pet. 
I love glitter / sparkles.
I have a dog named Ankles.

See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

Dogs + Art = LOVE

September 24th, 2014 01:20 PM

     There is no denying that Instagram has become my new obsession.  I know I just did a post about my 2 favorite Instagram dogs but that was before I found Jimmy Choo, the Bull Terrier.  I've always loved Bull Terriers, they're like little mischievous boys in dog suits. Jimmy Choo's human is an amazing artist who, not only includes his cute pup in many of his posts but, also has a variety of interesting pupless posts that are fantastic as well!  There is something about Rafael Mantesso's art that makes me want to be his friend.  I can see his sense of humor, his love for Jimmy Choo and he inspires me to be more creative.  I LOVE ART!

Follow him on Instagram for a smile http://instagram.com/rafaelmantesso






photo credit: Rafael Mantesso

See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

Getting to Know Us || Tara

July 7th, 2014 03:26 PM

(Tara walking Meme, Sophie and Momo)

I really enjoy my veggie garden.
I am made in Maine.
I love to cook.
I love my wii (just dance).
I love music and music loves me.
I think digging in the dirt is fun, finding cool stuff is even better.
I have crazy long arms, they are not proportional with my height.
I grow the best strawberries in town.
I think cartoons ROCK!!!
I love the great outdoors.

See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

My Recent Instagram Obsessions

July 3rd, 2014 12:38 PM

     A boy and his dog, that's what they say right?  Well, Theo & Beau have brought this to an entirely new level.  Theo was adopted by this family as a puppy and from day one has napped with Beau on a very regular basis.  When I first saw these photos on some random blog, I thought they must be staged because they're just too perfect.  But after you look at a few of them, you realize these two really are sleeping.  Watching them grow through nap time photos has become a little bit of time sucker...but so well worth it.  The pup is adorable, the kid is adorable and his wardrobe is awesome!  Follow them on Instagram here: http://instagram.com/mommasgonecity



*Photo credit: mommasgonecity  //  http://mommasgonecity.com

     And then there is the balancing Canadian pup, Scout.  Not only is he super cute, can balance pretty much anything on his head, but his dog mom is hilarious and comes up with some of the best captions!  Scout and Jen work to promote awareness for dog rescuing as well as Breed Specific Legislation (in their home town of Ontario, Pitties are banned).  Read more about Breed Specific Legislation.  Scout usually has such a serious look but check out his cute little side smile in the pizza photo.  Follow Scout on Instagram here:  http://instagram.com/stuffonscoutshead









*Photo credit: stuffonscoutshead //  http://stuffonscoutshead.com

See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

Protection For Our Blind Pups

June 27th, 2014 05:53 PM

     Occasionally, something really useful comes along and I think to myself, why hasn't this been invented already?  I haven't actually held one of these Halos so I don't know exactly how well they are made.  However, from the few photos I have checked out, they seem like a well thought out invention.

     Here is Panda Paw's Rescue "Fruit Bat" strutting her stuff modeling her new Halo.  I love the vest design and the padding behind the head.  The sensor like bumper seems like a great way for a pup to know they're getting close to something, like a wall.




     See Spot Sit has provided pet sitting and dog walking for quite a few active blind dogs over the years. Tama, a Pug who needed her eyes removed due to medical necessity and Molly, a Springer Spaniel who went blind very young from a degenerative disease are just a couple pups who could have used something like the Muffin's Halo.  Molly adapted so well that most of the time I would forget she was blind but would hit the occasional stop sign pole or tree while out walking or sometimes a chair or wall in her home.  One of the best stories I have about Molly was one morning we were on a walk and crossed a wider than normal street, about 3/4 of the way across the street she started picking up her feet, anticipating the curb!  She knew it was coming and that she had been walking longer than usual, it was an eye opener to how well these pups (and humans) can adapt without one of the senses.

     Check out Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs' Facebook page:  Muffin's Halo for Blind Dogs  and web site: http://muffinshalo.com/

See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

The Product Every Pet Parent Must Have

August 9th, 2013 11:02 AM

     It's here!  It's here!  We have become a distributor for the only cleaning product we stand behind 100% of the time.  We've used it diluted on rugs, couches, mattresses, curtains, hard wood floors, laminate floors, dog beds, my old incontinent Labrador and much more.  And  we use it concentrated in every dog (and guinea pig) laundry rinse cycle, in the carpet steam cleaner, and outside on the concrete (because the super old Lab insists on pee'ing on the concrete!).

     *A quick side note:  Yes, we have guinea pigs and yes they have laundry.  They are on fleece instead of disposable bedding, I'm sure we will write a post about their "cage" set up at some point.*

     Even if your pets are completely house trained, there are still reasons we all need a great natural cleaner.  There is the occasional diarrhea mess, kitty hairballs and dog drool on the couch...or that oh so lovely middle of the night vomit all over your bedroom by your 5 year old human child.  As the owner of See Spot Sit dog walking and pet sitting, Carrie has many pups in and out of her home, and most people are surprised at the lack of a "dog smell".  She owes that to XO Plus for sure!

     Years ago, Nature's Miracle was the best and safest cleaner on the market.  However, in recent years the alcohol smell has increased while it's overall effectiveness has decreased.  There is a story about it's patent being sold after the founder of the company had passed, I'm not sure of the legitimacy of this information but I wouldn't doubt it based on my experience using it.

     With Nature's Miracle experiencing problems I was on the hunt for a new natural, enzyme based cleaner that would be completely safe for all pets.  There are a million other products that "clean" pet accidents, some are so good that the humans are fooled and can't smell the urine anymore.  Remember, it is especially important to remove the scent so our animals can't smell it (that's a nose 10,000 times stronger than ours) otherwise they will return to their self made potty spot!  Enter XO Plus ("plus" is important because the company also offers just an odor neutralizer but this one is also a cleaner).  Not only is it completely safe, you can actually use it ON most pets!  I am happy to say that with my incontinent old dog having accidents, I've never had another pup walk in and pee over where I've cleaned - a true testament to the effectiveness of XO.  For a complete list and guide to everything XO is capable of, visit their web site: www.xocorp.com


Whether you have puppy messes to take care of or want a safe and effective cleaner to pick up hairballs off of the carpet, this is the absolute best! I've even cleaned a few fresh red wine spills from my carpet with this stuff.  To make using XO even easier, empty spray bottles will be available soon.
We believe in this product so much that we want to make it available at a great cost to all of our clients and will even drop off your order when we walk/visit your pets next.  Of course, it is also available for pick up at our office if you need it sooner.  Concentrate dilutes at a ratio of 1:7 which means 32 oz makes almost 2 gallons of diluted cleaner.
32 oz concentrate is only $19.99 
1 gallon concentrate is only $69.99

email to order or ask questions: seespotsitsandiego@mac.com

See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com
   

The Neutering Debate

July 12th, 2013 11:15 AM


     If you live in San Diego (or many cities in the U.S.) the idea of spaying and neutering is ingrained in the deepest parts of your soul as the ethical choice.  It's just what good animal parents do!  Of course it is, how else would we be able to send our pups to daycare or romp in the 15+ dog parks and beaches without fearing little baby Spot Jr. might appear?  All kidding aside, we know it is the ethical choice to encourage spaying and neutering because of the 8 million animals taken in yearly by shelters and the others that don't get lucky enough and end up being euthanized (which, sadly is about half)*.  So my question is not whether spaying and neutering is the right thing to do, but rather "What if we're not doing it right?"

     I was checking out the blog of one of my favorite authors, Patricia McConnell (animal behaviorist) and her post "The Plot Thickens: Spay Neuter Effects & the Health of Our Dogs" caught my eye.  I've generally held the belief that with male dogs, one should hold off until after puberty to allow them to develop fully before removing vital hormones for development.  I hadn't researched further, and don't go around telling people they're wrong for neutering young (the Humane Society neuters VERY young) because the truth is I don't really know for certain that waiting to neuter improves the health or life of our pups.  What I do know is that from my experience all of the male pups I've met who were intact (not neutered) or neutered at a later age (closer to 2 years or older) had much better muscle development and bone structure (to the naked eye of course) than almost every other pup that was neutered early.

     From McConnell's post I was directed to a canine sports article written by Chris Zink DVM, Early Spay-Neuter Considerations for the Canine Athlete: One Veterinarian's Opinion.  When I was informed by my vet that spayed females have a propensity for incontinence at an earlier age I did start to wonder about the effects of spaying and neutering overall, beyond the muscular development of males.  This article is an interesting opinion of actual findings related to full development.  But what I loved more about it is the offering up of a different option.  Why not offer male pups vasectomies leaving the testosterone present?  Sure, you may need to take out a loan to pay for all of the dog training you'll need but maybe it's worth it.  However, I've know plenty of crazy/dominant/marking neutered pups so don't be so sure that neutering will prevent that stuff.  Leaving the ovaries in females seems like something that should be explored further but it definitely seems to bring up far more issues and concerns.

Rukus, neutered at 1.5 years old despite the plan to wait until 2 because he needed a tumor removed from his foot, so we did it at the same time.  Now he is a sleeping old man, turning 16 years old in 5 days.
*American Humane Association website: pet-overpopulation


See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

Interview Write-Up, 5th Grade Style

April 17th, 2013 10:27 AM

     A couple months ago, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by my 5th grade niece.  She had an assignment to interview someone in her family about their job and because she LOVES animals, she chose me.  The interview was awesome, she had some great questions!  Questions like "What do you think schools should teach children to better prepare them for a job?" and "What do you think is harder, school or work?" The answer to "Who is your best client?" stumped me the most.  We have so many amazing clients!!  She chose Gidget and Bentley because they have been clients for so long and she knows them from Camp Carrie.  Weirdly coincidental, Bentley, was diagnosed with cancer a few days before writing this blog and has passed over rainbow bridge, but he lives on in so many of our hearts.

     I always love reading her stories because she has an amazing imagination and I am in awe of her ability to create a picture with words at her age.  This paper is different, it's more factual, but she still shows great writing skills for a 10 year old.  I'm sharing it because it is about See Spot Sit and (who knows!) it may be the first of many published stories written by her.

     "My aunt, Carrie Dunnagan, is to me one of the most successful dog walkers & pet sitters there is, over her years of owning a business.  She has even popped up in a local magazine!  Through good days and through bad she has not given up and this is the story of Carrie Dunnagan and her business, See Spot Sit.  She started her first job when her dogs were at a boarding kennel.  Her mother was paying the bill for the dogs to stay at the kennel and the kennel showed her the ropes and she worked there for three years to pay off the bill for her dogs staying there. (It really only took a summer to pay the bill, but I continued to work there for a few years after).  She has the job she has now after starting a business on the recommendation of a coach and that's where it all started.  She does indeed like her work but, not only like but love too.  She says, "I love my job because I get to be with animals and enjoy the responsibility."  She also says she learned a lot of what she knows from doing it but also learned stuff in school that benefits her now.  Her best client's name is Mary.  She has been working with See Spot Sit for seven years and has a great relationship with Carrie.  Carrie walks her dogs every weekday and loves to keep the pups, Gidget and Bentley at her house.  The worst day of work is when Carrie gets news of a client's pet dying.  The best day is when everything goes smoothly, the dog walkers are on schedule and all the pets are healthy.
     If Carrie could change one thing at her work it would be dog walkers taking dogs for longer walks.  (I'm not sure where longer walks came from?).  Carrie is her own boss with employees but thinks of herself as part of a team.  As mentioned before, she indeed is her own boss.  She hopes her business will last in the next ten years but nothing is for sure.  She says schools should teach children responsibility and dependability; they should turn in homework and not call in if they aren't really sick.  Carrie did not think she would end up where she is now (when she was) in school, in fact Carrie wanted to be a teacher.  Carrie says "school and work can be equally as hard."  She personally thinks they are the same and loves them both dearly.
     That is the story." 




























See Spot Sit pet sitting...dog walking  //  www.seespotsitsandiego.com

I Want My Dog TV

March 21st, 2013 11:48 AM

    I was just a kid when MTV was launched and for me, it was one of the most exciting things that hit television!  It's not MTV but what an interesting idea for our fur kids.  As a company that provides a service (dog walking) to our pups home alone all day, and entertaining all types of animals while their humans travel (pet sitting), this TV channel hopes to add to our animal's quality of life by providing them some entertainment.  Many of our clients leave a radio or TV on for their pets, why not choose Dog TV?  Well, it's not free!

     I love the different channel choices such as Stimulation, Relaxation and Exposure.  I watched some sample videos from each and personally, I like the stimulation videos.  Who wouldn't want to watch a dog play in a corn field or two puppies wrestling?  Although the corn field video would give a few of my friends vertigo, you can tell they put a great deal of thought into appealing to the pups!  The music seems to match the channel and during the play video, there was an occasional squeak from a toy or a kiss sound made by a human to keep the pup's attention.  Here is the cornfield sample: