Mind My Paws
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|Posted on 4 February, 2015 at 15:47||comments ()|
It has been an age since my last blog! Apologies. This is partly due to the fact that the books at Mind My Paws are almost always full. Well for dog walking, but there's always room for cats to be fed.
In the last few months, Mind My Paws has relocated from Twyford to Woodley. Our premises (house!) is bigger and the garden is a real treat for all the pooches that come to stay.
Moving to Woodley means that we now have spaces in the schedule to make sure the cats of the town are able to be looked after while the humans are away to sunnier climates.
We offer a pop-in service, morning and night, to feed, clean litter and play with your cat while you are away.
Please get in touch for more information. 07736 280852
|Posted on 20 November, 2012 at 15:35||comments ()|
There are lots of stories on our blog about the dogs we walk and those who have boarded with us. So now it's time to talk a bit about us! Now that Stef is on board and easing up the very busy walking schedule, we can both take a step back and work out the best ways to grow and expand the business.
Since Stef has taken a reduction in hours from her full-time job and is spending time with other dogs, it has spurred her on with another ambition: to become a dog trainer/behaviourist.
Having already raised, trained and handled dogs most of her adult life, Stef has always had a keen interest in dog training and behaviourism, but she has never had any formal training as such, more “on the job” so to speak. So she has recently embarked on an accredited course to enhance and improve her understanding of dog training and behaviour through The Academy of Dog Training & Behaviour. We hope soon to be able to extend our services to offer an holistic approach to your dogs by being able to offer practical support and advice with training, obedience and any behaviourial issues your may have.
This week we had the opportunity to get involved in a training session with one of our clients, who has engaged a behaviourist to help with her rescue dog's aggression issues. It was fascinating to watch the behaviourist work and listen to his advice, and also helpful for Stef and I to know how to handle issues not just with dogs we walk, but the dogs we encounter on our walks.
On a humorous note, as there are now two of us at Mind My Paws, we recently had our first work night out! It was a great opportunity to sit down together to talk about our work with the pets we care for and discuss our visions for the future.
We are now planning our Christmas party and secret Santa!
|Posted on 11 October, 2012 at 14:06||comments ()|
|Posted on 17 April, 2012 at 16:23||comments ()|
|Posted on 20 February, 2012 at 12:39||comments ()|
|Posted on 29 November, 2011 at 17:06||comments ()|
For people who have more than one pet, house-sitting is the ideal option. For two weeks, I stayed with Murphy, Will and Spike while their owners went on a holiday of a lifetime to South Africa. Anne and Jim are also pet sitters, and run http://www.homefromhomepetcare.co.uk/ I went to visit them months before they went on holiday, as getting the right person to look after their own beloved dogs was at the top of their priority list. We all hit it off straight away, Anne, Jim and I share the same philosophy in animal care, caring for pets in the exact same way the owners do. And the boys, well who wouldn't hit it off with them?
This blog could go on and on and on about how amazing these dogs are. First up is Murphy, the nearly 12 year old black labrador. Troubled with arthritis, Murphy is not the sprightly dog he once was, but loves to be out there catching balls, even if he's not so able to chase after them. At home he is often found nuzzling his way through your knees. He looks so intelligent and I'm sure he understands every word I say to him.
Will, the beautiful 11 year old golden retriever really is a lovely natured dog, always so excited when you walk through the door and usually sitting by your feet wherever you are in the house. He follows you wherever you go and normally has a squeaky toy that he's trying to give you.
And last but by no means least there's Spike, the eight year old cross that Anne and Jim kept after fostering him. And who could blame them - Spike is such a lively, happy, good-natured dog. At the slightest hint that he might be going for a walk, ie if I stand up, he does 360 degree turns/jumps. Hilarious to watch. No matter how many walks he goes on or how many balls you throw for him, he never seems to want to stop.
Every day, we all went for an early morning walk at Ashenbury Park, where everyone seemed to know the boys and lots of confused faces when they saw me with them! Spike came on lots more walks with me over the two weeks and met lots of new friends.
Our night time routine consisted of them getting fed, Murphy hoping that he'd get a bit of my dinner (he never did) us all settling down to watch TV then we all headed off to bed - there was just about enough room for me on there!
On my return home I am a bit grumpy (as I often am when I have to say goodbye to another pup) my husband says, 'at least you've got me back, that must make you happy.' My reply was simply, 'seriously Jason, there's three of them, there's only one of you.'
|Posted on 17 October, 2011 at 10:35||comments ()|
Occasionally I get enquiries from people who are looking for someone to walk their dog for a week or two as they are unable to, for various reasons. I rarely write about these dogs as life just seems to fly by and before I know it, I am no longer walking them. But I had to stop and write about my most recent temporary pup. For the last three weeks, Clicquot, the beautiful black labrador, has been part of my 11am pack.
I met with her and her owner for half an hour and then took Clicquot straight out with my other dogs that day. We bonded straight away. As with most labradors, she is treat motivated and realised very quickly where the treats were kept (my trouser pocket), so stayed close. I took them all to an enclosed area down by the river Thames to see how her recall was with me. I quickly discovered that she loves swimming! And chasing balls and playing with the other dogs. Such an obedient girl and so happy when out on her walks.
I was very sad when her owner no longer needed me to walk her, but there's hope - I will be walking Clicquot occasionally between now and Christmas and over Christmas while her owners are on holiday.
|Posted on 29 September, 2011 at 4:47||comments ()|
Beagles are arguably the cutest dogs out there - and I've been waiting for nine months to get one on my books - then TWO come along at once! Bart and Lisa have recently moved back from Holland with their family and are back in their original home of Twyford.
Bart is four and Lisa is three. When I went to meet them, their owner told me that both of them had a bad experience with big dogs when they were very young and as a result both tended to fall on the scared side when meeting other dogs. I reassured her that ALL of the dogs I walk are highly sociable and very friendly towards other dogs. I took them out together on their own for the first week, so that they were able to get used to me. 'Would you rather I kept them on their leads?' I ask, 'oh no, they are happier off-leash'. I must admit that I was slightly apprehensive about beagles being off-lead as they are renowned for running off! But I needn't have worried, these two are never far from my side.
After introductions to Polly, Toto, Lewis and Phoebe, the beagles fit into the pack perfectly.
It's hard to tell them apart by the way they look; their different personalities are the easiest way to know who's who. Bart tends to keep himself to himself and prefers sniffing rather than playing with the others. As long as he can see me he's fine - in fact he'll stand and sniff something for the whole walk if you let him! As soon as I'm out of sight, he comes running. Lisa is the more adventurous of the two. She loves exploring in the woods with Polly and not bothered if I'm not in sight, but she always comes back when I call.
They do have one thing in common though - they both LOVE rolling in fox pooh.......
|Posted on 8 August, 2011 at 8:33||comments ()|
It's been non-stop here at Mind My Paws since June. Since my last post, as well as my regular daily dog walks, Toby the black lab has boarded for a week, Dudley the chocolate lab has stayed for a week and Digory the daschund stayed for a fortnight.
I could spend hours writing about all my boarders, but just don't seem to find the time. However, I have made time to write about my latest boarder, who has just left us after a fortnight.
Bethan, the ten month old working spaniel truly is the perfect dog. To get to know each other before she came to stay, I walked her a few times (on her own and with my pack) and she stayed over for a night, so we knew what to expect: a very excitable pup who loves socks and jumping on and off the sofa to give equal attention to everyone in the room!
As we all know, most dogs LOVE to walk. I have never met a dog more excited about going for a walk than Bethan! Everytime you stand up, her tail wags uncontrolably with anticipation that we just might be going out for another walk! Walk times were her chance to find balls and she refused to give up until that ball was found. Giving them back was another matter...... She has taught me it's always best to take more than one ball on a walk.
Bethan got introduced to many dogs during her stay and loved all of them. Her owners told me that she was better with dogs her own size and smaller, but she loved my labradors and ran rings around all of them!
The hardest part of my job is having to say goodbye to each dog, but thankfully as one amazing dog goes home happy, another one comes to stay.
|Posted on 23 June, 2011 at 15:50||comments ()|
As I look over my blog posts, I realise that there are so many of my dogs that I haven't introduced you to yet! Aside from my boarders, it's time to meet my regular walkies pups.
Of course if you 'like' my Facebook page, you might have already seen the pictures of my growing 'client base'.
My walking schedule is now pretty much set in stone (although there is always room for maneuver). I do my first walk of the day with Saska the staffie in Twyford. She is 12 years old and her owner would prefer her to be walked alone, so three days a week, we go for a half hour walk together. She sets the pace and I follow behind!
At 11am, it's off to Henely, where my boarder will join Dudley, the chocolate lab and Frankie, the wee yorkshire terrier. Dudley is fighting fit and back to his pre-shoulder op weight. Chasing his ball is his favourite thing to do. Frankie gives him a run for his money and sometimes he even lets her win! Frankie is such a treasure and gets on with every dog I've taken her out with - the bigger the better! New recruit Mondo, the 4 month old yellow lab often joins us too. He is very cute, has perfect recall and loves to roll around in fox pooh!
Then it's my 1pm walk in Binfield. I pick up Phoebe the pug on my way back from Henley, then Toto the westie, and over we go to Binfield to fetch Polly, the beautiful weimaraner / bullmastiff cross. I see more bullmastiff but everyone I meet says they see weimaraner. Either way, she always gets admired. When her owners collected her from the RSPCA, the 8 month old wasn't trained very well. Her recall is now perfect (well it is with me!) and she will chase sticks all day if I let her. Toto, the 6 year old is like my body guard and is never far from my ankles, unless there's water to be jumped in. I've already told you all about Phoebe.
At 4pm it's back to Henley to give Dudley his second walk of the day. Stan, the jack russell joins us, as does Rolo, the miniature labradoodle and my boarder. Stan has been with me since he's been a puppy and has grown into a perfectly behaved joy to walk. Rolo is a fun loving and obedient boy.
Is that everyone? no hang on - there's two more. Chelesea is Stan's new 'little sister'. A miniature jack russell, she's still too young to come out on walks with us, so she gets to enjoy doggy day care and sleep while we're out walking. She'll be out with us soon though.
And finally there's Lewis - the springiest springer spaniel I've ever met. I haven't managed to get him to stay still long enough to get a picture yet. Watch this space!