I moved back to Fort Collins in 2010 to be closer to my aging parents, leaving my career as head of corporate culture for an outdoor adventure company in northern California. In those first few months of resettling in my home town, I realized that the time I spent playing with my dog was the most enjoyable part of my day. Whether we were hiking the trails or playing Frisbee in the backyard, me and my dog were always happier and healthier for having spent time together. Although animals had always been an important part of my life, I hadn’t made the connection of just how fulfilling and crucial animal companionship was to wellbeing.
After doing some research into the local and national pet sitting scene, I was astonished to learn there really didn’t appear to be a standard of care or commitment to advocacy within the industry. Everyone seemed to be seeking answers to the simplest of things – from how many visits a day do animals need, to how to keep track of all their appointments. Pet sitters across the country were so busy dawn to dusk (just surviving) that they often couldn’t see the forest through the trees. They were burned out, struggling to make ends meet, and didn’t have any continuity of care i.e., they had no way of honoring pet care commitments, were something to happen to them. Unbelievably, many hadn’t had a single day off – since starting their businesses! They couldn’t take a weekend off – let alone vacations. Needless to say, they weren’t caring for themselves and their loved ones like they wanted. They were off-kilter with their own values. Indeed, many pet sitters even worried that they were neglecting the emotional needs and enrichment of their own pets.
It was at that moment that I decided on a career of advocacy, education and support within the pet care industry, thereby fostering and furthering that critical bond between our pets, ourselves and our combined wellbeing. If I could educate, mentor – or just be a sounding board for others, I felt I could positively affect care protocols and health outcomes – through changing organizational behaviors that were out-of-synch with peoples identity, values and health.
And so came the idea of opening a premiere pet sitting, dog walking and dog hiking company in Fort Collins, to enable my goals of providing advocacy for pets and education for pet sitting companies and pet parents alike. I would put all my accumulated years of business, pet ownership, pet sitting and pet care to good use! And I wasn’t the first person in my family to champion pet care and wellbeing. My mom was the first to pioneer the field of professional pet care in the early 1970’s with her company “Good Neighbor.” So the apple didn’t fall far from the tree!
I firmly believe that there’s no better option than home-based pet sitting – and veterinarians agree! Pets get to enjoy their comfortable home-surroundings and are not subjected to any increased risk of disease or injury. Likewise, they’re able to enjoy all the familiar comforts of their own home, including toys, beds, sights, sounds, diet and even their family’s scent! No wonder veterinarians choose professional pet sitting for their own pets!
When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with friends, playing music with a local Irish group, being with my dog, and cooking.
I encourage you to look into the many exciting services we offer and compare us to other pet sitting companies. When you choose Poochy Doos, LLC you’re making a strong value choice. You’re choosing the very best care possible for your pets – hands down – while also supporting animal advocacy and business education!
Thanks again for visiting! We look forward to meeting you!
CONTINUING EDUCATION & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Pet 1st Aid, American Red Cross, 2010
Canine/Feline C.P.R., American Red Cross, 2010
Working with Fearful-Agressive Dogs, Diane Ellis, 2011
Working with Rescue Dogs, Tracy Derheim, 2012
On-Leash Reactivity in Dogs, Tracy Derheim, 2012
Preventing Feline Inappropriate Elimination, Dr. Rebecca Ruch-Gallie, 2013
Behavioral Enrichment for Dogs, Harline Larkey, 2013
Seven Habits of Successful Pets, Dr. Jennie Willis, 2013
Preventing Poisoned Pets, Tina Wismer, DVM, DABUT, DABT, 2013
Canine Trailside: First Aid & Safety for Dogs, Dr. Nicole Van Gurp, 2013
Understanding and Improving Interspecific Communication, Patricia McConnell, Ph.D., CAAB, 2013
Play Between Dogs, Interspecific Play with People and Quality of Life, Marc Bekoff, Ph.D., Professor Emertus CU Boulder, 2013
Creating Healthy Relationships Between Human Families, Dogs and Cats, Suzanne Hetts, Ph.D., CAAB, 2013
Cognition & Quality of Life, Julie Hecht, Ph.D., 2013
K9 Coach Certifiction, a K9 Wisdom Program by Cathie Lee, ABCDT, 2013
Top Behavioral Issues for Cats: Symptoms and Solutions, Dr. Jennie Willis, 2014
Animal Relinquishment and Training for Adoption, Jai Robichaud, 2014
Creating and Maintaining Healthy Relationships Among Family Dogs, Dr. Suzanne Hetts, 2014
Social Learning in Dogs: A Study of Learning By Observation and Its Efficacy in Training by Jan Casey, 2014
Understanding End of Life Issues for Pets, 2014
Pet Tech, Pet 1st Aid & Canine/Feline CPR, 2014
Dog on Dog Aggression & Fighting by Dr. Ian Dunbar, 2015
Aspects of Juvenile and Adolescent Environment Predict Aggression and Fear in 12-Month-Old Guide Dogs, Department of Clinical Studies, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, 2016
Food Puzzles For Cats Feeding for Physical and Emotional Wellbeing, Journal for Feline Medicine & Surgery, 2016
Early Weaning Increases Aggression and Stereotypic Behaviour in Cats, Milla K. Ahola, Katarina Vapalahti & Hannes Lohi, 2017
Health Benefits of Pet Ownership, Lynette A. Hart, PhD, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Mariko Yamamoto, PhD, Teikyo University of Science, Japan, 2019
Did the COVID-19 Pandemic Spark a Public Interest in Pet Adoption, Jeffery Ho1, Sabir Hussain1, and Olivier Sparagano1. Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan, 2021
Behavioural and Physiological Correlates of the Canine Frustration Questionnaire, Kevin J. McPeake, Lisa M. Collins, Helen Zulch, and Daniel S. Mills, The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Easter Bush Campus, Midlothian EH25 9RG, UK 2 Animal Behaviour Cognition and Welfare Group, School of Life Sciences, University of Lincoln, Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, 2021